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Youth Criminal Justice Act

Version of section 38 from 2003-01-01 to 2012-10-22:

Marginal note:Purpose

  •  (1) The purpose of sentencing under section 42 (youth sentences) is to hold a young person accountable for an offence through the imposition of just sanctions that have meaningful consequences for the young person and that promote his or her rehabilitation and reintegration into society, thereby contributing to the long-term protection of the public.

  • Marginal note:Sentencing principles

    (2) A youth justice court that imposes a youth sentence on a young person shall determine the sentence in accordance with the principles set out in section 3 and the following principles:

    • (a) the sentence must not result in a punishment that is greater than the punishment that would be appropriate for an adult who has been convicted of the same offence committed in similar circumstances;

    • (b) the sentence must be similar to the sentences imposed in the region on similar young persons found guilty of the same offence committed in similar circumstances;

    • (c) the sentence must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the young person for that offence;

    • (d) all available sanctions other than custody that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all young persons, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal young persons; and

    • (e) subject to paragraph (c), the sentence must

      • (i) be the least restrictive sentence that is capable of achieving the purpose set out in subsection (1),

      • (ii) be the one that is most likely to rehabilitate the young person and reintegrate him or her into society, and

      • (iii) promote a sense of responsibility in the young person, and an acknowledgement of the harm done to victims and the community.

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (3) In determining a youth sentence, the youth justice court shall take into account

    • (a) the degree of participation by the young person in the commission of the offence;

    • (b) the harm done to victims and whether it was intentional or reasonably foreseeable;

    • (c) any reparation made by the young person to the victim or the community;

    • (d) the time spent in detention by the young person as a result of the offence;

    • (e) the previous findings of guilt of the young person; and

    • (f) any other aggravating and mitigating circumstances related to the young person or the offence that are relevant to the purpose and principles set out in this section.

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