Canada’s laws apply to everyone, including young people. However, young people are treated differently than adults when they commit a crime.
When a young person between the ages of 12 and 17 years is charged with committing a criminal offence, he or she is subject to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
The YCJA emphasizes the principles of:
- timely intervention;
- meaningful consequences;
- repairing harm done
- involvement of family and community; and
- respect for victims
Provincial Court judges sit as Youth Justice Court judges in every city and circuit point in the province.
A young person who pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial could receive one or a more of the following penalties:
- a reprimand from the judge,
- a restitution payment to the victim,
- community service,
- probation with conditions, such as:
The Youth Court Judge also has the power to sentence a youth to a significant period of custody and supervision.