Youth Criminal Justice Act ~ Is it time for a revision?

Lisa

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This story has been in the forefront of the local news lately.

It relates a tale about a teenage girl who seems to have little or no regard for the law and no remorse for the things she has done.

To quote the story:

At her sentencing hearing, the court heard that she had laughed and joked during a police interview about the crash, showing little remorse.

and:

Clearly with this individual, there's a blatant disregard for conditions, for the law," Chaput said.

But unfortunately under the Youth Criminal Justice Act all the police can do is rearrest this little twit and spend many hours babysitting her sorry little ***. Now before anyone gets all upset saying she probably comes from a bad family and needs guidance, it has been made clear in TV broadcasts, etc. that she does indeed come from a good family with two professional parents that are at their wits end with her.

Personally, I would, at this point, love to see them haul her sorry little *** into a female penitentiary and have a couple of the "ladies" there show her some tough love. Maybe that will wake her up and make her fly straight. Somehow I doubt it though, cause if you can't feel remorse for being partially responsible for killing another human being, then I am not sure anything can turn her around.

I think our Your criminal act needs some changes made for repeat offenders. It is my belief that sometimes a bad apple is just that, a bad apple and they need to pay for their crime and do the time, not sent home after making promises they have no intention of keeping only to end up back in the system time and time again.
 

RandomPhantom700

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First off, her repeated arrests and disregard of her own parole deals show that this girl should definitely be in some form of custody. However, I'm inclined to think said custody should be a child mental health clinic of some type, as she definitely shows some developmental problems.

Additionally, and probably due to the fact that she's a minor, the article doesn't divulge exactly what her involvement was...at best, her crime involved in the accident, as she was in the backseat, was possession and callous attitude afterward. She wasn't the one who ran the redlight.

Like I said, custody of some type is obviously needed as she's out of control on her own, but throwing her in prison to "straighten her out" will only harden the girl--who more than likely is suffering something pathological--and even more reduce her respect for authority, not suddenly inspire it in her.
 

JBrainard

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...Now before anyone gets all upset saying she probably comes from a bad family and needs guidance, it has been made clear in TV broadcasts, etc. that she does indeed come from a good family with two professional parents that are at their wits end with her.

Personally, I would, at this point, love to see them haul her sorry little *** into a female penitentiary and have a couple of the "ladies" there show her some tough love. Maybe that will wake her up and make her fly straight. Somehow I doubt it though, cause if you can't feel remorse for being partially responsible for killing another human being, then I am not sure anything can turn her around...

I would suspect two things:
1. Regardless of the picture that has been painted by the media, perhaps her family is not so perfect. Or, her family is great, but she has been dealt some very traumatic experiences outside the family that she hasn't revealed to anyone because they are too painful. She is still culpable, but it offers an explanation. If this is the case, jail wouldn't help, it would make it worse. Psychiatric lock down and intense therapy might work, though.
2. She is psychotic. There is very little that can be done to "stop" her other than locking her up.

There is always a reason behind things.
 

Kacey

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I don't know enough about Canadian law to speak to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, but it does sound like there's something going on that was not described in the article - although all of her offenses sound like they're related to the original offense. I do think that a psychiatric evaluation could easily be in order.
 

CuongNhuka

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Our justice system as a whole needs some major reforms. This is just an example.
 

Big Don

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I assume the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act was enacted at a time when there were far fewer crimes committed by youths, as were many of the American laws dealing with juvenile criminals.
 

Gordon Nore

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I assume the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act was enacted at a time when there were far fewer crimes committed by youths, as were many of the American laws dealing with juvenile criminals.

Yes and no.

I can't attest to the accuracy of the Wikipedia article below, but there have been several incarnations of the act:

Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) is a Canadian statute which came into effect on April 1, 2003.
The YCJA replaced the Young Offenders Act, adopted by Parliament in 1982, in force since 1984, and amended in 1986, 1992, and 1995. The predecessor to the YOA was the 1908 Juvenile Delinquents Act.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_Criminal_Justice_Act

I remember very well when the legislation was known as the Juvenile Delinquents Act. I can't think of a time in my adult life when the act has not been seen by many (including law enforcement, educators, social workers) as out of step with the times.
 

Gordon Nore

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...Psychiatric lock down and intense therapy might work, though...

I don't know the specific cut-off point, but persons younger than the accused in this case can legally refuse treatment or medication. Involuntarily institutionalizing a person of any age -- beyond a 72-hour hold, which can be ordered by a number of different professionals -- is more easily said than done.

I imagine much the same thing happens in the USA and elsewhere. Seung-Hui Cho, of the Virginia Tech. tragedy, was someone who displayed a number disturbing behaviours and symptoms at a very young age and yet was beyond the legal reach of the mental health care system.

Now, looking at this Manitoba story in a somewhat different light, I'm sure there are quite a few adults in this country have been arrested repeatedly for drinking and driving offenses which led to death or serious injury, only to re-offend at a later time. Judges can court-order twelve step meetings and treatment until they're blue in the face, but my simple belief is that people who want to change and who are ready to change will change. Helps seems to work best for those who want, not necessarily those who need it.
 

CuongNhuka

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While I agree that the US Justice system needs reforms, this story occurred in Canada. :)

Canada, US, close enough. Besides (as I've said before) the Government of Canada is based heavily off the US Gov. So, issues concerning the legal system could be considered analogous (not exactly alike, but analogous).

But, excuses aside, I didn't really read the article (skimmed enough to go 'this is because our legal system is ****ed!'). Pardon my French.
 

5-0 Kenpo

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Canada, US, close enough. Besides (as I've said before) the Government of Canada is based heavily off the US Gov. So, issues concerning the legal system could be considered analogous (not exactly alike, but analogous).

And you get the idea that the Canadian government (a parlimentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy) is like the U.S. government (a constitutional federal republic) how?
 

MJS

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Well, something needs to be done with this girl, because she is not getting the message. Now, I know that people are big on rehab and all that stuff, the fact is, is that the person needs to be willing to accept the help, plain and simple. And after 4 times....this girl is showing that she has no desire to reform, she is showing no remorse for anything shes done.

So what options are left? Rehab alone? Just prison? Both? One thing I can say for certain, is that this girl should not be free. Whether its jail, or a mental hospital, if in fact she does have some illness, she should not be free to walk around. But if its an institution, and I'm sure they'll be giving her 'help' will she respond to that help?

Will jail harden her? Probably. But given her track record, she'll most likely end up in prison for life unless she changes. She holds the key. She can continue to screw up or she can turn her life around.

Mike
 

CuongNhuka

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And you get the idea that the Canadian government (a parlimentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy) is like the U.S. government (a constitutional federal republic) how?

Rights and legal system is very similar.
 

Gordon Nore

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I agree that something must be done about this girl, but I don't know what more legislation might accomplish. The YCJA was just re-written when this kid was in elementary school. So by now we've learned we cannot [FONT=verdana,geneva,lucida,'lucida grande',arial,helvetica,sans-serif]draft [/FONT]legislation fast enough to deal with every youthful offender.
 

Sukerkin

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Quick aside:

Isn't it the case that why there may be some linkage between the American and Canadian systems is that both of them rose out of the British?
 

CuongNhuka

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Do you have links that you could post for a comparison?

I had a book (my gov book from last year). It is a college grade book for comparitive politics. I was skimming Canada (it wasn't part of the criculum) and talked some-what about the system of rights (in The States we call it The Bill of Rights) and the legal system is very similar (to the point of being more U.S. then British based).

No Sukerkin, it has little to do with British origins. The Government may be based on the British model (I couldn't tell you either way), but the system of rights and laws is not. The British Bill of Rights is the rights of the legislature over the Exectutive, our's it the rigts of the citizen over the government. The British legal system is almost completly Common Law (ie, everything is based on prior trials and the ability of a lawyer to convince a Judge that it's right to go one way or anouther), were as the American system is based about half on Common Law, and about half on a formal set of laws (which is the French model if I'm not mistaken).
 

Empty Hands

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Well, she was not directly responsible for the death, and all of her subsequent arrests have been due to violating parole/release conditions, so I don't think she needs to be sent up the river. Something is definitely wrong though. Sounds a bit like a sociopath, although not a very smart one - even the most hardened criminals usually have enough sense to keep their mouths shut during their own trials. Perhaps an impulsive disorder.
 

Empty Hands

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I don't care what country it's in, there shouldn't even *be* a seperation of crime and punishment levels between youth and adults.

They wanna do adult crimes, you treat 'em like ADULTS..

I don't think you really believe that. Should every 4 year old who hits their sibling be prosecuted for assault?
 
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