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The Great Youth Criminal Justice Act Debate

The Act goes into force April 1, 2003

New: December 2010: Enter Your Comments and Opiniion Respecting the YCJA

 

The debate for February 2002:

Should our juvenile justice system employ a child welfare model or a criminal justice model?

The Juvenile Delinquents Act declared that young persons accused of crimes should be dealt with as children in a state of delinquency who needed to be treated by a friendly probation officer, care of Children's Aid Society, or Training School? Rights and criminal process weren't all that important. Was this a good model?

The Young Offenders Act made young persons ages 12 to 17 the subject of real criminal consequences for the same offences as adults and adopted the procedures and rules of the Criminal Code of Canada subject to some modification; real time for real crime. The Youth Criminal justice Act continues that approach. Is this a good model?

Should young persons be afforded rights?  

    Read What Others Have Said


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    19 Jan 2002
    Time:
    12:40:39

    Comments

    Children who commit crimes need psychological treatment, not jail. They need to receive professional help even if they refuse. We should go back to the Juvenile Delinquents Act model and impose treatment wherever a child is judged delinquent. Rights are for adults not children. Doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers should decide what's best for us.


    City:
    Regina
    Date:
    30 Jan 2002
    Time:
    23:36:25

    Comments

    I believe that the Young Offenders Act should be changed to include punishment of all crimes according to the severity of the crime. First of all, everyone makes mistakes, and thatís life! However, after the first offence, a greater punishment should be given. I believe the children deserve psychological treatment, but they also need to make amends for the crime. Secondly, boot camp has become a popular topic due to the many car thefts, and multiple offences by the same persons. I am in favor of boot camp, because I believe that not only are the juveniles removed from society but they also learn discipline, hard work, and respect for authority. The third reason, was the fact that I believe young persons ages 12 to 17 should receive real criminal consequences for the same offences as adults; real time for real crime. Any children younger should be dealt with according to the crime.


    City:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Date:
    10 Feb 2002
    Time:
    17:27:58

    Comments

    I think that young offenders should have the same punishment that adults have depending on the crime that they have committed. But in some cases they should have psychological treatment to get to the bottom. Maybe the youth did it for attention or because he is an brain dieases that may effect the way the youth may think.


    City:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Date:
    10 Feb 2002
    Time:
    17:29:43

    Comments

    I think that young offenders should have the same punishment that adults have depending on the crime that they have committed. But in some cases they should have psychological treatment to get to the bottom. Maybe the youth did it for attention or because he is an brain deseases that may effect the way the youth may think. and act in a situation. It they can do the crime they have to be aware and follow through with the punishment that goes along with the action.


    City:
    Oshawa
    Date:
    21 Feb 2002
    Time:
    12:50:33

    Comments

    Young offenders should be charged and tried as and adult the Young Offenders Act is protecting the criminal and letting the victims suffer.


    City:
    Niagara Falls
    Date:
    04 Mar 2002
    Time:
    23:15:11

    Comments

    I believe that young offenders should be afforded rights when proceeding through the procedures of criminal law. Youth criminality may be the result of extenuating social circumstances,such as family violence, poverty or drug abuse. The "special needs" of each individual must be acknowledged and considered when deciding on a punishment for these individuals. Criminal responsibiliy and accountability is neccessary, but to place young offenders in prison with adults would be unproductive and ineffective.


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    15 Mar 2002
    Time:
    15:29:25

    Comments

    I do believe this is a good model, under certain cercumstances. Young children and teens are making mistakes and that is what we all have lead them to believe, is a part of growning up. We have also given them meters of rope to repel on, to get away with the things they should be punished for. For instance, when your son/daughter comes home when they are young, with a chocolate bar in their hands that they did not pay for, it is not always repremanded enough, and they tend to think that it is ok to do this. i believe that the house rules, should be stricter, and give the message out to the youth, from the time they are youg, that it is NOT ok, and you will be punished. Then there would be not so much of a need for the young Offenders act. But at the same time we have to ask ourselves, do our children deserve the consequences that they are given for the actions thay displayed... or is it "just part of growing up"????


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    18 Mar 2002
    Time:
    01:00:28

    Comments

    Young Offenders should be afforded the legal rights that protect individuals from police powers. But, that's only when youths are brought into the formal justice system. The new legislation provides for the use and wide discretion of early intervention and alternative measures. The more youths are diverted from the formal justice system, the better. Therefore, the new Act will cover both legal rights and social intervention to address both issues.


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    21 Mar 2002
    Time:
    09:40:19

    Comments

    I think that we should put those punks behind bars for life. In most cases it is a genetic thing that is passed along through the family for life. They grow up with disrespect towards the police and the law because that is what they are taught that from birth. Nothing that we do can straighten them out but hard time.


    City:
    Yukon
    Date:
    21 Mar 2002
    Time:
    15:03:43

    Comments

    Most young offenders should be euthenized on an iceburg in antarctic


    City:
    cochrane ontario
    Date:
    28 Mar 2002
    Time:
    10:06:44

    Comments

    i would like a search here


    City:
    Calgary
    Date:
    31 Mar 2002
    Time:
    13:59:45

    Comments

    It is a great model. It does not realy make a difference if a 16 comited a crime or a 40 year old comited the same crime. We are all the same and we should be panished in the same way, disrigarding our age...


    City:
    Vancouver B.C.
    Date:
    06 Apr 2002
    Time:
    02:40:43

    Comments

    A requirement to understand the criminal process is not a prerequisite to committing a crime, therefore it should also not be a prerequisite to being prosecuted. This question is typical of a justice system badly in need of an infusion of intelligence. The Y.O.A. makes a mockery of justice by challenging anyone to define it as anything but a revolving door. On March 31, 2002, a 15 year old attempted to murder my 17 year old son after he and his 18 year old brother bullied and threatened (death) my son for 18 months. My son barely survived a severe stab wound in the chest, attacked from behind and totally unaware of the presence of his attacker. There were 12 witnesses. On April 3, the accused was released to his mother with nothing more severe than a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Although the series of incidents leading up to the stabbing took place in school, the boy was allowed to return to school, causing conflict with the B.C. School Act which makes the school liable for the safety and protection of the students. The accused is not safe at the school because of possible retaliation by the student body, while my son is too injured to return to classes any time soon, with only 3 months before his intended graduation as an honour student. I pose a further question to anyone interested: What kind of a society are we living in? Unless we intend to cultivate a whole new era of ruthless incorrigibles, we'd better scrap the entire Y.O.A., and the sooner the better. The notion of violating the basic rights of anyone commiting serious crime is misleading. Basic rights should be suspended from the point of bail hearing until either release from custody or completion of sentence.


    City:
    Cornwall Ont.
    Date:
    21 Apr 2002
    Time:
    18:35:18

    Comments

    In March of 1994, our 16-year old daughter Carrie was murdered by a male who was then almost seventeen years of age. Carrie had been reported missing to the police and the police found her naked body the next day while executing a search warrent on his house in relation to the murder of another youing girl some two months earlier. Because of his age, the male(then not allowed to be identified) was afforded a series of what are euphemistically known as "protections" which became hurdles or barriers to anything approaching resonable completion of the process.We endured many, delays to the tune of almost seven full years for the male to be sentenced for his terrible crime. Curiosly, the one thing that was completely ignored and onwhich the YOA is totally silent, is the effect of such adjourments on the victim. We have learned a few things about the justice system in our seven year ordeal that we now hope to put to use in the memory of our daughter and in determination that no other victim should be forced to endure what we have. From our propective the the system funtioned inappropriately. Frankly, from our perspective as interested observers, the criminal process in Ontario has degenrated from a justice system into a legal system with all of us poorer as a result. 


    City:
    london
    Date:
    09 May 2002
    Time:
    12:43:08

    Comments

    i need some more information...my young child(16 been given 9months..is a training school, which seems backward in its regime..locking up boys for 22 hours a day..i feel helpless..it was his 16th birthday today, they let him ring me..he had been beaten up and locked up for 24hrs and all priveleges taken...can you give me some advice..some statistics i can read and fight with......esp..as he is a young black male


    City:
    Date:
    09 May 2002
    Time:
    13:17:46

    Comments

    how many guys do u feel they lock up as an example..while some get away with it..you telling me of all the thousands of guys locked up..they are all guilty of some of the horrific crime that has been mentioned here...but u shold remember that they just reflect what most of u comfortable people have ignored....the world can be a violent and brutal and these young people are also the victims.....if punishment worked why do so many re-offended. Please dont tell me its because they are treated like it some sort of holiday camp...cos i have been to two...and they are like hell, they are full of pain and misery, threat and there is no rest. We might as well go back to the pre victorian times when they would hang children for stealing bread..at least by hanging them...they no longer have to live with the scars that society has brutally tortured them with. 


    City:
    paris
    Date:
    13 May 2002
    Time:
    08:30:59

    Comments

    i'm against death penality


    City:
    Date:
    16 May 2002
    Time:
    16:37:15

    Comments

    Kids can be just as harmfull as adults and if there not delt with when they are younger how bad well they be when there older when they are stronger and smarter they could hurt and kill many people but if are delt with when they were younger and had been treated there would be a lesser chance of all this crap happening mabe we could stop the badness in this scary world


    City:
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Date:
    23 May 2002
    Time:
    19:07:57

    Comments

    In order to lower crime rates, stricter laws and punishments need to be implemented on youths that break the law. We have to keep in mind however, that these are children. When a child decides to go against the law you better believe that it is somewhat a cry of help. "Real time for real crime" in a childs case this may be detrimental to their development and rehabilitation. Instead of throwing our youth (might I remind you is also our future) behind bars is doing nothing but taking the easy way out. These children need to be taught that what they did was wrong, they need rehabilitated and offered a second chance that they all deserve. As it is, our YOA needs to be stricter. This way youth learn from their mistakes the first time around. Therefore, in ten years we can trust our future with them.


    City:
    jacksonville
    Date:
    10 Jun 2002
    Time:
    15:26:56

    Comments

    the age should be 10 to 16, a 17 year old is pretty much an adult so they should be charged as an adult.


    City:
    oakville
    Date:
    11 Jun 2002
    Time:
    14:13:09

    Comments

    I just think that if you do something wrong no matter what age you are you should pay for the crime. I don't think some peolpe should be treated the same. No matter who you are. It doesn't matter if your famous or not.


    City:
    Suva, FIji Islands
    Date:
    17 Jun 2002
    Time:
    22:37:00

    Comments

    Retributive Justice, as used by the current justice system has failed a lot of members of our society. It should be kept for those whom the traditional justice system which is based on the restoration of justice. A social welbeing model and not welfare model is best.


    City:
    Langley, BC, Canada
    Date:
    14 Jul 2002
    Time:
    18:12:11

    Comments

    I believe intent is an important issue when it comes to penalties for young offenders. If a kid causes a deadly accident while fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle, he/she will often serve more time than a youth who has intentionally stabbed someone to death. The profiles are very different for these 2 offences. Sentences seem to depend more on the amount of media coverage given to an incident rather than on the motive and intent of the offender. Some of the parents of these kids are the ones that should be locked up. Many young offenders have no idea how a so-called "normal" life works.They learn what they live and have the emotional scars to prove it. A blanket condemnation of these kids is nothing more than a statement of societal ignorance.


    City:
    Date:
    17 Jul 2002
    Time:
    07:36:52

    Comments

    The Young Offenders Act is Canada's shame!

    We currently have the highest number of imprisoned children in the world.

    Parent's should have the absolute right to be fully informed at all times and indeed all level's, of the morally obnoxious procedures/actions forced upon our children by the vicious minority of right wing radicals that appear to running our country at the moment.

    In civilised international circles the Young Offender's Act is a total aberration.

    The Young Offender's Act should be suspended with immediate effect !!

    Canada is currently involved in a coalition a against radical movements that have little or no regard for basic human rights.

    What hypocrisy!!

     


     

     

 

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Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor

470 Hensall Circle, Suite 303
Mississauga, Ontario
L5A 3V4

905-273-3322  or 1-877-273-3322

 


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