200. However, no portion of either an adult or youth sentence can be served in an adult prison while the youth is still under the age of 18. Reducing Delays and Modernizing the Criminal Justice System, Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award. This fact sheet contains information regarding the sentencing of young persons under the YCJA. A court can impose an adult sentence only if (a) the prosecution rebuts the presumption that the young person has diminished moral blameworthiness or culpability and (b) a youth sentence would not be of sufficient length to hold the young person accountable. In 2008 in the case of R. v. The recommendations can be accepted by the decision maker only if they are consistent with the YCJA. A must-have for anyone dealing with young persons and those who need to … Pre-trial detention was often used as a way of responding to a youth’s social-welfare needs rather than for legitimate criminal law reasons. A set of amendments to the YCJA was adopted by Parliament in 2012. As passed by Parliament in 2002, the Act provided that a young person could not be sentenced to custody unless: In 2012, Parliament amended the YCJA by expanding the meaning of violent offence and pattern of findings of guilt. Youth courts sometimes imposed very intrusive sentences on young persons who committed relatively minor offences in an effort to address psychological or social needs. The Court found that the presumption of an adult sentence in the provisions of the YCJA was inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ principle of fundamental justice that, in comparison to adults, young people are entitled to a presumption of diminished moral blameworthiness. Youth Criminal Justice Act January 2000 Page: 4 of 20 A. If the young person was convicted in adult court, the court imposed an adult sentence. Specific sentencing principles emphasize that a youth sentence must: Proportionality is a basic principle of fairness that means less serious offences should result in less severe consequences and more serious offences should result in more severe consequences. All provinces had significant decreases, ranging from 48 percent to 79 percent. The youth justice system is intended to protect the public by (. the Youth Justice Act 1992. EJM & EJS Open. On April 1, 2003, the YCJA came into force, completely replacing the previous legislation, the YOA. Figure 5: Number of Custody Sentences, Canada 2002/03 to 2009/10, Figure 6: Percentage of Guilty Cases Sentenced to Custody, Canada: 2002/03 to 2009/10, Figure 7: Youth Incarceration Rate, Canada: 1996/97 to 2008/09, Rate: Number of youths per 10,000 youths in the population. As noted above, the YCJA also contains provisions relating to placement of a young person who receives an adult sentence. D.B.,  S.C.J. The purpose of this document is to explain the background of the YCJA, to provide a summary of its main provisions and the rationale behind them, and to highlight the experience under the YCJA. Under the YCJA, custody sentences are intended to be reserved primarily for violent offenders and serious repeat offenders. Under the YCJA in 2010, 42 percent of youths accused of a crime were charged and 58 percent were not charged (see Figure 1). The people there are responsible for the … More than half of all custody sentences have been imposed in cases involving relatively less serious offences such as theft, possession of stolen property, mischief, common assault in which no bodily harm was caused and administration of justice offences. In general, a conference refers to various types of processes in which affected or interested parties come together to formulate plans to address the circumstances involved in individual youth cases. 40-3-C4-E. 1 April 2011 . A young person under the age of 18 who receives an adult sentence is to be placed in a youth facility and may not be placed in an adult correctional facility. ... CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES ACT 2005 The main purposes of the Act are: a. to provide for community services to support children and families; and b. to provide for the protection of children; and c. to make provision in relation to children who have been charged with, ... in sentencing juveniles … The YCJA contains both a Preamble and a Declaration of Principle that applies throughout the Act. Although the court must consider alternatives to custody for all offenders, particular attention must be given to the circumstances of young Aboriginal offenders. Despite the significant reduction in the number of court cases, most cases still involve offences that are relatively "less serious." Lyne Casavant Dominique Valiquet . This can include mandatory minimum penalties and sentences of up to life imprisonment. If the court is satisfied that the young person has breached a condition and the breach was serious, it may order the young person to serve the remainder of the community portion in custody. the youth has been charged with a serious offence (an offence for which an adult would be liable to imprisonment for five years or more) or has a history of either outstanding charges or findings of guilt; there is a substantial likelihood that, if released, the youth will not appear in court when required; detention is necessary for public protection, having regard to the circumstances, including whether there is a substantial likelihood that the young person will, if released, commit a serious offence; or, if the youth has been charged with a serious offence and neither. Both parties and the parents of the young person shall be given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing. After a large initial drop, the number of youth court cases has remained relatively stable. When the young person is serving the community supervision portion of the sentence, the youth worker supervises the young person and provides support and assistance in order to help the young person respect conditions and implement the reintegration plan. Lesson 7: Youth Criminal Justice Act - Sentencing and Records; Lesson 6: Youth Criminal Justice Act – Key Elements Part 2 Topic 1: YCJA Conferences. This provision proved to be complex and was the subject of much judicial consideration, often resulting in inconsistent interpretations and application. Youth court cases declined by 26 percent between 2002-03 and 2009-10 (see Figure 2). A young person may be authorized to have a reintegration leave for medical, compassionate or humanitarian reasons. Once the young person turns 18, he or she may be placed in an adult facility. If the breach was not serious, the court may vary the conditions or impose new or additional conditions. A key principle of youth sentencing is that a sentence must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the young person. The YCJA also did not provide for the adult sentencing objective of denunciation. The sentencing judge will also endeavour to impose a sentence that encourages the youth to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. The objective of the amendments was to reduce complexity in order to facilitate effective decision-making at the pre-trial stage, which includes managing youth in the community where possible, while at the same time ensuring that youth who should be detained can be detained. If the provincial director with responsibility for youth corrections has ordered the young person to be returned to custody, the court will conduct a review. While in most cases judges impose one of the youth sentencing options in the YCJA, the Act does allow judges to impose an adult sentence on a youth who is found guilty of a serious offence and was 14 years of age or older when the crime was committed. At the time of sentencing, judges must state both the period to be served in custody and the period to be served under supervision in the community subject to conditions. Prior to the YCJA, youth courts were dealing with a large number of relatively minor offences that did not require a court proceeding in order to adequately hold the young person accountable. In fact, prosecutors are obligated to consider seeking an adult sentence when a youth is found guilty of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or aggravated sexual assault. Results: match 0 of 0 provisions. Some cases get the punishment of a sentencing circle, where the victim, criminal, workers, relatives, and elders of a community get … These include both community-based sentences -- where the youth serves his or her sentence in the community, often under strict conditions -- and custody and supervision sentences, which include both a period of time in a youth custody facility and a period of community supervision. The Youth Justice Act 1992 sets out how children who commit offences, or who are alleged to have committed offences will be dealt with by the courts and the legal system. not be more severe than what an adult would receive for the same offence; be similar to youth sentences in similar cases; be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the young person; within the limits of a proportionate response, (a) be the least restrictive alternative, (b) be the sentencing option that is most likely to rehabilitate and reintegrate the young person, and (c) promote in the young person a sense of responsibility and an acknowledgement of the harm done by the offence. In particular, large numbers of youths who were charged with relatively minor offences were being detained. Under the YCJA, the interests and needs of victims are clearly recognized and the role of victims at different stages of the youth justice process is specified. Additional conditions can be imposed to support the young person and address his or her needs, as well as to manage risk. The YCJA introduced significant reforms to address concerns about how the youth justice system had evolved under the YOA. The YCJA is clear that rehabilitative measures intended to address problems that appear to have caused the young person to commit an offence must not result in a sentence that is not in proportion to the seriousness of the offence committed. Prior to the YCJA, there was considerable evidence that pre-trial detention was being over-used. Youth Sentencing Options; Resources: YCJA Part 2: Organization of Youth Criminal Justice System – Youth Justice Court Section 14(2): Orders. Police and prosecutors are specifically authorized to use various types of extrajudicial measures: In keeping with the Act’s objectives, charging has decreased significantly under the YCJA and police diversion of cases through extrajudicial measures has increased significantly. The percentage of guilty cases resulting in custody also dropped significantly in all provinces and territories. It can include the parents of the young person, the victim, others who are familiar with the young person and his or her neighbourhood, and community agencies or professionals with a particular expertise that is needed for a decision. However, publication is allowed in certain limited circumstances. Previous Hit Next Hit . An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts . You can use Handout 7: You Be the Judge Sentencing Case Studies - Optional. A general rule under the YCJA is that a young person who is serving a youth custody sentence is to be held separate and apart from adults. The Youth Criminal Justice Act is the law that governs Canada’s youth justice system. 59 (1) When a youth justice court has imposed a youth sentence in respect of a young person, other than a youth sentence under paragraph 42(2)(n), (o), (q) or (r), the youth justice court shall, on the application of the young person, the young person’s parent, the Attorney General or the provincial director, review the youth sentence if the court is satisfied that there … For nearly 100 years prior to the YCJA, Canada’s youth justice legislation allowed young persons who were 14 years of age or older to be transferred to adult court under certain circumstances. Increasing the use of non-court responses also enables the courts to focus on the more serious cases of youth crime. The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) includes the principles that judges should consider when imposing sentences on youth. The YCJA has a set of principles to guide judges in deciding on a fair and appropriate sentence. 40 (1) Before imposing sentence on a young person found guilty of an offence, a youth justice court (a) shall, if it is required under this Act to consider a pre-sentence report before making an order or a sentence in respect of a young person, and (b) may, if it considers it advisable, Provisions … The Court stated: "Because of their age, young people have heightened vulnerability, less maturity and a reduced capacity for moral judgment. Therefore, every period of custody is followed by a period of supervision and support in the community as part of the young person's sentence. A child who is arrested on an offence must be brought promptly before a childrens court (Youth Justice Act, s 49). If the young person was convicted in adult court, the court imposed an adult sentence. The YCJA replaced the usual custody order with a custody and supervision order. Under the legislation, a conference is defined as a group of people brought together to give advice to a police officer, judge, justice of the peace, prosecutor, provincial director or youth worker who is required to make a decision under the YCJA. The rationale for this rule is that publication of a young person’s name would impede rehabilitation efforts, detrimentally affect the young person and, in the long run, compromise public safety. In addition, the extent to which cases were diverted from the court process varied considerably between provinces. A youth worker helps the young person plan for his or her reintegration into the community and provides support and supervision to help ensure a successful transition back into society. 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