Crafting Youth Sentences: The Roles of Rehabilitation, Proportionality, Restraint, Restorative Justice, and Race under the Youth Criminal Justice Act


  • Sanjeev Anand



The author examines the scope and direction of legislative guidance in assessing youth sentences under the Youth Criminal Justice Act is contended that the Act does not support a reduction in otherwise proportional youth sentences on the basis of rehabilitative concerns. Proportionality of sentences is a primary concern, but considerations such as restraint, rehabilitation, and restorative justice may affect a sentence's conditions or form. The Youth Criminal Justice Act contains clear direction to limit the over-use of custody for youth. Aboriginal offenders are subject to a different methodology for determining sentences, with proportionality considered one of many concerns, rather than the principal one as it is for non-Aboriginal offenders. The author suggests that the judiciary will determine whether the Act's provisions will succeed in altering youth sentencing patterns, and that those efforts may be hindered by a lack of alternatives if provincial and federal governments do not invest in non-custodial sentencing options




Forum: The Youth Criminal Justice Act