2003: Youth Criminal Justice Act

In April 2003, the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) was proclaimed.

The YCJA introduced much stricter legal criteria to restrict the use of remand and sentenced custody as well promoting greater use of police diversion and restorative justice.

Further declines in custody counts followed the proclamation of the YCJA. 

Contributing factors include:

  • Marked decreases in the youth crime rate
  • Substantial investments in community-based alternatives to custody and rehabilitation services
  • Improved service coordination from bringing youth justice services to Ministry of Children and Family Development in 1997
  • Implementation of the new federal Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2003