young offender
an offender who was at least 12, but under the age of 18 when the crime was committed; children under the age of twelve are not held criminally responsible for their actions
Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)
a Canadian statute, which came into effect on April 1, 2003 that covers the prosecution of youths for criminal offences. Concerns youths who are at least 12 but under the age of 18 that have come in conflict with the law, which holds that young people have special needs and require special legal protection
youth court
courts in which cases involving young offenders are heard; cases are heard by youth court judges who are, depending on the jurisdiction, either provincial court or family court judges; youth court cases (unless they are murder cases) do not involve preliminary hearings and there is no opportunity for a jury trial; in youth court, there is also a ban on the publication of names of young person’s by the media
youth gangs/groups
a continuum ranging from a group of friends who spend time together and occasionally get into trouble to more serious, organized criminal groups or gangs
youth justice committee
voluntary groups of citizens, found in some provinces and territories that have been established to assist with the administration of any component of the Young Offenders Act
youth worker
essentially the same as the probation officer for adults whose task is to both assist and supervise the offender
zero tolerance policies
mandatory charging policies which require police officers to arrest a suspect when it appears that an assault has occurred, even if the alleged victim does not want an arrest to be made and even if they are unable to determine all of the facts due to conflicting stories from two parties