According to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), youth under 18 when the crime was committed may be handled differently than an adult. The YCJA:
- Defines the purpose of youth sentences and possible outcomes for a youth offender
- Provides the principles and factors that must be considered when a youth is given a sentence
- Sets out conditions that must be applied before a youth is sentenced to custody
- Requires community supervision be part of all custodial sentences
These sections apply only when a youth sentence is given. If an adult sentence is given, the YCJA no longer applies.