Source: (2003) Master's thesis, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Canada.

Variation exists among both professional groups and the general public as to the definition of youth crimes, contributors to youth crime and the best approaches to resolve this problem. Throughout history, the government has altered its legislation several times in an attempt to address concerns surrounding youth involved in illegal and deviant activity. On April 1, 2003, the implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act will replace the Young Offenders Act (Canada) in a continual attempt to address the ongoing concerns surrounding youth crime. What is emphasized in this new legislation is the attention placed on severe penalty for habitual offenders, while also allowing those youth with previous minimal involvement new opportunity to access court diversion programs. Youth Justice Committees are identified as encompassing the spirit of restorative justice and described as the foundation for the questions posed in this research surrounding profiles of youth that attend Youth Justice Committees and their reoffending behaviours. The purpose of this study was to generate information that could be shared with community groups who are interested in adopting similar models, and to those who wish toe examine recidivism rates of youth or ascertain the advantages of using this model as an alternative to the formal court process. A secondary data analysis was employed to explore research questions on recidivism rates of youth that participated in a Youth Justice Committee agreement. A total 248 youth records were recorded for the purpose of the research study. Author's abstract. (excerpt)