Teaching Youth Justice

Lesson 3.6: Sentencing in Depth: Adult Sentences

This lesson continues the exploration of what happens if a young person is found guilty of a crime. The YCJA requires Crown Prosecutors to consider whether an adult sentence would be appropriate for young persons 14 years of age and older who have been charged with a serious violent offence. Further, if they decide not to seek an adult sentence in these circumstances they must advise the Court. When not required, the Crown may still choose to seek an adult sentence in some circumstances. Students will explore the conditions and consequences of adult sentences.

1. Ask students to consider scenarios where a young person has committed a serious, violent crime, (such as murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault). Discuss what they would consider to be an appropriate punishment. Have students justify their decisions.

2. Distribute Adult Sentences to read as a group, then lead class in completion of corresponding questions.

3. Ask students to think back to the principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Why is it important that there are special considerations for sentencing a youth to an adult sentence? How does this fit with both the general principles of the Act and the sentencing principles of the Act?

Adult Sentences