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Trends in Youth Crime in Canada, 1977-1996

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology Volume: 41 Issue: 1 Dated: January 1999 Pages: 1-32
P J Carrington
Date Published
32 pages
Data from the Uniform Crime Report survey were used to examine trends in juvenile delinquency in Canada from 1977 to 1996.
The level of police-reported youth crime in Canada has changed very little since 1980, apart from a temporary peak in the early 1990s. The average rate per 100,000 of young persons apprehended by the police was 7 percent higher during 1986-96 than during 1980-83; this increase is unlikely to be due to the Young Offenders Act, which came into effect in 1985. However, the rate of young persons charged by police was 27 percent higher during 1986-96 than during 1980-83. This increase reflects a decline in the use of police discretion starting in 1986. In addition, the Young Offenders Act appears to have resulted in a change in police charging practices in relation to apprehended youth in four provinces and one territory. These jurisdictions had relatively low rates of charging of apprehended youth under the Juvenile Delinquents Act, but those rates became similar to other jurisdictions under the Young Offenders Act. Figures, tables, notes, and 33 references (Author abstract modified)