Common Terms

A person 18 years of age or older.
Adult Sentence
A sentence that could be given to an adult who has been found guilty of the same offence that a young person committed. Young persons can receive adult sentences for crimes such as first degree murder, second degree murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault and serious violent offences if they were 14 years older at the time the offence was committed.
An arrest happens when the police legally deprives a young person their freedom and takes him/her into custody because he/she has committed or the police believes that he/she has committed an offence.
Bail Hearing or Judicial Interim Release Hearing (Getting out on Bail)
The release from custody while awaiting trial.
A person who is less than 12 years old.
A group of community members who advise a decision-maker on issues like sentences and interim release.
Crown Attorney
A lawyer that represents the government and presents the Crown’s case in court.
A period of time spent in a youth facility. Custody refers to a locked or unlocked facility where person that is found guilty is sent for the period of time that the court orders.
Holding a young person in custody for the period of time that the court orders.
To release a young person from custody.
Duty Counsel
Duty counsel is the lawyer who is available free of charge at first appearance that assists young persons that do not have their own lawyer and helps with court procedure.
Extra Judicial Measures
Measures that are not court proceedings used to deal with a young person that allegedly committed an offence. Example: Referrals to community programs.
Extra Judicial Sanctions
Used to deal with a young person alleged to have committed an offence that cannot be dealt with by a warning because it is a serious offence or because another previous offence that was dealt with the same way.
The loss of a right or property because of a crime, breach or for neglecting a duty.
Guilty Plea
Where the young person admits that he/she has committed the offence that the court clerk/judge has read to the accused.
Indictable Offence
A crime which can range from theft over $5,000.00 to first degree murder.
Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Order. (Also known as IRCS)
An order that is made for serious, violent and high risk youths so they can get the treatment they need.
A person who is under the legal duty to provide for the young person or any person who has the custody or control of the young person.
Pre-sentence Report
A report on the personal and family history and present personal, home and school situation of a young person presented to a judge before the judge gives a sentencing order.
A period of time that the person serves under the supervision of a probation officer. Most likely conditions will be attached to the order.
Prohibition Order
An order that does not allow a certain action(s).
Proportionate Sentencing
When the severity of the punishment is directly related to the crime.
Making information known to the public by the use of radio, television, telecommunication or any electronic means.
Any information created or kept for the purpose of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Helping a young person with problems or issues so that he/she does not re-offend.
Safely and successfully bringing a young person back to the community after an offence has been committed or a custodial sentence has been served.
A sentence given by the judge where he/she expresses his/her disapproval of the crime committed by the young person. (A scolding)
Right to Counsel
A youth’s right to speak with a lawyer.
Taking possession of a person or property.
Serious Offence
An indictable offence under an Act of Parliament for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more.
Serious Violent Offence
An offence under one of the following provisions of the Criminal Code: (a) section 231 or 235 (first degree murder or second degree murder) (b) section 239 (attempt to commit murder) (c) section 232, 234 or 236 (manslaughter); or Section 273 (aggravated sexual assault)
Summary Conviction Offence
A minor offence such as causing a disturbance in a public place.
Violent Offence
(a) an offence committed by a young person that includes as element the causing of bodily harm. (b) an attempt or a threat to commit an offence referred to in paragraph (a); or (c) an offence in the commission of which a young person endangers the life or safety of another person by creating a substantial likelihood of causing bodily harm.
A person who has been harmed by the offence and has the right to be informed of and to participate by informing the judge of the harm that was done to him/her.
Young Person
A person 12 years of age or older, but less than 18.
Youth Record
A youth record is the police file containing all offences that a young person has been found guilty of. The record may include charges that were acquitted and sentenced.
Youth Custody Facility
A facility for placing youths, which may include a secure custody or open custody setting, like a group home or residential centre.
Youth Justice Committee
Committee of citizens that run programs or services for young persons.
Youth Justice Court
A court where youth matters are heard.