Youth Justice

Learn what happens when youth aged 12 to 17 get in trouble with the law.

New Brunswick’s Youth Justice System

New Brunswick’s youth justice system provides programs and services for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are in conflict with the law. The youth justice system is separate from the adult justice system

When a youth becomes in conflict with the law, police will use the Youth Criminal Justice Act to guide next appropriate steps based on the nature and severity of offence. This legislation recognizes that youth aged 12 to 17 at the time of their offence have different needs from adults and require different responses and protections because of their age.

New Brunswick youth justice system is built on four guiding principles of care:

Respecting individual rights

We ensure justice and protective services is an environment in which a young person's rights are learned, taught, practiced, respected, protected and promoted. 


Client-centered care moves away from professionals alone deciding what is best for a young person and places the young person at the centre as an expert of their own experience. 

Least restrictive

We ensure that we are always using the least restrictive interventions needed at any given time to meet a young person's needs and to help them reach their goals, while ensuring the safety of the public. 

Trauma-informed care

We recognize the role that trauma may have played in a young person's life, as well as how trauma impacts our young people and provides us with information (and are not merely "symptoms" to be treated).

Youth Justice Continuum of Care

The youth justice system in New Brunswick utilizes a continuum of care approach. This Continuum of Care can use different stages to help young people who have become involved in the justice system.

The first stage is diversion, where young people are given options to avoid going through the court system. This includes:

  • Extra Judicial Sanctions
  • Restorative Justice
  • Section 18

If a young person does go through the court system, they may be put on probation. This includes:

  • Pre-sentence Reports,
  • Section 19
  • Intensive Supervision Program

If appropriate a young person can be referred to Integrated Service Delivery. The Continuum of Care may include open and secure custody at Miramichi Youth Campus (MYC).

In open custody, young people reside in a structured environment that may include the opportunity to attend school or work, go on reintegration leave, and have access to a clinical team for mental health supports.

In secure custody, they have access to programs, a clinical team, recreation, and on-site education.

The continuum of care is designed to help young people recover and rehabilitate in the best way possible for their unique needs.

Miramichi youth campus

Learn more about a place where young people who have been in conflict with the law can go to get help.

Youth Diversion

The Youth Diversion Program (also known Extrajudicial Sanctions Program).

The Youth Criminal Justice Act​

The Government of Canada's federal act.

Information and resources