The Role of Crime Victims under the Youth Criminal Justice Act
AbstractThe author analyzes the role of victim involvement in extrajudicial and judicial measures under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the overall direction of victim involvement and its possible impact on the development of youth justice. Unlike the Young Offenders Act, victim concerns are specifically recognized throughout the Youth Criminal Justice Act. With respect to judicial measures, reparation should be interpreted broadly to include young offenders' genuine attempts to make good the harms they have caused. The concept of reparation should provide an equal opportunity to pay the costs of crime. With respect to extrajudicial measures, the role of victims is difficult to assess. Tlie author encourages greater utilization of family conferences, as this extrajudicial measure has enjoyed success in New Zealand in reducing youth imprisonment and producing significant levels of victim satisfaction. Victims may well play an increased role under the Youth Criminal Justice Act but the actual effect of both punitive and non-punitive forms of victim involvement will depend on how the new Act is administered.
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