The Youth Criminal Justice Act is a piece of legislation that replaced the Young Offenders Act in 2003. The Youth Criminal Justice Act was implemented with the purpose of protecting society long-term. The act sets out way to promote protection, as it addresses the circumstances of underlying behavior and rather then punishment it takes measures to impact rehabilitation. The Youth Criminal Justice Act covers those aged 12-17 and 364 days, and has many other characteristics in place to protect Canada’s youth.
On the one hand, the Youth Criminal Justice Act should remain as is, because it is a useful tool in the rehabilitation of youth. The rehabilitation of youth can be more effective then simply sentencing a youth to serve jail time. Rehab can reach into the youth’s life and fix or help to fix the problems in a person’s life. It may also help to reduce crime and keep the youth from repeating crimes and old behaviors. The Youth Criminal Justice Act protects the youth from unequal punishment. According to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 15, “Every individual is equal under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination…” However, not every case should be handled the same, as a youth is not an adult and therefore should not be treated as one. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they have the right to equal protection and benefit from the law and Rehabilitation is the right punishment for them.
In our society's criminal justice system, justice equals punishment. You do the crime, and you do the time. Once you have done the time, you have paid your debt to society and justice has been done. Because our society defines justice in this manner, the victims of crimes often seek the most severe possible punishment for their offenders. Society tells them this will bring justice, but it often ...
However, the main purpose of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is the rehabilitate; it is often thought by society that, in many cases, youth get off to easily. Over the years it seems as if the court systems have gone soft, as they rarely hand out lengthy sentences. In the case of R. V. P.N. and D.C., two boys preceded to beat another boy, J.S., by kicking and punching him repeatedly in the head and face. The boys left the scene of the crime but then returned later and dragged the body into the bushes. As a result of his injuries, J.S. was in a coma for five weeks and suffered permanent brain damage. The judge hearing the case concluded that the boys be given seven months in custody. On top of this each of the boys was given a six-month custody and supervision order, followed by eleven months’ probation. The sentence hardly seems fair, because justice was not served and a young man now has to live the rest of his life disabled. P.N. and D.C. took away a part of the victim’s life and deprived him of his rights which are set out by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 12, it states “Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.” Therefore, it seems necessary for the Youth Criminal Justice Act to be abolished in order to give out harsher punishment, in hopes to attain justice for the victims.
Although the creation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act has made rehabilitation its main priority, it is important to remember that harsher punishment should be the higher priority. The lenient sentences have made it much easier for youth to get away with outrageous crimes. In light of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, our society is now faced with dangerous youth that know they can get away with almost anything because they won’t go to jail. It seems that instead of reducing crime, the Youth Criminal Justice Act will simply promote it and all the work which has gone into the rehabilitation of youth will be non-existent.