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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 Opinion Respecting the YCJA

The debate for November 2002:

Should adults be held accountable in the same way as young persons?

Should the Young Offenders Act and Youth Criminal Justice Act be expanded to include "old offenders" i.e. persons over age 18? 

Should adults serve real time for real crime in the same way as young persons?

Adults get earned remission of sentence and are eligible for parole, young persons don't:

Prisons and Reformatories Act

6. (1) Every prisoner serving a sentence, other than a sentence on conviction for criminal or civil contempt of court where the sentence includes a requirement that the prisoner return to that court, shall be credited with fifteen days of remission of the sentence in respect of each month and with a number of days calculated on a pro rata basis in respect of each incomplete month during which the prisoner has earned that remission by obeying prison rules and conditions governing temporary absence and by actively participating in programs, other than full parole, designed to promote prisoners' rehabilitation and reintegration as determined in accordance with any regulations made by the lieutenant governor of the province in which the prisoner is imprisoned.

Corrections and Conditional Release Act

120. (1) Subject to sections 746.1 and 761 of the Criminal Code and to any order made under section 743.6 of that Act, to subsection 140.3(2) of the National Defence Act and to any order made under section 140.4 of that Act, and to subsection 15(2) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, an offender is not eligible for full parole until the day on which the offender has served a period of ineligibility of the lesser of one third of the sentence and seven years.

Charter of Rights s. 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

See also The Young Offenders Act Parents' Page

    Read What Others Have Said


    City:
    Mississauga
    Date:
    30 Oct 2002
    Time:
    21:37:15

    Comments

    I don't think it's fair that adults can get conditional sentences, double credit for dead time, remission, and parole when young persons must serve real time. Contrary to public opinion, young persons get secure custody for offences for which adults get fines. When young persons serve a sentence they actually spend the whole sentence in jail, subject to review by the sentencing judge. Adults don't serve real time. They get parole and remission. They also can get intermittent sentences and conditional sentences. Maybe it's time adults were treated as harshly as young persons.


    City:
    OTTAWA
    Date:
    29 Nov 2002
    Time:
    10:52:54

    Comments

    I went through a life of moving around A LOT! I was always able to make the distinction between right & wrong & I'm relatively confident that most kids from the age of 12 & up can also make that same distinction if brought up under normal circumstances. Being that as it may, if a psychologist can come to the conclusion that this child had the sane frame of mind to commit the said criminal activity, then they alone should serve the consequences for their own actions. Just as a coach may teach a team during practice, he cannot be on the ice or field during the game. The same can & should be said for a child. A parent can teach them right from wrong which is usually done as an infant, that slapping mommy or daddy is bad or throwing things ( for some light examples), a parent cannot be with their child 24-7 when at school or out with friends. These cases that show that parents could not be held accountable for their child's actions should be judged upon as that, unless proven otherwise that a parents actions, at some point or another, could have stopped or caused the immediate reactions of the said child to commit that offence. Let's not let these kids get away with more than they already have. It's a different world today. THEY KNOW!


    City:
    Brantford
    Date:
    29 Nov 2002
    Time:
    11:52:55

    Comments

    I think that it's wrong for 16 or 17 year olds put in jail


    City:
    Toronto
    Date:
    29 Nov 2002
    Time:
    15:44:06

    Comments

    If your old enough to do the crime. Your old enough to serve the time.


    City:
    Saskatoon
    Date:
    29 Jan 2003
    Time:
    14:56:28

    Comments

    I think that our citizens should wake up and investigate the Young Offenders Act. The act was put in place to protect its citizens, and to reabilitate and reintegrate its youth into society. Adults can apply for early parol, serve only half of their sentance, as well as only pay fines instead of restitution to the victims. The Young Offenders acts makes the courts act more swiftly than Adult court by going straight to trial with no jury! Secondary parties are involved with the whole family of the accused in which many people are interviewed, so that the judge passes a fair, reasonable, and just sentance. The judges and jury in adult court may not see the whole picture. Youth have to serve their whole sentance; Adults have many chances to have their sentances reduced. In a lot of ways there are more restrictions placed on youth that is more harsh than what an adult would receive in the same circumstance. Maybey, these adults need the same attention paid to them so that they will rehabilitate and reintegrate within society!

     


    City:
    Charlottetown, PEI
    Date:
    16 Feb 2003
    Time:
    17:53:48

    Comments

    The youth justice system should deal with offenders aged 10 to 18, with automatic adult sentences for 16 and 17 year olds who are charged for most violent offences and an automatic adult sentence for 14 to 17 year olds convicted of first degree murder. Under 10 is too young and you're an adult anyway at 18.


    City:
    PEI
    Date:
    16 Feb 2003
    Time:
    18:01:38

    Comments

    I believe custody should be reserved for violent offenders. They should have to serve most or all of their sentence. This may be the only way we can prevent kids from graduating into the adult system. If you think kids today have to spend longer sentences than adults, just look back at the days of the old Juvenile Delinquents Act. Back then if a youth was sentenced to a reformatory or training school they never got released until they were considered "reformed." Sentences were indeterminate and the old reform schools were tougher and better than the youth daycares we have nowadays. Youths back then who committed serious offences were often sent right to prison-with adults! If you ask me, kids today have it too good.


    City:
    ottawa
    Date:
    19 Feb 2003
    Time:
    19:55:21

    Comments

    I completely diagree with this debate because adults are quite capable of committing more severe crimes. If they were tried as young persons they would have too much freedom in jail, which could make the more serious offenders feel like they can get away with anything. Youth have more time to learn right from wrong and they can make the choice to stop before they become adults. Thank you


    City:
    Williston
    Date:
    09 Apr 2003
    Time:
    08:44:02

    Comments

    People should not wear uniforms because this is a free country. people are able to make their own decisions about what they wear and the school should not punish the entire schllo because of that.


    City:
    saskatoon
    Date:
    14 Apr 2003
    Time:
    15:26:47

    Comments

    I think that it should be that way in all of canada

     


     

     

 

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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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