The changes to the YCJA in 2012 Safe Streets and Communities Act emphasise the protection of the public, holding youth accountable, and preventing further crime. Changes include adding sentencing principles and criteria for custody with the aim that youth who commit serious offences receive sentences that reflect the seriousness of their actions. The changes also require the Crown lawyer to consider seeking adult sentences for older youth convicted of the most serious violent offences.
The 2012 amendments were based on recommendations from the 2006 NUNN Commission of Inquiry Report.
On December 18, 2019, more amendments to the YCJA were made. These changes aimed to further encourage the use of alternatives to charging young people with an offence, reduce unnecessary and restrictive bail and sentencing conditions, limit the use of jail sentences, and increase Youth Court efficiencies. See Clicklaw’s Recent Amendments to Canada’ Youth Criminal Justice Act for a summary.