Youth Justice Assessments

When a Youth Court Judge is concerned about the mental health of or the risk posed by a young person, they can order a Section 34 assessment under the Youth Criminal Justice Act to aid in the court process. The goal is to recommend a strategy to the court to hold the young person accountable while addressing factors to prevent a re-occurrence of law-breaking. This court ordered assessment helps by providing more insight and relevant information on the youth’s psychological make-up and state; and suggests a plan which may prevent continued conflicts with the law.

Under Section 34(1) (2) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, a Judge may request a psychological report be prepared by our team before making a decision on sentencing. Youth Justice Court is guided by special principles; Youth are held accountable for their behaviour but the court must also acknowledge the youth’s level of maturity, stage of development, level of independence and any mental health issues.   We help by identifying the youth’s strengths, special needs, an assistance they may require. We hope our efforts will assist to prevent future problems for the youth while encouraging their full potential by firstly giving the Court background about the youth and deeper understanding of the offence(s) and secondly by suggesting a plan for the youth that might prevent continued conflicts with the law.

The team consists of a psychologist, intake personnel, and clinicians who synthesize information from collateral sources, psychological testing, and family interviews.

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