Source: (2004) Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 46(3): 367 to 389.

Under provisions of the YCJA, it is expected that youth courts will achieve timely intervention that reinforces the link between the offending behavior and its consequences and that impresses upon the offender that the youth justice system acts promptly to impose a proportionate structure of consequences for the offense committed. One of the judges identifies obstacles to these goals, including judicial conservatism, avoidance of organizational costs, and divided authority between individual judges and court administrators. Another judge focuses on detention of juveniles prior to sentencing. The YCJA has a presumption against pretrial detention for juveniles. This judge notes the high number of violations of conditions of supervision during pretrial release. He advises that a reduction in the number of youth in detention and custody cells requires the selection and management of pretrial releases that have a realistic chance of succeeding without violations of overly strict release conditions. A third judge examines extrajudicial dispositions of juvenile cases and the role of the police. He notes that there is little if any judicial or any other authoritative oversight of the nature and enforcement of extrajudicial dispositions that involve discretionary decisions by police, prosecutors, and probation workers. The fourth judge discusses the use of conferencing under the provisions of the YCJA. She concludes that conferencing is an effective tool for mediating and resolving offenses, whether the ultimate resolution is by extrajudicial measures or a guilty plea. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,