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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On 10:11 AM by Sanchit   2 comments

The current Youth Criminal Justice Act was put in place with the purpose of rehabilitating and reintegrating youth offenders into society to fill meaningful roles. In no way, does this mean that young offenders will not face consequences equal to the severity of their crime. There are many consequences which youth can face depending on their attitude, age, circumstances, previous records and severity of crime. As a country, we have decided that 18 is the age that people can make decisions for themselves. This is why the YCJA covers the youth of Canada, youth from 12 to 17. Young offenders have the option to go to court or be referred into programs where they participate in more meaningful consequences. These youth will only be referred into programs if they show willingness to change their attitude and way of life. If they are not, they will be sent to court and charges may be laid. Alberta’s youth justice program has a completion rate of over 90%. Less than 20% of youth come into further contact with the law. This shows how youth are committed to changing their lifestyle and prevent future issues that may arise.

The Reformist Party respectfully opposes the proposed changes made by the Hon. Meter Packay. Youth must be held accountable of their actions, but adult sentences are not an effective way to discipline youth offenders. The Reformist Party understands that everybody makes mistakes and youth are at the point in their lives where they are beginning to make decisions for themselves. By allowing this proposed change to the YCJA we say that these youth have no chance of a better life and that they deserve to rot in jail. If you are not legally allowed to drive, drink or even go to 14A movie, why would you be able to spend the rest of your life in jail?

We, the Reformist Party, believe in the YCJA as it stands today. Adolescents are still being watched and punishments are given. We believe youth need to learn from their mistakes; their minds are still developing and youth are capable of change. Serious punishment that could penalize youth for life is not the goal of the YCJA, it aims to rehabilitate and reintegrate by issuing meaningful punishments. Allowing youth under 14 to have adult sentence may be doing more harm than good and lead them down a path that destroys their futures. Better methods of rehabilitation such as court, community service, and support groups lead the youth down a more positive route to success.

We believe in change for the better, and this isn’t.


  1. I was so confused by this issue since I didn't know what the YCJA even was. Thanks for explaining it! I really liked your argument about the 14A movies too, if I can't go to those because the content is too mature, what would happen to me in prison?!?!

    1. Great! We're happy to have helped. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.