Community based programs are offered to young offenders who receive bail orders, probation, community service orders, or other community sentences. Programs available are:
Community service not exceeding 240 hours may be imposed as a single sentence or in addition to other sentences. Young offenders may be required to complete a fixed number of hours of work for a charitable or non-profit public service agency. Placements are coordinated by a probation officer and can include such projects as work for:
- Senior citizens
- Clean up of recreational areas
- Helping community leagues
Offenders who receive a custody sentence from the youth justice court serve part of their sentence in the community on conditional or community supervision. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, all custodial sentences have both custodial and community conditional supervision. These components provide a mechanism for transitioning the young offender back into the community.
Custodial - provides an alternative to remanding selected young persons in custody to await further court appearances.
Deferred Custody and Supervision - is a period not to exceed six months, which may be imposed on a non serious violent offence. The young offender would then serve 2/3 of the remaining sentence in custody and the final 1/3 in the community under community supervision.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act provides for the use of extrajudicial sanctions in place of judicial proceedings. This program is intended to reduce the number of young people appearing before the court when their first conflict with the law involves a low risk offence. The emphasis may be placed on such alternatives as community service work, restitution and/or victim/offender reconciliation.
When young offenders are given a fine not exceeding $1,000, they have the option of participating in the fine option program completing work service in lieu of monetary payment. The compensation rate is set at minimum wage standard for youth. This monetary amount is used to compute the number of hours required to meet the court financial requirements.
Young offenders participating in the program are given the opportunity to work for a charitable or non-profit agency. A voucher system is used so that no cash transactions are involved. While participating in the program, young offenders are supervised by personnel at the agency sponsoring the work placement, who may call on the assistance of a probation officer if necessary.
Intensive support and supervision is viewed as an appropriate sentencing alternative for a select group of higher risk young offenders who continue to be viewed by the Youth Justice Court as appropriate for a community-based sentence. Young offenders under an intensive support and supervision order are supervised at an enhanced level.
Probation allows young offenders to reside in the community and continue to utilize community-based resources at their own school, place of employment or from helping agencies.
Probation supervision involves both the enforcement of court imposed conditions and intervention. If professional counselling is necessary, the probation officer will arrange for the counselling.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act provides legislative authority, where it is consistent with the protection of society, to grant young offenders reintegration leave from open (access to community schools, employment, recreational activities in the community allowed) or secure (access to the community is restricted or removed for a period of time) custody. Reintegration leaves are subject to those terms and conditions that are desirable for a particular offender and may include supervision by a probation officer where the need is indicated.
The leave may be granted for medical or humanitarian purposes and may take one of two forms:
- A reintegration leave from custody for a maximum of 30 days
- A day release from an open or secure custody facility in order that a young offender may attend school or training, continue employment or take part in a self-improvement program.