It is not always easy to decide what type of extrajudicial measure will provide the best outcome for youth. For this reason, the YCJA (s.19) authorizes police or Crown Counsel to hold a youth conference.
Youth Conference = A gathering of a group of people to discuss what extrajudicial measures might best assist that youth.
Police or Crown can organize a conference to ask the victim, community members, parents, and others what they think should happen to the youth. Conferences provide an opportunity for more ideas and opinions to achieve the best outcome for the youth.
Conferences are informal and may take the form of:
- Family group conferences
- Community accountability panels
- Sentencing or healing circles
- Multi-disciplinary or integrated case management conferences
The conference may be restorative with solutions focused on repairing the harm done to the victim and/or the community. Conferences are also used at the sentencing stage of youth criminal justice matters. Sentencing is covered in the next Section of this course.