Canada’s Juvenile Justice System

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2064 |

Pages: 4|

11 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Words: 2064|Pages: 4|11 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Research Conducted
  3. Conclusion


There have been various effects in Canada’s Juvenile justice system from the time that the juvenile system it has existed, and most recently when YCJA Act, i.e., Youth Criminal Justice Act. There has a primary rationale that has been enacting the statute to reduce Canada's high rate of custody for the adult offenders, that is based on the belief that the society-based responses are more efficient to deal with the many offenders who are youth. The YCJA has continued to protect the legal rights of the child such as giving access to counsel. This chapter is entitled to discussing Canada's evolution of the juvenile justice system over the last two decades. The progression is considering the policies that are concerning the leads to the YCJA enactment and the effect the law it will have. The new statute is addressing some of the challenges in the youth justice that has been uncovered through empirical surveys, and thus it has become a significant degree that is evidence-driven. Where it is appropriate, the Canadian research has provided relevant finding to specific policy development (Neubauer & Fradella, 2018).

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Research Conducted

Background of YCJA justice in Canada Using analysis or descriptions like “paternalism” below are, in the Canadian criminal justice are of ideal radical, political position and feminist perspective within Canada's department of justice. It is not viewed as appropriate or actual use of the phrase. It is the decision that the government of Canada workers is taught with a vague sense of feminist political correctness which it has been challenged by some members of the UN committee regarding the rights of the child. The approach that is taken of restoring justice is meant not to punish the criminal, but rather to impact the criminal behavior and actions. Sending teens to the jail, it has resulted to forcing the youth into criminal gangs to survive in prison and, as a result, it is throwing the young people to "schools of criminality" to learn more about illegal behaviors and how to network with even worse teens criminals.

Canada has various methods of dealing with the complex challenges of delinquency. State interventions that are associated with the misconduct may be based on the education, welfare of the child, physical health, protection of the child, mental health, family law or criminal law. Responding to the myriad of the problems that are faced by a delinquent is best achieved by multi-disciplinary approaches that are addressed to the satisfaction of the individual youth. While the criminal law power at sometimes invokes ostensibly when discussing the wants of the child, where the core purpose is slightly different. If the rights of the young persons are to be thoroughly respected, then there should be limits regarding the implementation of the criminal law in addressing the needs of the teens (Brantingham, Brantingham, & Kinney, 2018).

Most nations that include Canada hold the youths of a certain age with responsibilities and accountabilities for criminal behavior. The power of the penal law is a state authority for such type of intervention. However, it is one of the nation's most strengths of coercive. It gives space for the behavior to be defined as criminal and also for the establishment of the process and the mechanisms that can be deprived on the individual of liberties in responding to the wrongdoing.

Canada has started to embark on a new approach to combat and control the youth crimes and implementations of a new legislative framework for the young person’s justice. The C-7 Bill, i.e., the proposed YCJA, which received its Royal Assent on February 2002 and it came into the force in April 2003. In the development of the new legislation, the federal government, which is given the mandate and the responsibilities for the power of the criminal law. Its order is to look long and decisive hard on how this force should be applied to the youth.

Taking a critical view of the existence of the youth justice system that is under YOA with an aim for reforming, it is faced with two perplexing questions:

  • Why does Canada, which is an ordinary community with tolerance and fairness, is incarcerating its teens at a remarkably higher rate compared to other western nation?
  • Why does Canada not ensure the basic principles of limitations and safeguarding the use of the criminal laws, such as restraint, proportionality, and rights, which are equal or more vigilant applied to the young persons?

Both inappropriate punitive and paternalistic orientations seem to be contributing to the high youth incarceration rates and the overreaching of the law of the criminal into the lives of the Canadian youths. Other than the evidence suggesting that the deterrence will not function and that the society-based sentences areas or they are more efficient compared to the custodial ones. Some people have mistakenly believed that more stringent measures are the one needed to correct the youth crimes. On the other hand, some people also think that it is necessary to incarcerate the youth for a more prolonged period than it is warranted by the seriousness of the offense to treat a young person's issues. Although the child welfare has rooted the act of 1908 of the juvenile delinquents which were replaced in 1984 with more rights orienting to the YOA, i.e., Young Offenders Act, where some of the segments still view the law of the criminal as a tool to ending paternalistic. Applying coercive authorities such as the criminal law power, under the guise of "doing what is best for helping the young" may result in certain breaches of protections that will ordinarily shield the accused person (Clear, Reisig, & Cole, 2018).

The first youth legislation justice for Canada, i.e., the juvenile Delinquent’s Act of 1908 which was discovered on a “child welfare” model and the parens patriae authority. Committing offenses was viewed as a proof of the condition of delinquency that will be treated by the state by deprivation of the liberties and programs until it is cured. Interventions are of indeterminant length, and the country stands in the position of the parent. This model has been subjecting to the issues by the scholars, government research and a series of the judicial decisions. The notion that provides custody and care to the needy kids has trumped protections and rights against the use of the law of the criminal power that has started to erode in many countries beginning from the 1960s.

A 1965 Canadian Department of justice advisory committee report was criticizing the juvenile delinquents act. Specifically if found that the concept of "delinquency" to be too sweeping; as opposed to the board discretion of the youth court judges, and recognition was called for the protection of the children's legal rights. Rights for the youth people who are facing the power of criminal law are explicitly recognized by the court of the supreme of the USA in the decision of Re Gault 1966. Canada's 1984 YOA has provided legislative protections for the rights of the young person who is accused. Juvenile placement in an institution will always be a disposition of the last resort and for the less period necessary. Commentary, the many adverse influences upon an individual that seems unavoidable within any set of the institutional evidently, cannot be outbalanced by the treatment efforts. This is precisely the juvenile’s case which is vulnerable to the adverse influences. Moreover, the side effects are not only loss of the liberty but also of separation from the healthy social life, are probably more acute to the juveniles rather than for the adult's sense of their early stage of the development.

The direction of some of the criticisms from other practitioners and organizations for child-serving of the new YCJA, in conjunction with the frequency of the sentences and the length, it is a suggestion that the legislative direction may not be embraced and fully practiced. For the eight most common felonies for the teens, it has been indicated that the young persons are frequently sentenced to more extended periods of custody when compared to the adults. Provisions in the new bill call for youth sentences that will be proportionate to the seriousness of the felonies; are vehemently opposed by some organizations concerning child-serving, since it will lead to shorter sentences. The arguments brought forward are that the length of the intervention of the criminal should be based on the duration that it will take in responding to the youth's issues and there should be no limitations by the seriousness of the offense.

In Canada, protection of the child, welfare of the child and health of the child, which form the domain of legislation of provincial, are the appropriate cores if the wants of the teens are the only problem and the reasons for nation intervention. Challenges seem to be arising where a teen with needs has broken the law. It will appear that practice will have started evolving whereby the criminal law authority is being implemented as a way of obtaining control over a teen for long periods of "treatment" purposes other than can have been warranted by the seriousness of the offense. Accordingly, teen persons can receive more penalties that are serious or deprivations of the liberties since the youth are needy compared to young persons who may have committed the same offense (Peak,& Madensen, 2018).

The new YCJA is seeking to remedy the abusive uses of the law of the criminal power by making use that the outer limits of the nation’s intervention are being based on the authority that is fair and proportionate responses to the seriousness of the felonies committed. Within the limitations of the proportionality framework, the measures that are applied to young people should take account of particular wants to promote rehabilitation and reintegration. The new legislation includes an original sentence which is oriented therapeutically, custody which is rehabilitative intensive and sentence which is supervision; that has the intention of treating the most violent felony within the limitations of a sentence which is proportional. The flaw is based on the use of the power of the law of the criminal which it does not preclude the welfare of the child or officials of the health from addressing the needs of the young teens with their legislative authorities where they are intended for such functions. It merely clarifies the central purposes of the law of the criminal jurisdictions so that appropriate safeguards will be in place.

When Canada began renewing the youth justice system, about 125,000 youth was charged with criminal felonies every year. If the charges are spread evenly over the population of young persons, every one person in every twenty-teens will be charged with an offense per year. This is much higher compared to other nations, and it will give a suggestion that the criminal law has being applied too readily to the youth. Furthermore, about 25,000 sentences to the custody were also meted out per annual that resulted in an incarceration rate that is likely the highest among western countries and it is incommensurate with the seriousness of Canada's youth crime issues. Canada is imposing custody of the youth, and its most dangerous deprivation of the liberties; which is four times the rate at which it was applied to the adults. Restraint in the implementation of the law of the crimes against the youth is not reflected in the practices of the justice system of the child (Kerr, 2017).

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Canada’s renewal of youth justice and its proposed YCJA place limitations on the use of the law of the criminal power that is dealing with the delinquency. While it has a definite role in holding the youth for the account for the illegal behaviors, that role overtime has been overplayed that it has resulted in too many Canadians youth who are taken into the youth justice system and the custody. The rights of the child who are facing the nation's power of the criminal law have been enhanced under the new legislative framework. Through the new congressional, direction for the youth justice, Canada is expecting to see a more restraint and fair use of the law of the criminal power against the youths that fully respects and enhancing the rights of the young teens who are facing the act of the criminal and authority of the state (Popple, 2018).

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Canada’s Juvenile Justice System. (2018, September 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“Canada’s Juvenile Justice System.” GradesFixer, 27 Sept. 2018,
Canada’s Juvenile Justice System. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jun. 2024].
Canada’s Juvenile Justice System [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Sept 27 [cited 2024 Jun 20]. Available from:
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