Our stories about working with young people in trouble with the law
Ontario’s youth justice system holds young people, age 12 to 17 at the time of the offence, responsible for their actions. Its goal is to help youth in trouble with the law contribute to the community and succeed.
Research shows that appropriate, community-based programs result in fewer youth re-offending. Since 2003, changes to the law have made it possible for more youth to serve sentences through these programs. Fewer youth are sent to custody.
Ontario provides all these youth with supports and opportunities to help them:
Ontario’s youth justice system is separate from the adult system. When a youth breaks the law, police use the Youth Criminal Justice Act to decide what to do. This law recognizes that young people ages 12 to 17 have different needs from adults.
A youth in trouble with the law may: