The issue of youth committing offences is a major concern in many countries around the world. Canada is not unwonted in this case. Authorities have been trying to control the situation for decades now and fortunately, their efforts are not in vain.
According to statistics, youth (12-17 years) offences reported in 2020 were 58,516 which is almost 26,000 less than the 84,139 reported in 2019. Over the last decade, the rate of youth accused of crime fell 63% and the Youth Crime Severity Index declined by 55%. This index is used to measure the volume as well as the severity of the crime involving youth.
Even though the numbers are improving, statistics have shown some alarming results. The following facts reported by Public Safety Canada are an eye-opener in this case:
- Boys are twice as likely to commit an offence as compared to girls
- Delinquent behaviour reported by foreign-born youth is considerably lower than their Canadian-born peers
- Boys commit more crimes against property than girls
- Canadian-born children of immigrant parents and Canadian-born children whose parents are not immigrants have no significant difference in the prevalence of delinquency
The government of Canada has formulated a youth court with a special set of rules to help tackle youth committing offences. One of the options that a youth offender is given is the Extrajudicial Sanctions Program. Here are a few things you should know about the program:
Also Read: How To Find A Good Criminal Defence Lawyer
What Is The Extrajudicial Sanctions Program?
The Extrajudicial Sanctions Program is an alternative to the court system designed by the Government of Canada under the Youth Justice Committee. It caters to individuals between the ages of 12 years and 18 years who have committed an offence.
The program has been around for a while, however, not many people are aware of this because it was formerly known as the Alternative Measures Program (AMP).
Under the program, the youth offender is diverted from the court system. Instead of appearing in front of the court, he/she appears before a Youth Justice Committee. However, the decision of directing the offender to the program is taken by the Crown prosecutor. Hence, it is better to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer if you are planning to apply for the program.
Moreover, it is important to know that the program is only available to individuals between 12 and 18 years of age who have been charged with a crime.
Conditions Of The EJS Program
There are seven conditions that have to be met before an individual is sent into the program. These conditions are:
- The program is locally available in the area of residence of the offender
- The crown is satisfied and sure that the charge can be dealt with through EJS
- The offender consents to the program
- The offender has consulted with a lawyer
- The offender accepts responsibility for the act
- The crown believes that there is sufficient evidence
- The prosecution of the charge is not otherwise barred by law
Benefits Of The Program
The program encourages the offender as well as his/her parents to support and take responsibility for their child. As a parent, the program allows you to access resources to better deal with your child.
In addition to this, it also gives your child the opportunity to speak for themselves. This way they can avoid a criminal record on their profile. Under this program, their criminal record will be automatically expunged after a two-year period if they commit no further crimes.
The Youth Justice Committee assigns certain sanctions to the offender. These sanctions are logical and meaningful to the youth and are designed to instil a sense of responsibility. Some of the commonly assigned sanctions include:
- Letter of Apology
- Up to 60 hours of community service
- Designing a poster
- Writing An Essay
- Up to $200 of charity to an organization
- Restitution to the victim
- Program referral
About Slaferek Law
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If you are scrambling with charges or are looking for a good criminal defence lawyer to fight your case, our team of trained lawyers can help you build a strong case. We have successfully closed hundreds of cases pertaining to murder, DUI, financial fraud and more.