When the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act came into effect on April 1, 2003, it introduced significant changes to the Canadian youth justice system. It places:
- more emphasis on rehabilitative programming for serious and chronic offenders
- stronger reliance on community supports and reintegration programs
- greater use of assessment, alternatives to custody and measures other than judicial proceedings
- special considerations for sentencing options for Aboriginal youth (GLADUE)
These changes create an opportunity for local justice organizations to develop creative programs and dynamic organizational relationships that can effectively respond to the needs of their youth and the interests of their communities. Organizations in Simcoe County which are involved in youth justice have responded to this opportunity by forming the Simcoe County Youth Justice Advisory Group (SCYJAG), under the Child Youth and Family Services Coalition (Coalition) of Simcoe County.
The Coalition felt it necessary to have a continued youth justice presence to help focus efforts around prevention, diversion and community collaboration of resources and funding.
The SCYJAG acts as a community county-based collaborative advisory group that engages organizations with preventative supports to meet the needs of children, youth and families who come into contact or may come in contact with the youth justice system. Learn more about the SCYJAG in the group’s Terms of Service.