Understanding Cases of Failure to Comply with A Disposition

Section II: Longitudinal Youth Court Data

Part 1: Introduction

The second section of this report builds on the previous section by exploring the criminal history of failure to comply cases under the Young Offenders Act. All cases [7] in Canada [8] that were disposed of in 2002/3 and had a conviction (or convictions) for “failing to comply with a disposition” (YOA: Section 26) were identified. For youths with more than one distinct case having a conviction on a failing to comply charge within 2002/3, the final such case was selected, based on the date of disposition (“case end-date”) [9]. Once all unique cases with conviction(s) for failing to comply were identified, their previous convictions and sentences (to 1991) were gathered. Specifically, failure to comply cases disposed of in 2002/3 were linked to previous years by matching on province/territory of disposition; accused identifier; sex of accused; and birthdate of accused.

Not all persons with a conviction for failing to comply in 2002/3 could successfully be linked to at least one preceding convicted case. Obviously this should not occur since, in order for a person to be charged with and convicted for failing to comply, there must be at least one preceding case and disposition. However, there are a variety of reasons that could account for the failure to make a successful link. Some of the reasons, provided by CCJS, include:

  • the accused changed their name or used an alias;
  • any change in local person identifiers used by the courts;
  • prior convictions were for provincial statute offences;
  • the previous court disposition was an application;
  • the previous disposition was a peace bond;
  • the previous conviction occurred in another province;
  • the previous case was waved out of province;
  • data capture errors on name or date of birth of the accused;
  • the case was transferred to adult court;
  • the conviction was obtained on an appeal.

There were, in total, 10,335 cases [10] with a conviction for failing to comply with a disposition (FTC) in 2002/3. Of these 10,335 cases, roughly 10.9% (1,124 cases) had unmatched criminal history data. For all analyses that follow, the cases with no matching criminal history data have been excluded [11]. This results in a sample size of 9,211.

A description of the sample (Part 2A) will be provided followed by a description of the criminal history of these cases (Part 2B). Part 3 will explore factors that relate to the type of sanction given for the failure to comply conviction and Part 4 will examine what types of probation sentences appear more likely to fail. Part 5 will explore provincial variation. A summary and policy recommendations will be provided at the end.


  • [7] Throughout this report, the unit of analysis will be a “case” which is defined as one or more charges against a youth disposed of on the same day.
  • [8] Excluding the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • [9] The FTC cases were not necessarily the literal final case for the accused disposed of in 2002/3. For example, a subsequent case with a different charge/conviction (eg. minor assault) might have occurred. These cases were only the final cases of FTC disposed of within 2002/3.
  • [10] The file created by CCJS was an aggregated file. They therefore created “weights” to represent the number of micro-data records that each case characterized. All data presented here have been weighted.
  • [11] Analyses were run with and without the missing data. The missing data had no significant effect on any of the results presented in this report.

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