Victims and Youth Justice

In Depth

Does the YCJA recognize the rights of the victim?
The YCJA clearly recognizes the interest and the needs of victims to be involved at different stages of the youth justice process. Section 3 states that "Victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their dignity and privacy.”

What considerations does a victim of youth crime have?
The considerations of a victim include:

  • Being notified about the proceedings
  • Being given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings
  • Being given an opportunity to be heard
  • Having a role in formal or informal community-based measures
  • The right to request information about measures or sanctions used for the offender that do not involve going to court
  • The right to submit a victim impact statement at the time of sentencing
  • The right to request access to certain youth records

How do extrajudicial measures involve the victim?
Extrajudicial measures provide an opportunity for the victim of a youth crime to be involved in the measures taken against the youth. These measures not only encourage the youth to acknowledge their actions, but also to repair the harm done to the victim.

The victim can be directly involved in decisions made about the consequences for the youth and also in the reparations by the youth. Victims of crime by youth must be told about a compensation order and must agree to it.

Does the youth have to speak to the victim(s) of his or her crime?
If the youth agrees to participate in a community justice conference, the victim and others who have been affected by the youth’s actions will be there. If the youth has been found guilty of the offence in court proceedings, he or she may hear a victim impact statement as it is read aloud during sentencing.