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Why Changing YOA Does Not Impact Youth Crime: Developing Effective Prevention Programs for Children and Adolescents

Jaffe, Peter G
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Canadian Psychology. 40(1): 22-29.

For many concerned about youth crime in Canada, the answer is to change and toughen the Young Offender Act (YOA). In this perspective, the YOA is “softâ€? on youth crime and has actually led to increased criminality. The authors of this article contend that changing the YOA will not reduce the incidence of youth crime. The ultimate solution to the problems of crime and violence among young people is primary prevention, and this solution requires a transformation of Canadian culture. Jaffe and Baker cite promising movements in this regard, including restorative justice. With all of this in mind, Jaffe and Baker then focus on psychological interventions – with respect to both individual personalities and social conditions – aimed at preventing offending patterns and behaviors.


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