discuss law, the youth criminal justice system past and present

Essay by breannasmith87High School, 12th gradeA, December 2012

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Youth System of Justice, Past and Present

Youth crime happens to be one of the highest controversial issues in the Canadian politics. The fact that youth crime is quite common in Canada is appalling, there are disagreements concerning how to treat youths in the situation of the criminal system. (Brennan and Dauvergne, 2010) Although we all know the best approach that can be used to address youth offenders deals with strictness and sternness of the punishment, it can help make sure that the young offender does not offend again.

Throughout the Youth System of Justice there have been many different views and principles to guide judges in deciding on a fair and appropriate youth sentence. In 1908 the Juvenile Delinquents Act (JDA) which was a system of treating young people and adults differently. Children between the ages of seven and thirteen were, for the most part, not charged for criminal offenses.

People believed at that age, they could not understand the significance of their own actions. If criminal intent could be proven, the child would be charged and tried in the same courts as the adults. Whomever was fourteen or older were tried in adult courts and were exposed to the same penalties as adults, which may have included; imprisonment, whipping or even hanging. (Unknown, Wikipedia, 2010) Children and teenagers were forced to serve their sentences with the adult offenders in prisons. The 1982 Parliament passed the Young Offenders Act (YOA) which became effective in 1984. The purpose of this Act was to approach the young offenders with the accountability of their own actions. (Unknown, Wikipedia, 2010) This act included; that parents have the right to be notified of all court proceedings affecting their child, children have the legal rights and freedoms, including the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms,