The last decade has brought with it new youth criminal justice legislation: the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This federal legislation created more options for practitioners (e.g., police, courts and probation) but, more importantly, a much more definitive stance on the use of restorative justice measures when dealing with youth in conflict with the law. This paper examines the ways in which youth probation and restorative justice are conceptualized and put into practice by the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Youth Justice Branch, and how these practices have been influenced by the implementation of the YCJA. Although progress towards becoming a more restorative based system has been made, B.C. could benefit by examining other youth justice initiatives taking place in Canada and internationally.
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