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