Principles of the Act

Summary

  • Youth aged 12-17 who commit offences are treated differently than adults.
  • The objectives of the youth justice system are crime prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration, and meaningful consequences. These objectives taken together will promote the long-term protection of the public.
  • Measures to deal with youth crime should be meaningful to the youth, encourage the repair of the harm done to victims and the community and should be responsive to the needs and circumstances of Aboriginal youth and youth with special requirements.
  • Measures must be fair and in proportion to the seriousness of the offence.
  • Youth have due process rights, which include the right to be heard and participate in the decisions that affect them.
  • The youth, his or her parents, the victim and the community all play an important role when addressing the youth’s criminal behaviour.
  • The YCJA gives rehabilitation and reintegration special emphasis and recognizes the importance of timely intervention.