Alternatives to Custody

The Youth Criminal Justice Act says that the court must not give a youth a custodial sentence unless the court has considered all other reasonable options (alternatives to custody).

The court must not sentence you to custody unless you have:

  • Not obeyed community-based sentences
  • Committed a violent crime
  • Committed an indictable offence for which an adult could be ordered to serve more than two years in jail and you have a criminal history with a pattern of findings of guilt or a pattern of extrajudicial sanctions
  • Committed an indictable offence so serious that a custody sentence is necessary

Factors Considered

Some factors considered when determining whether there are reasonable alternatives to custody are:

  • The availability of suitable alternatives
  • The likelihood you will obey the non-custodial sentence, while taking into consideration your previous history of obeying non-custodial sentences
  • Alternatives given to other youth who have committed similar crimes