Transient Male Youths' perceptions of their experiences within the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice System

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House, Nadia
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) altered the Canadian youth criminal justice system in an effort to reduce youth custody and court use. This legislation also promised to uphold the more youth-focused principles of providing meaningful consequences, rehabilitation and reintegration, addressing underlying causes of youth offending, and upholding youth’s rights as set forth by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although the YCJA was successful at reducing youth custody and court use, there is some question as to whether its implementation is adhering to its key principles, particularly in regards to certain populations such as transient youth, who are disproportionately represented in the Canadian Youth Justice System. I interviewed five transient male youth between the ages sixteen to eighteen in order to get a sense of how they perceive the system, their experiences within it, and how it impacts them. By analyzing the data through the lens of the paradigm of critical pedagogy I discovered that, despite some evidence of youth-focused practices, this system continues to impact transient male youth in an oppressive manner, one that undermines the key principles declared in its legislation.
Criminal Justice Sytem - Youth , Young offenders