Comparison of Case Processing Under the Young Offenders Act and the First Six Months of the Youth Criminal Justice Act

Research Questions: Comparing Early Monitoring (2003) Data to Baseline (1999-2000) Data

Youth Court Cases

  • Have there been changes in the numbers and proportions of offence types dealt with in youth court? * partly answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the following types of charges dealt with in youth court: administration of justice; theft under; possession under; mischief; minor assault? * partly answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the number of first offenders (i.e., no previous finding of guilt) dealt with in youth court? * answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the proportion of cases with a finding of guilt? answered

Pre-trial Detention - Police

  • Has there been a decrease in the number of youths detained by police? * answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the number of youths released by police without conditions? answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the number of youths detained by the police whose current offence is non-violent; who have not failed to comply with previous non-custodial sentences; or who do not have a record of three prior offences? Answered more or less
  • How long were youths held in police detention before a bail hearing was held, if it was held at all? Not answerable given the state of monitoring data

Pre-trial Detention – Court

  • Has there been a decrease in the number of youths detained by the court? * answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the number of youths released by the court without conditions? * answered
  • Has there been a decrease in the number of youths detained by the police whose current offence is non-violent; who have not failed to comply with previous non-custodial sentences; or who do not have a record of three prior offences? * answered
  • Have there been changes in the number and types of release conditions imposed by the court? * answered
  • Has there been a change in the percentage of bail violations? Answered (sort of) in the offence section
  • Has there been a change in the types of conditions violated? Not answered

Not guilty pleas

  • What were the proportions of guilty pleas v. not guilty pleas and how many not guilty pleas lead to a finding of guilt? Our main interest here is what is happening under the YCJA and the analysis does not necessarily need to involve a comparison of YOA and YCJA. Not answerable because no plea data in monitoring dataset.

Sentencing

  • Has there been a decrease in the number and proportion of custody sentences? * answered
  • Have there been changes in the types of offences that result in a custody sentence? * partly answered
  • Have there been changes in the number of previous offences of youths sentenced to custody? answered
  • Are custody sentences longer, shorter or the same length for the same type of offence? Not answerable given the monitoring data’s shortcomings
  • To what extent are the new sentencing options (i.e., reprimand, attendance orders, intensive support and supervision, deferred custody, and intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision) being used? answered
  • Is probation being ordered for more serious offences? * answered
  • Have there been changes in the lengths of probation orders? * not answered
  • Have there been changes in the number and types of probation conditions? * answered
  • Has there been a change in the percentage of violations of probation conditions? answered only in terms of offence distributions (not enough time to follow up probation given on instants)
  • Has there been a change in the types of probation conditions violated? Not answered
  • Are sentences more proportionate to the seriousness of the offence? Not answered and may be impossible given the propensity of the courts to impose a “global” sentence encompassing all offences

Adult Sentences None

  • How many adult sentences? Is the number less than the number of transfers to adult court in the baseline year?

Community/Conditional Supervision: Not feasible because monitoring data did not include custody and violations of conditions of community supervision were not distinguished from breaches of probation so far can be determined.

  • What conditions are imposed as part of orders of custody and community supervision or orders of custody and conditional supervision?
  • What conditions are violated?
  • What percentage of specific conditions are violated?
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