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Wpg Free Press: Changes to Youth Criminal Justice Act intended to keep kids out of court

April 16, 2018 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports

Proposed reforms to the justice system aim to tackle the high number of relatively minor charges, which tend to involve youth who are in the child-welfare system, that have clogged criminal courts….

University of Manitoba law Prof. Lorna Turnbull, who is studying the overlap in Manitoba’s criminal justice and child-welfare systems, said youth are often more likely to be charged with breaching court conditions if they face other challenges, such as an unstable home life. The proposed legislation should result in fewer administration- of-justice charges against youth, she said.

“But the real challenge will be in making sure that there are adequate extrajudicial options available, and this is often an issue, especially in most of (rural Manitoba).

“So, while this is a positive development, there needs to be adequate alternatives for this to be practical on the ground for all youth in Manitoba,” Turnbull wrote in an email.

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