Young Offenders Act in Canada

The subject of young offenders in our troubled society has been one that
has generated many hours of thought and meditation for concerned members. It is
felt by many that the change needed in the area of delinquency within the First
Nations culture is to overcome the effects of colonization and this must begin
with the youth. It is with the youth that the future of the culture lies.
There has been extensive research done in this area and although much of
the material is not directed at one specific culture in society, the facts
remain that it is a problem that is growing in epidemic proportions. Many of the
programs that exist in society today do not address the problems associated with
young offenders of specific cultures. Although the trend is moving in a
direction that addresses programs for specific cultural groups much more
emphasis must be put on these programs.
For First Nations youth that are locked into the juvenile system, there
must be alternative treatment programs made available that deal with the
problems associated with the colonization process that generations of First
Nations people have been subjected to. The process of decolonization will only
be achieved through education, understanding, and perseverance, and this can
only be achieved by First Nations people working with First Nations people.
As indicated earlier much research has been done on the problems
associated with young offenders and the current treatment programs. In the
following research some of the most recent and important pieces have been used
and to eliminate repetition much has been deemed unnecessary.


Cooke, David J., Baldwin, Pamela J., Howison, Jacqueline. (1990).
Psychology in Prisons. London: Routledge.

In the second chapter of this book the authors explain in detail the
psychology of criminal behavior and how it develops at a young age. Early
environment of the adolescent, along with socio-economic status of the young
offenders are but a few of the possibilities explored in this book. The authors
explore the many influences that can shape the lives of young people, the
influences of feelings and thoughts, others behavior, and surroundings, are all
thought to shape the minds of the young offender. This publication will be
primarily used to explore the history and causes of the subject of young

Davidson II, William S., Rednor, Robin,. (1990). Alternative Treatments
for Troubled Youth: The Case of Diversion From
The Justice System. New York: Plenum Press.

This publication presents the findings of a research study done on
alternative interventions with delinquent youth. The authors goal in writing
this book was to describe an alternative intervention model and to examine its
workability in the existing system. The authors in their research show that the
intervention programs in the past have been ones of failure. It is believed that
the success of intervention programs must be researched in such a way that all
variables are considered before a program is to be implemented. One of the major
problems discovered in their findings is the lack of professionalism in the
implementation of these intervention programs, hence many of the programs
operating today are destined for failure.

Griffiths, Curt T., Verdun-Jones, Simon N. (1994). Canadian Criminal Justice.
Toronto: Harcourt Brace.

This publication is a prime source of material as it covers a multitude
of areas pertaining to young offenders. This book addresses some of the cultural
issues such as policing and community aspects of the troubled youth. The author
takes a close look into sensitizing the criminal system and addresses the
problems of cultural awareness for the justice personnel. There is an excellent
chapter in the book that looks at programs for youth in different parts of the
country and explores the possibilities of alternative programs targeted for
marginal peoples.

Ottawa, Canada. (1993). Dept. of Justice. Toward Safer Communities: Violent
and Repeat Offending by Young People.

This journal was presented in an attempt to help the government re-
establish their stand that they are addressing the problems of young offenders
in the community. This publication was primarily focused toward strengthening
the governments stand that they are moving in a forward direction. The material
in the journal primarily points in the direction that the age for young
offenders should be lowered for some offences and that stiffer penalties should
be invoked for many repeat offenders. It was clear that this would be an
excellent piece of material to use as a basis for the argument that the
government is not moving in a positive direction to address the problems of
repeat young offenders.

Ottawa, Canada. (1986). Canadian Association for Children and Adults with
Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities and the Young Offenders: Arrest to

This publication investigates how the young offenders act in many ways
does not address adequately the special problems that some young offenders