Youth and the law

Update on services during COVID-19 outbreak

Ontario continues to take decisive action to protect the health and safety of all people and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the following measures have been put into place in provincially-operated youth justice centres and in probation offices:

  • Enhanced screening processes have been implemented in all Directly Operated Youth Justice Facilities.
  • All personal visits and volunteer activities are cancelled. Approved personal visitors may maintain contact with youth by phone. Enhanced technology, such as video calling, where operationally available and operationally feasible, can be used for virtual visits with family.
  • Professional visits including legal counsel will continue although consideration should be given to alternative options such as the use of teleconferences.
  • All non-essential reintegration leaves are restricted until further notice.
  • Walk-in service is cancelled at all probation offices until further notice. Services will continue to be provided through the use of technology including telephone and email contact. Staff continue to have clients report by telephone and maintain case management supervision.
  • The Ministry has recommended similar measures be implemented by all service partners providing programming in communities throughout the province.

About Ontario's youth justice system

Ontario’s youth justice system provides programs and services for youth who come into trouble with the law between the ages of 12 and 17.

Our 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. Also, that they require different responses and protections because of their age.

Ontario’s programs and services align:

Ontario provides youth with supports and opportunities to help them to:

A youth in trouble with the law may:

Learn more