Youth Justice Committee (YJC)

The YJC Program provides an alternative to formal court proceedings when dealing with young people alleged to have committed certain offences.  Youth Justice Committees involve trained community members who meet with persons harmed, accused young people and their parents/caregivers to negotiate an appropriate way for the young person to make amends for his or her actions.

Goals of the Program:

  • To discuss what happened and help the young person better understand the motivation behind their actions
  • To help the young person better understand the effect their actions had on the person harmed, their families, and the community
  • To determine as a group, what can be done to repair the harm caused by the offence

Inclusionary Criteria:

  • Youth who reside in Peel, Toronto or Dufferin County
  • Youth aged 12-17 yrs, at the time of the offence
  • Youth who take responsibility for the offence and want to make amends by completing agreed-upon responsibilities
  • Youth who have a parent or other responsible adult who agrees to participate in the process

Exclusionary Criteria:

  • Young persons who are not prepared to be accountable for their actions
  • Young persons not aware of their options and rights
  • Young persons not willing to participate in the program

Referral Sources:

  • Crown Attorney’s Office (Peel Court, Toronto (Finch) Court & Dufferin Court)
  • Transfers from other jurisdictions as applicable
  • In Dufferin, referrals may also be made pre-charge by Dufferin OPP, Shelburne Police and Orangeville Police

Referral Process:

A young person charged with an eligible offence may complete an application for YJC at his/her court appearance. The Crown Attorney will consider eligibility for the program and approve or deny the request. If approved, the matter will be adjourned for approximately 12 weeks.

In Peel, youth are asked to report directly to the Probation office, at the courthouse, where an initial interview will be scheduled and/or information will be provided.

In Toronto (Finch), youth are asked to report directly to the Youth Justice Committee office, at the courthouse, where an initial interview will be scheduled and information will be provided.

In Dufferin, soon after his/her court appearance, the young person and parent/caregiver will be contacted by the YJC Co-ordinator and advised of the date, time and location of an initial interview.

Additionally, in Dufferin, the Police may refer a young person to the YJC Program “pre-charge”. The young person will be contacted by the YJC Coordinator to schedule an interview. If the young person completes the program successfully, no charge will be laid.

The YJC Program Supervisor is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the referral process or program criteria.