Source: (2003) Alberta Law Review. 40: 943.

According to Sanjeev Anand, many in Canada have been concerned about the youth justice system for a number of reasons. For example, statistics indicate that youths have been given custodial sentences at a rate four times higher than adults. Another issue is the fact that Aboriginal young people have been overrepresented in the youth correctional system. Many, therefore, feel that the youth justice system has been too punitive and a new approach is needed. New juvenile legislation –the Youth Criminal Justice Act – has come out of Parliament. This legislation tries to answer many of the criticisms of juvenile justice in Canada. In this essay, Sanjeev Anand examines the scope and direction of legislative guidance in assessing youth sentences under the Act. In particular, Anand analyzes the roles of rehabilitation, proportionality, restraint, restorative justice, and race in fashioning youth sentences.