The Youth Justice System deals with 12-17 year olds in trouble with the law. It uses a rehabilitative method to deal with youth. It makes sure the youth are provided with meaningful consequences for their actions and then reintegrates them back into society. The Youth Justice System brings up a lot of question and the main one is: Is Canada’s Youth Justice System fair and equitable? A lot of people argue that it is too lenient while others say it is a great method for dealing with youth.
The Youth Justice system is fair and equitable; it uses a rehabilitative method that helps reintegrate youth back into society as normal functioning citizens. Young people deserve a different criminal code than adults because they are in the course of developing emotionally, physically and mentally therefore they do not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions.
This issue of the Youth Justice System being fair and equitable holds great importance. It can affect many aspects of youth life like citizenship, quality of life and identity.
Say if the YCJA was not fair and equitable and it wrongly gave a criminal record to a youth, that criminal record now has the potential to ruin that person’s life. The youth’s citizenship is affected since a criminal record can make it hard for a youth to re-enter society since members of the society have free access to the youth’s criminal record and due to that they might not accept that youth back into their society. A criminal record can affect the youth’s identity because that criminal record is now a part of who you are. It is a permanent part of your reputation and it will follow you wherever you go. It can also affect your quality of life since a person with a criminal record won’t be able to apply for most jobs that leave a very limited amount of opportunities.
Without a well-paying job your quality of life is bound to go down. One wrong decision by the Youth Justice System can affect a person’s life drastically. This is why this issue can make significant impacts on various aspects of a youth’s life; this is why we should treat this issue with great care. It is argued that punishments given by the YCJA are too lenient therefore; make no amendments to the young offender’s behavior and actions. It is argued that the YCJA needs to be more retributive. While other state that being more retributive will not resolve any crime issues instead will just leave the youth to work on their anger by themselves. It is argued that youth deserve a less harsh sentence than adults because they are generally more malleable and can be taught to go down the right path. Youth are not fully matured in all areas, therefore deserve more guidance. The Youth Justice System is a rehabilitative system, where instead of just punishing young offenders they try to fix the underlying reasons for crime and reintegrate young offenders back into society. This way has a better shot of reducing crime than a retributive system.
Young people are still in the process of forming their views. “Young people, up to a certain age, should not be treated as adults. They do not understand their actions in the same way we expect from adults” – Anne McLellan Youth generally lack the maturity and experience of adults. They do not fully understand what consequences are related to their actions and thus tend to be more reckless and unwise. Therefore if youth aren’t fully developed as adults they shouldn’t be punished as adults. Young people tend to lack in the responsibility and are not as responsible as adults. Youth all over Canada are not allowed to drive, drink and vote until they reach at a certain age. This shows that we believe that youth aren’t as responsible and dependable as adults. So if youth aren’t allowed all the privileges that adults are allowed due to their lack of responsibility, then that means young people shouldn’t have to go through the same justice system as adults either. Since youth are in the process of forming their views, they tend to be more malleable. A youth that has committed a crime has a better shot to steer away from the life of crime than adults, as said by Anne McLellan “A young person who has committed a crime has a better chance of changing their life than an adult criminal”. They are easily influenced and can be molded into better individuals at this age point. That is why Youth Justice System subjects young offenders to consequences like counselling and community service for his or her offence instead of just locking them up as hopeless cases. This way can steer them clear from the life of crime and promote the long term protection of the society.
The Youth Justice System uses rehabilitative justice when dealing with youth. This method is proven to be effective. If we compare this way of justice to United States (which uses retributive justice) we will see a difference in crime rates and notice that United States has a higher rate of people prisoned than Canada. This affects citizens of United States of quality of life since they have to pay more taxes to keep those people in jail. In Canada our quality of life is affected by this, because we have less people in prisons which means we have more people in society that our sharing the load of taxes. The Youth Justice System subjects the offender to just and meaningful consequences that will affect the young offender in positive way. Instead of just locking up the offender or using harsh punishments, it uses methods such as restitution, community service, counselling (social and mental health workers) to deal with the offender. Another very great and effective method it uses is talking to the victim, this makes the young offender realize the wrong they did and who it affected. All these rehabilitative methods that the help the youth realize their mistake and have a better chance of making the young offender realize crime is not the way to go. These methods help fix the problem rather than just using punishments as the only resolve. The youth justice system realizes to stop a person from committing crime repeatedly it needs to resolve the underlying reasons for crime.
The Youth Justice System tries to understand the past of the young offender, how they were raised and their mental, physical and emotional health. Basically it looks at all the reason why the youth might have committed the crime and tries to resolve them. They try to resolve these issues by providing of the young offender with counsellors, social worker and mental health workers. In conclusion, The Youth Justice system is fair and equitable. Youth should not be subjected to the same kinds of punishments as adults since they are still in the process of developing their views and are still malleable and can be steered away from the life of crime. The rehabilitative method used by the Youth Justice System is effective and it attempts to rehabilitate and reintegrate the young offender instead of just locking them up. This type of Youth Justice System is more effective and efficient than other justice systems and has a higher chance at success. Canada’s Youth Justice System is fair and equitable.
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Is Canada’s Youth Justice System Fair and Equitable Essay. (2016, Jul 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/is-canadas-youth-justice-system-fair-and-equitable/