Sentencing Principles

Did You Know?

Under the old Young Offenders Act (the Act that was in place before the YCJA):

  • For 8 of the 9 most common crimes in youth court, youth got longer periods of custody than adults who got custody for the same crime.
  • Youth generally spent more time in custody than adults with similar sentences due to the terms for an adult conditional release.
  • Eighty percent of custodial sentences for youth were for non-violent offences.
  • Almost half of youth sentenced to custody were given custody because they failed to comply with a disposition order, or settlement. They were brought back to court on a breach. A breach is when a youth fails to obey what has been ordered in court. For instance, the youth may have a curfew or an order not to drink, but is caught past his or her curfew or caught drinking.