Moving Forward on Youth Justice
McGuinty government making communities safer
Ontario passed legislation today that creates a single, youth-focused, legislative framework to govern custody, detention and community programs for youth in conflict with the law aged 12 to 17 at the time of an offence.
The Child and Family Services Statute Law Amendment Act, 2008completes the government's transformation of Ontario's youth justice correctional system to a separate system that is no longer part of the adult system. The transformation recognizes that youth in custody and detention have different needs from adults in custody and detention.A key goal of the youth justice correctional system is to reduce the number of youth who re-offend so as to make Ontario's communities safer.
- The Child and Family Services Statute Law Amendment Act, 2008, harmonizes two existing acts - the Child Family Services Act, which governs youth 12 to 15 years of age at the time of an offence, while those 16 and 17 years of age at the time of an offence are governed by the Ministry of Correctional Services Act.
- By April 1, 2009, it is expected that all youth in conflict with the law will be located in dedicated youth justice facilities separate from adult correctional institutions.
- A range of community-based and custodial programs are helping to reduce the number of youth in conflict with the law who re-offend.
- Ontario's Youth Opportunities Strategy supports at-risk youth in underserved communities through employment, training and mentoring programs.
“The passage of this bill will enable us to complete our youth justice transformation. Youth in conflict with the law will no longer be sharing a facility with adult offenders. They’ll be held responsible for their actions while accessing dedicated youth programming that will help to significantly reduce their risk of reoffending.”