Conferences

Summary

  • A conference means getting together a group of people with some responsibility or knowledge of the offending youth to discuss what measures might assist that youth.
  • Conferences are informal and can take the form of family group conferences, community accountability panels, sentencing or healing circles and multi-disciplinary or integrated case management conferences.
  • Conferences provide for a wide range of perspectives on the case, more creative solutions, better coordination of services, and increased involvement of the victim and other community members in the youth criminal justice system.
  • The conference could be restorative in that the solution focuses on repairing the harm done to the victim of the offence.
  • Section 19 of the YCJA sets out who may call conferences, the purposes of conferences, and the authority to establish rules for them.
  • A youth justice court judge, the provincial director, a police officer, a justice of the peace, a prosecutor or a youth worker can convene a conference.
  • The conference may be convened to give advice on appropriate extrajudicial measures, conditions for judicial interim release, sentences, review of sentences and reintegration plans.
  • The advice is given to a police officer, judge, justice of the peace, prosecutor, provincial director, or youth worker who is required to make a decision under the YCJA.
  • Provincial or territorial governments can establish rules for convening and conducting conferences called by the police, the provincial director, prosecutors, and youth workers.
  • Conferences must be guided by the principles set out in the YCJA in respect to extrajudicial measures, pre-trial detention, sentencing, custody, and reintegration.
  • A youth justice committee is a group of citizens appointed by the government to assist in the administration of the YCJA or any programs or services for youth.