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Essay by Debby101High School, 10th gradeD, March 2014

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Deborah Arhebamen


Are the consequences for young offenders outlined by the YCJA appropriate?

Every country has a justice system, which are the institutions and procedures for applying laws and maintaining order in a society. In Canada's justice system, the youth (12-17) are part of a different legislation called the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), and it focuses on the basic principles of crime prevention, rehabilitation, reintegration, meaningful consequences, protection of the public, and accountability. The YCJA is important as it reduces the rate of crimes by addressing the challenges and needs of young people who commit crimes, focuses on helping young people who have committed crimes and putting them back in society, and ensures that young offenders receive meaningful consequences for their offences. Government organizations such as the John Howard society and the Elizabeth Fry society believes that the consequences for young offenders are fair, because it gives young offenders the opportunity to participate in society, looks at the circumstances and make a consequence based on the crime committed, stands up for the rights of youth offenders, makes the community safer by helping young offenders change their outlook, provides young offenders with an opportunity to change their actions and attitude through rehabilitation, protects their privacy and helps to reintegrate them back into society.

Some federal agencies feel that the consequences for young offenders should be harsher to make it more effective and to prevent the offenders from committing crimes, they belief that the ages that the YCJA applies to is too high, and should be reduced from 12, to 10. They also belief that the privacy of the young offender should be taken away, because it makes the community unsafe, as some community members might live in fear if a serious crime was committed in their community. After considering...