Government of New Brunswick

Overview

The Extrajudicial Sanctions Program is intended to hold eligible young persons accountable for their actions at the community level with the goal of improving the use of justice system resources by providing timely and effective alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system. The program strives to prevent and reduce future crime by ensuring earlier access to the right services at the right time for those who require them.

Eligibility

Section 10 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) allows for the use of Extrajudicial Sanctions for young persons when:
• the person is 12-17 years old (there is a separate program for adults over 18 years of
age who are in conflict with the law called Alternative Measures);
• sufficient evidence exists that an offence has been committed;
• the offence is on the Province’s Youth Schedule of Offences;
• the young person takes responsibility for the act that forms the basis of the offence; and
• the young person cannot be sufficiently held accountable by an Extrajudicial Measure
(taking no further action, verbal warning, police caution, referral to a community program
or agency), and sanctions would be appropriate, having regard to the needs of the young
person and the interests of society.

Description

Young persons can be referred to the Extrajudicial Sanctions program before being charged with an offence (pre-charge) and can also be referred to the program at several points in the court process after charges are laid (post-charge).
Program co-ordinators are responsible for ensuring that every young person referred to the program has an appropriate plan in place for accountability and intervention. Program co-ordinators will often utilize the skills of Section 18 Youth Justice Committees in determining the most effective interventions and accountability measures for the referred young person.
Intervention plans focus on connecting the young person to community-based services to address the risk factors most closely associated with the offending behaviour so that he or she does not commit another offence.
Accountability measures are intended to hold the young person responsible for the offence committed at the community level. Examples of accountability measures may include, but are not limited to:
•paying restitution to the victim;
•completing a period of community service;
•attending special information and education sessions; and
•providing personal service work for the victim.

The Extrajudicial Sanctions program permits the use of restorative processes where appropriate. These processes provide safe opportunities for communication between the young person and the victim and others affected by the offence. Restorative practices also allow the young person to repair the harm done to those harmed by the offending behaviour.
Successful completion of the pre-charge program within the required time frame will result in no charges being laid against the young person for the offence committed. When the requirements of the post-charge program are met by the young person, charges are withdrawn.