Youth Criminal Justice System

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New Brunswick’s rate of youth criminally charged has been decreasing ever since the introduction of Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) in 2002. However, a decade has passed with still no progress on lowering the number of youth sent to pretrial and secure custody, which is disproportionately high compared to other provinces. The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate’s More Less Court report identifies issues such as this and offers solutions to the problems with New Brunswick’s youth justice system. Vulnerable youth being caught up in the justice system and improvements on diverting youth from the criminal justice system are among other withstanding issues that will also be touched upon. The government of New Brunswick’s Provincial Crime Prevention…show more content…
Youth not at risk of reoffending, diversion should be proportionate to the crime that was committed, without severe measures and youth who are at risk of reoffending diversion entails community and family supports. Police and prosecutors play an essential role in the diversion of youth crime. Police officers can give a verbal warning, write police cautions to youth or the parents and can refer youth to programs if they see it fit. Prosecutors can administer written ‘Crown Cautions’ which add more weight to the diversion without proceeding with charges. However, there is a lack of constancy across the province of how Extrajudicial Measures are practiced, which leads to an advantage or disadvantage depending on where the youth lives. Therefore, there needs to be more constant practices and protocols in regards to the use of these measures throughout New…show more content…
In fact, being incarcerated and taken to the facility can have devastating effect on the youths’ psychological health, especially when they are there for only a minor offense. Furthermore, the provincial women’s prison is co-located in the same facility as the New Brunswick Youth Centre, while the adult inmates do not interact with the youths, youth criminal justice systems are meant to be separate from the adult criminal justice system. Further to this, the transport of youth to the facility involves them being handcuffed and shackled in vehicles that, at times, include adult inmates riding with them. New Brunswick’s youth criminal justice situation is an exceptionally poor example in Canada, youth-only detention and secure custody facilities in other provinces are uniquely tailored to assist in rehabilitating and reintegrating young
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