Extrajudicial measures are based on the principle of timely intervention. Formal court processes take a significant amount of time. Non-court responses to youth crime can happen much more quickly. The immediacy of these consequences may help youth to make the connection between their actions and the impact of those actions. In theory, youth will not do these things again to avoid further the consequences.
Extrajudicial measures encourage the repair of harm caused to the victim or community. They often involve families, victims, and the community in finding the right solution. Extrajudicial measures work to restore the balance, rather than to simply punish the crime. Restorative justice practices are an approach to crime that focuses on accountability. Extrajudicial measures are restorative justice practices.
Reasons for Using Extrajudicial Measures
Extrajudicial measures hold a youth accountable for non-violent offences, especially when there is no pattern of crime by the youth. They are often the most appropriate and effective way to address youth crime because they:
- Allow for effective and timely interventions focused on correcting youth behaviour
- Involve meaningful dialogue with the youth regarding their actions and the impact of those actions
- Provide an opportunity for the youth to make it right (reparations)
- Provide an opportunity for victims to participate in the justice solution
- Have a high rate of success in reducing repeat offences
- Keep youth out of the criminal justice system
Extrajudicial measures are also suitable for administration of justice offences. These are offences where someone breaks the rules of the justice process. For example, breaking the terms of probation or not showing up for court are administration of justice charges.