Place of Detention for a Juvenile under the YCJA

Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor explains the various kinds of jails and detention centres where juveniles can be held in Canada.

Young persons who are arrested get put in real jail cells by the police. When brought to Court in custody they are behind bars at the Courthouse in most unpleasant surroundings. When brought to and from Court they ride in prisoner wagons. Detention facilities are real jails. I have visited young persons in all of these conditions and the experience was distressing every time.

 

A detention facility is not a good place for a young person. He or she will have no privacy. Food and sanitary conditions are not very healthy. Peers can be dangerous. Please try to find an alternative place for your child in your home as soon as possible.

 

Although young persons are supposed to be detained in separate places away from adults, please bear in mind the reality that the police are the same, the guards are the same, the courthouse basement is the same, the toilets are the same as adults and the youth and adult facilities are probably adjacent.  


 

Designated place of temporary detention
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (7), a young person who is arrested and detained prior to being sentenced, or who is detained in accordance with a warrant issued under subsection 59(6) (compelling appearance for review of sentence), shall be detained in any place of temporary detention that may be designated by the lieutenant governor in council of the province or his or her delegate or in a place within a class of places so designated.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) A young person who is detained in a place of temporary detention under subsection (1) may, in the course of being transferred from that place to the court or from the court to that place, be held under the supervision and control of a peace officer.

  • Marginal note:Detention separate from adults

    (3) A young person referred to in subsection (1) shall be held separate and apart from any adult who is detained or held in custody unless a youth justice court judge or a justice is satisfied that, having regard to the best interests of the young person,

    • (a) the young person cannot, having regard to his or her own safety or the safety of others, be detained in a place of detention for young persons; or

    • (b) no place of detention for young persons is available within a reasonable distance.

  • Marginal note:Transfer to adult facility

    (4) When a young person is detained under subsection (1), the youth justice court may, on application of the provincial director made at any time after the young person attains the age of eighteen years, after giving the young person an opportunity to be heard, authorize the provincial director to direct, despite subsection (3), that the young person be temporarily detained in a provincial correctional facility for adults, if the court considers it to be in the best interests of the young person or in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:When young person is twenty years old or older

    (5) When a young person is twenty years old or older at the time his or her temporary detention under subsection (1) begins, the young person shall, despite subsection (3), be temporarily detained in a provincial correctional facility for adults.

  • Marginal note:Transfer by provincial director

    (6) A young person who is detained in custody under subsection (1) may, during the period of detention, be transferred by the provincial director from one place of temporary detention to another.

  • Marginal note:Exception relating to temporary detention

    (7) Subsections (1) and (3) do not apply in respect of any temporary restraint of a young person under the supervision and control of a peace officer after arrest, but a young person who is so restrained shall be transferred to a place of temporary detention referred to in subsection (1) as soon as is practicable, and in no case later than the first reasonable opportunity after the appearance of the young person before a youth justice court judge or a justice under section 503 of theCriminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Authorization of provincial authority for detention

    (8) In any province for which the lieutenant governor in council has designated a person or a group of persons whose authorization is required, either in all circumstances or in circumstances specified by the lieutenant governor in council, before a young person who has been arrested may be detained in accordance with this section, no young person shall be so detained unless the authorization is obtained.

  • Marginal note:Determination by provincial authority of place of detention

    (9) In any province for which the lieutenant governor in council has designated a person or a group of persons who may determine the place where a young person who has been arrested may be detained in accordance with this section, no young person may be so detained in a place other than the one so determined.

Placement of young person in care of responsible person
  •  (1) A young person who has been arrested may be placed in the care of a responsible person instead of being detained in custody if a youth justice court or a justice is satisfied that

    • (a) the young person would, but for this subsection, be detained in custody under section 515 (judicial interim release) of the Criminal Code;

    • (b) the person is willing and able to take care of and exercise control over the young person; and

    • (c) the young person is willing to be placed in the care of that person.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry as to availability of a responsible person

    (2) If a young person would, in the absence of a responsible person, be detained in custody, the youth justice court or the justice shall inquire as to the availability of a responsible person and whether the young person is willing to be placed in that person’s care.

  • Marginal note:Condition of placement

    (3) A young person shall not be placed in the care of a person under subsection (1) unless

    • (a) that person undertakes in writing to take care of and to be responsible for the attendance of the young person in court when required and to comply with any other conditions that the youth justice court judge or the justice may specify; and

    • (b) the young person undertakes in writing to comply with the arrangement and to comply with any other conditions that the youth justice court judge or the justice may specify.

  • Marginal note:Removing young person from care

    (4) A young person, a person in whose care a young person has been placed or any other person may, by application in writing to a youth justice court judge or a justice, apply for an order under subsection (5) if

    • (a) the person in whose care the young person has been placed is no longer willing or able to take care of or exercise control over the young person; or

    • (b) it is, for any other reason, no longer appropriate that the young person remain in the care of the person with whom he or she has been placed.

  • Marginal note:Order

    (5) When a youth justice court judge or a justice is satisfied that a young person should not remain in the custody of the person in whose care he or she was placed under subsection (1), the judge or justice shall

    • (a) make an order relieving the person and the young person of the obligations undertaken under subsection (3); and

    • (b) issue a warrant for the arrest of the young person.

  • Marginal note:Effect of arrest

    (6) If a young person is arrested in accordance with a warrant issued under paragraph (5)(b), the young person shall be taken before a youth justice court judge or a justice without delay and dealt with under this section and sections 28 to 30.

contact us

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Stephen R. Biss

Barrister & Solicitor

303-470 Hensall Circle

Mississauga, ON

L5A 3V4

905-273-3322

biss@lawyers.ca

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We represent young persons at all GTA Youth Court Courthouses including Brampton, Milton, Orangeville, Guelph, and Toronto.

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