The Value of a Community-Based Approach to Youth Crime

Participating in a YJC has many benefits for everyone. YJC volunteers are caring neighbours who want young people to be successful and to make better choices in the future. Both the youth and their Parents/Guardians can explain the situation in their own words, and YJC Volunteers can help to address concerns. Young people have a chance to make amends to the victim and their community and gain access to resources or programs. If the young person is successful and stays out of trouble, their mistake will not hold them back from future employment or post-secondary pursuits.

Benefits of a Youth Justice Committee:

For the Young Person:

  • Increased accountability and awareness of their actions
  • Learn to explain the situation in their own words.
  • Avoid a formal youth record if they remain crime-free for a period of 2 years
  • Develop positive relationships with adults in the community

For the Family:

  • Case is handled expediently and efficiently
  • Family needs are considered. Referrals can be made to address family difficulties
  • Feel that someone is listening and willing to help

For the Victim:

  • Have an opportunity to express how the crime has affected them
  • Restitution, if applicable, may be used to help repair the harm that was caused

For the Community:

  • Decrease the chance that the youth will re-offend
  • Shows youth that the community cares about what goes on there
  • Community work can be directed to where it is most needed
  • Opportunity to have a positive, effective impact on reducing youth crime
  • Provides an alternative to the court system for less serious offences