Extrajudicial Measures

In Depth 2

This section explains the different types of extrajudicial measures.

When can an extrajudicial measure be used?
Part 1: Sections 6, 8 and 10 of the YCJA identify the types of measures that can be used. These measures should only be used if there are reasonable grounds to charge the youth with an offence.

Whether an offence is serious or not is determined by looking at the circumstances. If significant harm has been done to a person, if substantial damage has been done or if property of substantial value has been stolen, the police and Crown will consider these factors when considering extrajudicial measures.

What extrajudicial measures can the police use?
Taking into account the principles and presumption for the use of extrajudicial measures, the police may use the following extrajudicial measures:

  • Take No Further Action: Here, the parents, victim or others may have already taken sufficient steps to hold the youth accountable.
  • Warning the Young Person: It is intended to be an informal warning and an exercise of informal police discretion.
  • Police Caution: This is a more formal warning in the form of a letter to the youth and parents or a request that the youth and parent come to the police station for a talk with a senior officer. No formal police caution has been adopted in BC.
  • Referrals to Community Programs: Here, the youth is referred to a community program or agency that may help the youth and prevent him or her from committing further offences. The informed and voluntary consent of the youth is required. The youth may consult with counsel.

What are some examples of Community Programs?

  • Police-based diversion programs, such as Youth Intervention Program
  • Community accountability programs, such as Restorative Justice
  • Recreational programs, Boys & Girls Clubs and sporting clubs
  • Substance use treatment programs

What extrajudicial measures can Crown use?
The Crown may use the following extrajudicial measures:

  • Crown Caution: Given after the police have referred the case. This is usually in the form of a letter to the youth and his or her parents.
  • Referral to an Extrajudicial Sanctions Program: A program that is intended for more serious offenders and where a more formal set of rules apply.

What is the purpose of Police or Crown holding conferences with regard to extrajudicial measures?
Section 19 of the Act authorizes a police officer or a Crown counsel to hold a conference in order to obtain advice on appropriate measures. Holding a conference means the police or Crown can ask the victim and other community members to meet and say what they think should happen to the youth. Conferences provide an opportunity for a wider range of perspectives on a case, more creative solutions, better coordination of services, and increased involvement.