Statistics Canada released “Adult and youth criminal court statistics in Canada 2016/17” today. Some highlights:
- It continues to take longer to complete youth court cases. The media length of time to complete a youth court charge increased 7% to 106 days over the past year.
- Charges completed in 2016/2017 took 14 days longer in youth to complete than they did a decade earlier. (This may be due to the fact that only serious, more complex cases are being litigated in youth court as simpler cases are being diverted.)
- Ontario had the longest charge process time – about 134 days.
- There were over 29,000 cases in youth court, involving over 110,000 charges.
- The average number of charges in youth court cases grew from 3.3 in 2007/2008 to 3.9 in 2016/2017.
- A custodial sentence was imposed in 13% of guilty youth court cases. But curiously, the median length of a custodial sentence was 30 days in adult court but 50 days in youth court. (One theory for why this has occurred is that youth are rarely subjected to the “short, sharp” sentences adults may receive for minor offences. Thus, when a youth does receive a custodial sentence, it tends to be at least a few months in duration, thus affecting the median.)