Youth Justice

The Youth Criminal Justice Act applies to youth in Canada who are 12 – 17 years old. It outlines how police, diversions programs, the court system and the corrections system will respond to a youth who is accused or found guilty of breaking the law.

Gathered on this page is a sample of resources related to youth criminal justice. But there may be other youth-focused and general audience resources that are also appropriate for your situation. See the topic: Youth criminal justice



Youth Justice Act, RSA 2000, c Y-1

To access the official version go to: Alberta King’s Printer


Canada Evidence Act, RSC 1985, c C-5

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

These FAQs are provided by the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. They provide answers to questions about the Criminal Code of Canada. On this page you will find general information FAQs on the Code, shoplifting, and joyriding.

Related legal topic(s): Crimes and offences, Criminal law general resources, Criminal records and record suspensions, Youth criminal justice

Alberta Resources

A comic book produced by the BearPaw Education (NCSA), Breach is an entertaining look at a serious topic - breach charges and administration of justice. This youth-oriented resource aims to reinforce the importance of following court orders by explaining the consequences of breaching such orders as well as the benefits of following them.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Administration of justice, Classroom materials, Legal process

The Calgary Youth Justice Society, through a community-development approach, contributes to the success of Youth Justice Committees by providing fundamental support through public awareness, resources, training and guidance. They provide support and leadership to communities who are interested in establishing a Youth Justice Committee.
Related legal topic(s): Restorative justice, Youth criminal justice

Chart describing criminal justice process for youth.
Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Youth criminal justice

The Edmonton Youth Justice is focused on youth and the early community intervention of young offenders or youth who are at risk of offending. They focus on restorative justice measures between the offender and the victim, as well as a focus on extra-judicial measures. They do this through the work of three youth justice committees in the City of Edmonton.

Related legal topic(s): Restorative justice, Youth criminal justice

This guide is designed with the intent of helping families and friends of men incarcerated in Alberta navigate our sometimes complex and intimidating Criminal Justice System. This booklet has been prepared by the Edmonton John Howard Society.
Related legal topic(s): Arrest, Corrections, Crime prevention, Criminal records and record suspensions, Legal process, Parole

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, mandated to work with vulnerable young people. 

This includes young people receiving or attempting to access services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act; or who are involved with the youth justice system. 

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Child abuse, Family violence general resources, Legal services, Other legal personnel, Youth criminal justice

These "How old do I have to be?" FAQs are provided by the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. They provide answers for youth about age-related issues under various topics: family, criminal, medical and health related, legal and financial, activities (such as driving), school and work.

Related legal topic(s): Adoption, Bullying, Common law relationships, Divorce and separation, Drugs and alcohol, Guardianship and trusteeship, Health issues, Landlord and tenant, Marriage, Wills and estates, Youth criminal justice

The Youth Restorative Action Project is a Youth Justice Committee sanctioned under the new Youth Criminal Justice Act. It is the first YJC mandated to work in youth court with young people who have caused harm as a result of hate crimes and significant social issues YRAP is also the first such committee to be comprised entirely of Youth Members, and takes a unique approach to achieving the goals of Restorative Justice. YRAP also collaborates on projects promoting justice equality and rights for all youth, particularly youth at risk and new Canadians.

Related legal topic(s): Restorative justice, Youth criminal justice


The Youth Criminal Justice Act is Canada's law that applies to youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who have come into conflict with the law. This section includes information and resources to help you better understand the Act and the youth justice system. Resources available in Spanish, Inukilut, and Inuinnaqtun.

Related legal topic(s): Classroom materials

The youth justice system affects individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 who get into trouble with the law. The goal of the Department of Justice is to ensure a fair and effective youth justice system. This website provides information on the Youth Criminal Justice Act and links to tools and resources for the classroom.

Related legal topic(s): Classroom materials, Youth criminal justice

This Department of Justice Canada resource outlines the different rules that apply to youth records. It discusses issues such as when the record will be destroyed, who has access to the file, the impact it may have on work and travel and information about getting a pardon. There is also a chart outlining when, or if, the record will be destroyed. Also may be downloaded as a PDF.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal records and record suspensions, Youth criminal justice