Hoodies in the headlines

Is the YCJA failing Canadians?

January 16, 2008 | by Peter Jon Mitchell , Senior Researcher, Institute of Marriage and Family Canada
PDF:  Hoodies in the headlines


  1. For a comparison of juvenile incarceration rates under the YOA in Canada with the United States for 1997-1998 see http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/yj/repository/downlds/4030002.pdf
  2. View Bill C-25 An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act at http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=3114354&file=4
  3. Currently subsection 29(2) of the YCJA directs the court to presume pre-trial detention is unnecessary unless there is substantial evidence of risk to commit further crime or violence. Bill C-25 maintains that detention be presumed unnecessary, however it significantly clarifies the exceptions when pre-trial detention should be applied, most notably when there is a risk of public safety through the substantial likelihood of bodily harm.
  4. Doob and Cesaroni cite D. Henderson Olds Jr.’s 1988 study “Long-term effects of nurse home visitations on children’s criminal and antisocial behaviour,” as evidence of a family-friendly policy that could reduce youth crime. Olds examined a program that provided nurse home visits to mothers of low socio-economic standing during pregnancy through the first two years of their child’s life. The study found that adolescent children from the program had fewer episodes of running away from home, arrests, probation violations, and engaged in risk behaviours less frequency than their peers.

Alleged cat killer burned brother. (2008, January 10). Ottawa Sun, p. 22.

Australian Institute of Criminology (2002). What works in reducing young people’s involvement in crime? Retrieved January 14, 2008 from http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/reports/2002-12-whatworks.pdf

Department of Justice Canada (2002, May 27). YCJA Explained: Overview. Retrieved December 17, 2007 from http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/yj/repository/downlds/2010001.pdf

Doob, A.N., & Cesaroni, C. (2004) Responding to Youth Crime in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Nunn, D.M. (2006). Spiralling out of control: lessons learned from a boy in trouble: report of the Nunn Commsion Inquiry. Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved December 17, 2007 from http://www.nunncommission.ca/media_uploads/pdf/109.pdf

Statistics Canada (2007, July 18). Crime statistics 2006 (correction). The Daily. Retrieved January 9, 2008 from http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/070718/d070718b.htm

Steinberg, L. (2000, April). Youth violence: do parents and families make a difference. National Institute of Justice Journal, 31-8. Retrieved January 14, 2008 from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/jr000243f.pdf

Taylor, C.S. (1996). Growing up behind bars: confinement, youth development and crime. Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Retrieved January 14, 2008 from http://www.doc.state.ok.us/offenders/ocjrc/96/Growing%20Up%20Behind%20Bars.pdf

When youths reach the courts. [Editorial] (2007, November 21). Globe and Mail, p. A22.