Chapter 8: Youth in the Criminal Justice System

Additional Recommended Readings

Day, D. M., T.A. Hart, S.G. Wanklyn, E. McCay, A. Macpherson, and N. Burnier (2013). Potential mediators between child abuse and both violence and victimization in juvenile offenders. Psychological Services, 10(1), 1–11. Retrieved from

The article describes a mediator model of violent perpetration and peer victimization in a sample of 112 incarcerated youth. The authors suggest that treatment of depressive symptoms and drug use among juvenile offenders with a history of child physical or emotional abuse may limit violent perpetration and peer victimization in this population.

Strang H., L.W. Sherman, E. Mayo-Wilson, D. Woods, and B. Ariel (2013). Restorative justice conferencing (RJC) using face-to-face meetings of offenders and victims: Effects on offender recidivism and victim satisfaction. A systematic review. Oslo, Norway: The Campbell Collaboration. Retrieved from

This systematic review evaluates studies on restorative justice and summarizes the findings. They report generally positive impacts on victim experience and a modest effect in reducing recitivism.

Relevant Legislation


Discussion Questions

  1. What could be possible motivators for changes proposed to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) during the 2008 federal election?
  2. Do the age guidelines under the YCJA make sense in the context of child and adolescent development?
  3. How can the effectiveness of community youth justice committees be examined?
  4. How can parental involvement be used to greater effect in the youth criminal justice system?