Youth Criminal Justice Act Essay

Youth Criminal Justice Act Essay

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The overwhelming majority of juveniles are involved in impulsive or risky, even delinquent behaviors during their teenage years. However, the majority go on to become very productive citizens who do not commit crimes. In order for this to continue the government established the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) which gives young offenders a chance to better themselves, and. By doing so, the YCJA helps teach youth that their actions are unacceptable and the punishments imposed are lesser then an adult. Through the analysis of their unacceptable actions, lesser punishments and a better future, it is clear that YCJA is highly effective at giving youth a better chance in society.
The YCJA teaches youth that their actions were unacceptable but there will still be consequences without giving them heavy jail time. One way that the government does this is through “conferencing”. Conferencing allows youth to participate in a program with the victim and the victim’s family members to learn about the consequences of their behavior and to develop ways to make amends. Typically, a conference would bring together in an informal setting the offender, his or her family, the victim, and the victim’s supporters. An open discussion about the offence and its impact would then begin with a resolution being determined at the end a simple apology might even be the end result. The idea of conferencing came from family group conferencing practiced in New Zealand and Australia as well as aboriginal circle sentencing. In 1997, the House of Commons Justice Committee suggested that the youth criminal justice system adopt conferencing as a sentencing option. Conferencing is highly beneficial to the offender because it gives them an opportunity to see first ...

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The Legal Status of Sixteen and Seventeen Year Old Youth in Ontario. Toronto, Ont.: Canadian Foundation for Children Youth and the Law (Justice for Children & Youth), 1993. Print.
"Youth Justice Board - Youth Justice System." Web. 24 Mar. 2010. .
"Youth Justice Services." Ministry for Children and Families. Web. 23 Mar. 2010. .
Zuker, Marvin A., Roderick C. Flynn, and Randolph C. Hammond. Children's Law Handbook. Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2005. Print.

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