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Youth Justice Assessments

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When a Youth Court Judge is concerned about the mental health of or the risk posed by a young person they can order a Section 34 assessment under the Youth Criminal Justice Act to aid in the court process. The goal is to recommend a strategy to the Court to hold the young person accountable while addressing factors to prevent a re-occurrence of the law breaking.

The team consists of a psychologist, intake personnel, and clinicians who synthesize information from collateral sources, psychological testing, and family interviews. The court ordered assessment helps by giving more information on the youth’s psychological state and suggests a plan that may prevent continued conflicts with the law. During the period of assessment, youth will be asked to attend clinical interview sessions to discuss their lives and potential areas of need. These findings are then summarized in a brief report which is provided to the Judge, the Crown Attorney, and Defence Counsel where youth will have the opportunity to discuss the contents of the report. Whenever possible, the team supports plans and recommendations developed with the young person and their family.

Click here to download a full description of the program.