Extrajudicial measures – or diversion from court – are options for dealing with youth instead of going through a court proceeding. Many youth accused of committing a crime are considered for extrajudicial measures. Before police take any action against a youth suspected of committing a crime, they decide whether to use extrajudicial measures.
Extrajudicial measures allow police to use alternatives to court to hold young people responsible for their actions. They allow victims of crime to be involved with decisions related to the extrajudicial measures selected and to receive compensation. Those programs that involve the youth, victim and community members in decision making are often associated with restorative justice.
Warnings, Cautions and Referrals
Extrajudicial measures police can use include taking no further action and giving the youth a warning and releasing them to a parent or guardian. With the youth’s agreement, the police can also refer them to a program that can help them with not committing crimes, including:
- Community accountability programs
- Police-based diversion programs
- Aboriginal justice strategy programs
- Community agencies
Some extrajudicial measures police could use include:
- Taking no further action
- Giving the youth a warning and releasing them to a parent or guardian
- With the youth’s agreement, referring them to a community program or agency that can help the youth with not committing crimes
If a warning, caution or referral is used and the youth successfully completes the actions required for the extrajudicial measures program, the criminal charge will not go through the court process.
For more information about warnings, cautions and referrals, see Sections 4 to 9 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.