The Great Youth Criminal Justice Act Debate

The Act went into force April 1, 2003

YCJA

YOA

Criminal Code

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

February 2004

Resolved that: 

Young persons have a poor understanding of the right to counsel.

Most young persons have no idea what the word counsel means. They have no understanding of the role of a lawyer to provide consultation prior to interrogation by police. They have no understanding of the role a lawyer can play if they are guilty anyway-they assume they have an obligation to plead guilty if they are morally guilty of anything. They think there is nothing to defend. 

How can a better understanding of information about counsel be brought to the young criminals? 

See the latest version of this discussion: What does "counsel" mean to a "young offender"? What is the history of "counsel" under the JDA, YOA, and YCJA?


City:
Mississauga ON
Date:
27 October 2003
Time:
14:17:39

Comments

A better understanding of information about counsel can be brought through school in the educational programs. Teachers in law courses should bring up these terms and talk about the functions and duties of these particular people. Most children because they do not understand these terms wave their rights very easily.


City:
Edmonton
Date:
03 November 2003
Time:
13:16:29

Comments

what rights do young offenders have? What is the proper procedure of officers when questioning and arresting a minor?


City:
Belfast, PEI
Date:
13 November 2003
Time:
12:58:05

Comments

Young people could learn about their rights and obligations through programs in school.


City:
Date:
17 November 2003
Time:
10:57:34

Comments

Hey! I wouldn't be on this site, but I'm learning about the YOA in my social studies class. We have to do some research on it as well. I'm at least learning about the YOA and I'm in grade 9, so it is being taught in schools.


City:
Sturgeon Falls
Date:
22 January 2004
Time:
20:09:58

Comments

My son was recently arrested and charged with possession 3/4 of a joint. He waived the right to counsel or a parent to be present at the interrogation. I think that the parent should be notify as soon as the young offender is arrested, not let him choose the right to waived his right. Because is was scared & nervous he made a bad decision and did not even know.


City:
Rouyn
Date:
09 February 2004
Time:
10:22:39

Comments

They must go a special school or they must be advised by police or their parents! they cannot be punished for something that they did not know was wrong. Punishing a kid for something he/she didn't know was wrong would be wrong!


City:
Toronto
Date:
16 February 2004
Time:
13:20:53

Comments

According to the legal rights of Canada, young offenders are mostly not shown on television. I believe that they should show more of them on the news, etc.......


City:
Barrie Ontario
Date:
10 March 2004
Time:
10:28:40

Comments

We weren't informed that our son was in custody until the police were ready to bring him home. On his court disclosure it states that he was Misadvised and waived the right to counsel. Firstly, my son thought counsel was a psychiatrist, secondly he was told that if he couldn't afford a "lawyer" that one could be appointed for him and he thought that meant for when he went to court. We should have been informed when our son was initially brought to the police station, and we should have had the opportunity to speak to him PRIOR to his rights being read. We are told and taught as parents that we are responsible for our children until they are 18 years old. If this is the case, why is it that my minor child was allowed to make such a major decision without my consent? Something is very wrong in this country, when kids can go out and DO whatever the heck they want and then we ask parents are told TOO bad. The system doesn't work, half the time they don't know what they are doing and the other half of the time is spent waiting for the Crown Attorney's office to get their collective acts together. When an accused is expected to come to court prepared, so too should the Crown's office have the same on us. What happened to due process?

it's all a farce.


City:
Aurora
Date:
24 March 2004
Time:
11:46:30

Comments

Listen lady, if your son wants to break the law he should fully know the consequences. The law should not have to compensate for his ignorance or yours.


City:
Walnut Creek, CA
Date:
31 May 2004
Time:
15:01:39

Comments

I'm wondering if a minor should be even arrested without legal counsel present at the time of the arrest, particularly if circumstances are such that there is adequate time to provide it.


City:
Ennis, Texas
Date:
23 July 2004
Time:
15:53:20

Comments

Yesterday, I sat in court to support my 16 yr.old nephew & to make a long story short I feel that an injustice was done. I decided to get on the net & search for information to calm my aching stomach. He was made or led to plead guilty or truth for (2!!) felony offences that he did not commit to get a "DEAL" for (1)other that he did commit. Serve 5yrs for not guilty or 6mos for guilty. Of course juveniles don't understand their right to counsel if they did they wouldn't plead guilty for things that they are not guilty of. The fear of losing 5 yrs. of his life was more overwhelming than pleading guilty,guilty,guilty!!!What would you do @ 16 yrs old?????????


City:
st. louis
Date:
25 September 2004
Time:
13:14:49

Comments

What about my child's rights as a minor being apprehended for an incident at a public facility-. what is law # 537.125 & 570.087 implement. What are the parents held liable for when they were not informed of this incident until a month after it had occurred, by a lawyer.


City:
Toronto
Date:
09 November 2004
Time:
19:15:12

Comments

sorry... but why would you need a parent or an adult present when the police questions you? what's the point of it, do they act as a guide or what... do the assume the same role as a lawyer.

I just want to ask why?


City:
Date:
09 November 2004
Time:
19:19:07

Comments

okay, its me.. the one who just posted here a minute ago...

i'm a kid and i agree with some of the other people that we kids should be well aware of the consequences if we break a law or anything like that.

what i don't get is the lawyer/parent part, what's the big deal of getting one? If you've done the act, you've done it and you pay the consequences anyways... right?

if you haven't, then there's nothing to be afraid of.

i don't get the big fuss of all this.


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Revised: 09 Dec 2010 11:29:38 -0500 .