Report

The Challenges of Youth Justice in Rural and Isolated Areas in Canada

2003

The Challenges of Youth Justice in Rural and Isolated Areas in Canada

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This report was published by Department of Justice Canada.

HERE’S HOW THE CREATORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

This study was conducted to identify some of the central issues in the delivery of youth justice in rural and isolated areas. Due to the size, population distribution, and cultural diversity of Canada, rural and isolated areas comprise a significant segment of the landscape. Consistent with the literature, the most frequently mentioned barriers to the delivery of a fair and effective youth justice system lie in the geography itself. Both general and specialized services are solely lacking in most isolated and many rural communities, seriously affecting the capacity to deliver a fair and effective youth justice system.

Geographic limitations such as distance, weather, and the cost of travel create inequities in criminal justice processing. Aboriginal communities located in rural and /or isolated areas of Canada experience wide variations in services and resource needs often as a result of their geographic proximity. The delivery of a fair and effective system of justice for young people is compounded in these communities by high unemployment, poverty, substance abuse, deficits in parenting skills, and lower skill and education levels. The lack of community infrastructure means that it is often difficult to develop and maintain community-based programs. Accused persons, offenders, and victims are detrimentally affected by a lack of services and resources in rural and isolated communities.

This study found possible solutions to overcoming the barriers and challenges of administering the youth criminal justice in rural and isolated communities including integration of services and government ministry partnerships; increased financial support for more justice personnel and for enhanced services and resources; crime prevention and education; and greater use of telecommunication.

Nuffield, J. (2003). The challenges of youth justice in rural and isolated areas in Canada. Department of Justice: Canada. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/yj-jj/rr03_yj5-rr03_jj5/rr03_yj5.pdf

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