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Conferencing in the BC Youth Judicial System

Telling, Robert G
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) M.A. thesis, Leadership and Training, Royal Roads University, Canada.

The history of dealing with young offenders, as we now call them, or juvenile delinquents, a post-Victorian era description of wayward youth, is a tale worthy of note. From the turn of the twentieth century, when flogging and deportation to the new world was common, to the paternalistic administration of justice by the state, followed by more current legislation that views the offender as a child in need, there has been a movement towards less state intervention and more community responsibility in dealing with young offenders.
With the introduction and implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act as of April 1, 2003, Canada has taken a further step towards mandating rehabilitation as one of the guiding principles in youth justice. As part of the process with dealing with young offenders, the concept of conferencing has been introduced within the act as an option for restoring the harm caused by the offender. This concept, while new as a legislated option in Canada, has existed and been practiced historically by many aboriginal groups. Of late, it has been implemented into various youth judicial systems in other jurisdictions worldwide.
The intent of this project is to consider what is being practiced elsewhere and how it could be applied to the BC Youth Judicial System and the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the overseer of youth justice services in the province of British Columbia.


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