Source: (2001) Ontario: Justice for Children and Youth.

The proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act (the “YCJA”) represents yet another attempt to reconcile concerns about public perception with the legitimate aims of a separate youth justice system. The government has resisted some pressures to treat children and youth as adults, but the direction under the proposed regime is clear. The boundaries between the adult and the youth systems would be blurred and some instances, obliterated in the proposed YCJA. There are several laudable aspects in the proposed Act. It is preferable that measures be achieved by simple policy directives, accompanied by principled and conditional funding to provinces for programmes. Unfortunately previous policy directives have not been entirely successful, either due to inadequate financial support, or for other reasons. This brief will address both the positive changes incorporated in the YCJA and our concerns about other aspects of the legislation. (excerpt)


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