For youth aged 12 to 17
The Youth Justice Committee Program is an alternative to formal court proceedings. A youth and their parent(s) or guardian will meet with a committee of community volunteers and the victim. Together they will negotiate meaningful ways or “sanctions” for the youth to repair the harm caused.
Youth, 12 to 17-years-old, qualify if the offense is minor and police or the Crown decide they are eligible for the program.
Either police, at the time of the investigation of the offense, or the Crown, at the time of the first court appearance, will direct the youth to meet with a Youth Justice Committee Coordinator who will explain the program and decide if the young person meets the requirements to participate.
You can also ask your lawyer or Duty Counsel if you are eligible. You should get advice about your rights, the benefits of the program and the legal implications of participating.
To be considered for the program a youth must be willing to:
A Youth Justice Committee is made up of community volunteers (up to three) who meet with the young person and their parent(s)/guardian to work out a way to make amends for what they did. The victim(s) may also choose to be there. Both the youth and the victim(s) can bring people to support them. The community volunteers will help everyone talk about:
Everyone must agree to the sanction(s), which are tasks that the young person will complete, and can include:
Once the sanctions are completed, the police will not lay charges, or the charge(s) will be withdrawn by the court.
Youth Justice Committee Program cases are usually completed within three months of referral. It can depend on how much time the youth needs to complete the sanction(s).
The program is completely voluntary for both youth and victim(s). If you are not accepted into the program or do not complete the program, your case will be returned to the court or referring police service.
No, there is no charge. Youth may be expected to pay the victim for damaged or stolen property or donate to charity.
Although there is no conviction, a record is kept for two years. It can be brought forward if the young person re-offends within two years, even after they turn 18.
Contact: Allison Merritt (705)324-4493 ext. 235 firstname.lastname@example.org