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Theoretical Understanding of Current Canadian Juvenile Justice Policy (From Young Offenders Act: A Revolution in Canadian Criminal Justice, P 17-36, 1991, Alan W Leschied, Peter G Jaffe, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-134506)

NCJ Number
S Reid-MacNevin
Date Published
20 pages
This theoretical overview of the historical development of the Young Offenders Act in Canada focuses on four conflicting ideological models of juvenile justice: community change; welfare; justice; and crime control.
The models differ with respect to their views of juvenile delinquency causes, the role and goals of the juvenile justice system, and the preferred type of disposition. Thus, the community change model asserts that delinquency is caused by forces outside the individual's control and focuses on promoting the welfare of all people and on community-based alternatives to institutionalization. The welfare or family model is based on the medical model and emphasizes individual treatment of juvenile delinquents. The justice or due-process model believes that youths have volition and free will and therefore deserve punishment or just deserts. Finally, the crime control model focuses on maintaining order through social defense, deterrence, retribution, and punishment. The Young Offenders Act contains elements of each of these models, both in its guiding philosophy and in its more substantive aspects. However, its lack of stated priorities regarding principles will continue the ambiguity and diversity of the juvenile justice system. Chart and 74 references