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 does the YCJA say about victims of youth crime?
A victim should:

  • Be told about the proceedings
  • Have a chance to take part in the proceedings
  • Be heard
  • Have a chance to take part in community-based measures
  • Get information about what is being done for the offender that does not involve going to court
  • Be able to give a victim impact statement (a written report about how the crime affected the victim) at the time of sentencing
  • Be able to ask for access to the record of the youth who committed the crime

How do extrajudicial measures involve the victim?
The victim may be directly involved in making decisions about what happens to the youth and any reparations (the way that the youth makes up for your crime.)These measures encourage youth to acknowledge his or her actions; and fix the harm done to the victim. The victim must be told about a compensation order.

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.

Who tells the victim about what is being done to you?
Any of the following people may be able to tell the victim about what is being done to the youth:

  • The police
  • The conference facilitator
  • The person dealing with an extrajudicial measure
  • The Crown