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Youth Criminal Justice Act

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Katelyn McCullough

on 25 January 2014

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Transcript of Youth Criminal Justice Act

The Need for New Youth Justice Legislation
Youth Criminal Justice Act
The Juvenile Delinquents Act (JOA) was created in 1908 then motified in 1984 to the Young Offenders Act (YOA)then later reformed again to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
On February 4, 2002, the House of Commons passed Bill C-7, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The new law replaced the Young Offenders Act (YOA), and came into power in April 1, 2003, following a period of preparation for its implementation. The YCJA was built on the YOA and introduces new laws that address the Youth Offenders Act weaknesses. The YCJA provides the legislative framework for a fairer and more effective youth justice
In March of 1999, Bill C-68, the first version of the Youth Criminal Justice Act was introduced to Parliament in June and then re-introduced as Bill C-3 in October 1999. The bill proceeded through its second reading and the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Right held hearings on the bill. The was later introduced again as Bill C-7 in February 2001 with over 160 amendments that answers to a number of suggestions and concerns raised in relation to Bill 7.
The Need for New Youth Justice Legislation
There were numerous concerns in Canada about the Young Offenders Act and the youth justice system. Some of the these concerns were based on misconceptions about youth crime, the legislation and how the system operates. Some significant problems of Youth Offenders Act included:
The system does not make a clear distinction between serious violent crimes and less serious crimes.
The YOA did not ensure effective reintegration of a juveniles after being released into custody.
The system did not give recognition to the concerns and interests of victims.
The courts were over used for minor cases that could have been dealt outside of courts.
Incarceration was overused. Resulting in Canada having the highest youth incarnation in the Western society along side the United States.
Gang member gets maximum sentence for girlfriends death
An 18 year old Edmonton gang member of the Crazy Dragons murdered his girlfriend of four years who was 17 years old at the time of the crime. He pleaded guilty and received the maximum sentence of seven years. Three years in jail and four years of close community supervision for second degree murder.
The youth stabbed his girlfriend in the neck during a trip to Fort St. John BC with no clear motive.
Snapshot of a City Criminal; He's 15 With 25 Convictions
A 15 year old teen male has mounted to a number of 25 convictions on his criminal record.
He continually re-offends breaking the law as a result of his 14 out of his 25 convictions are regarding the breaching of court orders.
The teen who is unable to be identified because he is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act has been sentenced twice to a juvenile detention center. He has spent 30 days in juvenile detention centers.
What's your opinion on the Youth Criminal Justice Act Sentences?
Based on the cases you've heard do you agree or disagree that the Youth Criminal Justice Act is too lenient on youths and should implement more harsh punishments on violent crimes?
Youth Criminal Justice Act Too Lenient on Youths
Pros & Cons of the YCJA
Pros:
It helps separate youth from adults who would be likely to be abused from adults in jail.
It prevents youths from getting into further criminal activity.
It provides punishments that may help youth avoid further legal problems. It protects the identities of youth.
Cons:
The Youth Criminal Justice Act often leads youth to believe they can receive a slap on the wrist while they are young.
With very soft punishments the mentality of re offending seems fine to them.
Victim of Jane and
Woolner Joivan Cromwell
Henrico Ian Lawson suspect of
shooting
Suspect of Jane & Woolner
shooting
Most critics of the Youth Criminal Justice Act felt it was too lenient on youths. The Harper government wanted to make amendments to pre-trail detention provisions which would make it easier to deny bail to certain youth in the form of a crime bill.
In June 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled no basis could be detected in the Youth Criminal Justice Act for imposing harsher sentences.
Joivan Crownell 19 years old was found collasped with a gunshot wound to the chest on April 13, 2012. He stumbled into Saba Foods Convenience Store on Woolner Ave approximately 10:50 pm. Crownell died from his injuries at Sunnybrook hostipal after an being found without any vital signs.
Henrico Ian Lawson was charged with attempted murder, robbery and several weapon offences. It's alleged the teen tried to rob a male of his cellphone in a residential neighborhood near Finch Avenue East of Don Mills. When the victim refused to surrender over his cellphone, Lawson allegedly shot this individual in the neck and fled the seen.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act protects the identification of juvenile suspects. Police in both cases were given authorization from a judge to identify them and release their name and pictures to the public.
The number of incarcerated youth has not decreased within the years. This shows and exemplifies that the laws aren't tough enough on youth because there is yet to see a decrease in the numbers of percentage of incarcerated youth.
The high risk offenders aren't incarcerated due to the lack of harsh punishments in the form of sentences that are given.
The result of intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision sentencing has not been used to a high degree.
Despite the drop in youth crimes between 2009 - 2010 the youth crime severity index has increased 5% higher than 2000.
Conclusion
The perception that teenagers cannot comprehend the seriousness of their actions because they aren't matured enough is nonsense. Everybody in life makes mistakes but when an individual commits a violent crime or continually offends the law needs to be in forced. Justice is not served for victims and families with these light weight sentences. Citizens right to safety are at risk as well. With parental involvement, community involvement along side a modification implemented in the youth justice system would be possible solutions to decreasing violent crimes and re-offenders.
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