Youth Justice in Canada

A paper which discusses the way the Canadian public perceives crime rate in its country and the need for public policy makers to become better educated on the subject.

The paper shows that perhaps the greatest misconceptions that are held by the Canadian public relating to youth crime are in regard to the actual crime rates. Canadians tend to drastically overestimate both the occurrence and severity of youth crime, as well as crime in general. It describes how Canadians believe that crime rates have increased, that the proportion of violent crime is greater than the facts would suggest, and that the crime rate in Canada is equal to or worse than the crime rate of the United States. The paper investigates the need to improve the awareness of public policy makers to the actual crime rate, especially among the youth, and shows that with such improvements, public policy makers will hopefully be more confident in their considerations of public perception when creating effective legislation that protects and represents society.
“Public Policy, by definition, is policy that is made to protect, serve, and represent society as a whole. Ideally, public policy should adhere to the utilitarian goals of providing the most good to the greatest number of people, while making a concerted effort to protect minority interests. As with many political theories and entities, the ideal situation seldom becomes reality, as has been the case with crime related public policy in Canada. It often appears that public policy is created to satisfy the short-term demands of the public and to secure the greatest number of votes for the greatest number of elected representatives.”