Juristat Article on Youth Custody and Community Services in Canada
It provides an overview of the number and characteristics of youth admitted to and released from custody and community services in 2008/2009 and examines trends over a five-year period. A focused analysis of Aboriginal youth under correctional supervision is also presented.
Overall, of the 40,300 admissions to youth correctional services in the eight jurisdictions that provided data for 2008/2009, 41% of youth were admitted to probation, followed by remand (meaning custody while awaiting trial or sentencing) (39%), sentenced custody (9%), the community portion of a custody and supervision order (6%), deferred custody (4%) and the intensive support and supervision program (1%) .
From the summary:
"In 2008/2009, the number and rate of youth admitted to correctional supervision programs declined, continuing the downward trend that has been occurring for several years and that was accelerated in 2003 when the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) was implemented. During this same period, the police-reported youth crime rate has also generally declined, and, although youth court statistics are currently only available up to 2006/2007, these data also indicate declines in youth court appearances since the implementation of the YCJA. Despite the overall declines witnessed in admissions to youth correctional programs, trends in the use of remand are of note. Although the number of admissions to remand decreased in 2008/2009, admissions had grown in prior years and data indicate that, on any given day in 2008/2009, youth in remand outnumbered those in sentenced custody for the second year in a row. "General highlights:
- The rate of youth admitted to remand declined in most jurisdictions
- Just over half of all youth held in remand were released within one week
- The rate of youth admitted to sentenced custody also down
- Most youth spent less than 6 months in sentenced custody (with 43% of youth released were released after spending one month or less in sentenced custody)
- Overall, youth admitted due a violation against the person accounted for the largest proportion of admissions to remand and sentenced custody
- Females continue to account for a minority of youth admitted to correctional services
- According to the 2006 Census, 6% of all youth 12 to 17 years old in Canada self-identified as Aboriginal. In comparison, the representation of Aboriginal youth in custody and community services has traditionally been higher. In 2008/2009, Aboriginal youth accounted for 27% of youth admitted to remand, 36% of youth admitted to sentenced custody, and 24% of youth admitted to probation