Source: (1991) Canadian Journal of Criminology 33(1):61-82.

The Canadian Young Offenders Act has made it possible to implement alternative measures before a young person appears before youth court. In Quebec between 1979 and 1984, formal diversion was instituted before the act came into effect. A study evaluates the effectiveness of such alternative diversion measures by following 919 boys, aged 14 to 18, from 1981 to 1988, through verification of youth and adult court files. A total of 498 of these youths were diverted; 421 were not. The diverted and non-diverted youths relapsed at much the same rate and, among the alternative measures, the measures of a reparative type had the lowest recidivism rate. Further, if the agents of the youth protection service had taken into account certain personal (age, occupational status, etc.) and criminal (e.g., prior record) characteristics of the young people, they would have reduced considerably the recidivism rate attached to certain alternative measures.