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Bill C-289

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This enactment will amend the Young Offenders Act to achieve a number of objectives, including:

    reinforcing the principle that reasonable force may be used to discipline young persons by those with authority over them, so as to minimize the use of law enforcement procedures;

    establishing the principles that

      consideration should always be given to dealing with non-violent incidents by informal means; and

      informal settings should be used for procedures under the Act where appropriate;

    making the Act applicable only to those under 16 years of age;

    lowering the minimum age to which it relates from 12 to 10 years;

    making the protection of society and safety of others the first purpose of the law respecting young offenders;

    increasing the time to be served before a reduced disposition may be considered;

    establishing a victim's right to be informed of each stage of proceedings and to make an impact statement to youth court;

    requiring consideration of victims' views on proposed alternative measures;

    allowing a group representing a community that is particularly affected by a young offender to make a recommendation as to what disposition should be made with respect to a young offender;

    requiring youths of the age of 14 and 15 years who are charged with violent offences to be tried in adult court but not other young offenders;

    requiring those convicted of violent offences to be kept in closed custody;

    requiring a period of at least 6 months probation after any sentence of closed custody;

    allowing for longer periods of probation;

    allowing for a young person who commits a violent offence to be subject to an application under the Criminal Code and if a pattern of repetitive behaviour is shown, to be designated a dangerous offender;

    establishing standards to be set by the Attorney General for alternative measures;

    restricting ``placement in care'' to cases other than violent offences;

    removing the privacy provisions for young offenders convicted of violent offences so as to protect the public and also to allow a judge sentencing a person to be provided with any record of conviction of the person as a young person;

    requiring parents to appear at all court proceedings.