Expanding on the concepts first introduced in Lesson 1.1, this lesson is designed to more fully introduce students to the main principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and to provide them with an opportunity to apply the principles to a simplified scenario.
1. Distribute Philosophy and Principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Explain to students that the YCJA is intended to protect the public by holding young people accountable, promoting their rehabilitation and reintegration, and supporting crime prevention measures in the community that address the underlying causes of youth crime. At the same time the youth criminal justice system must be based on the principle of the diminished moral blameworthiness of young persons.
2. Read Incident: Alex and the Bicycle as a class.
a. Ask students for ideas about what they would do about Alex if they were the police. List their suggestions on the blackboard.
b. Once a variety of options are listed, discuss and evaluate the consequences of each option.
c. Have students choose what they believe to be the best option. They should be prepared to justify their decision.
3. Refer back to Philosophy and Principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Discuss whether the various alternatives that students have proposed in Procedure 2 reflect the intent of the YCJA.