Source: (2003) Alberta Law Review. 40: 991.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) was enacted in 2002 in Canada. It resulted from increasing public and political concern about youth crime – this despite the fact that levels of youth crime actually seemed to be leveling or even falling in the years before the Act. Certain parts of the YCJA therefore represent a “get toughâ€? approach, especially with respect to violent and repeat youth offenders. Other parts, however, dealing with the large majority of youth offenders who commit nonviolent offenses, reduce the use of courts and increase the use of community-based responses to youth crime (as against incarceration). In this framework, Bala examines the provisions of the YCJA that seek to expand the use of informal responses to youth crime- responses that include diversion, conferencing, and extrajudicial measures.