Caught in the Act: A User's Guide to the Youth Justice System and Young Offenders Act


150 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-201-55883-1
DDC 345.71'08






Reviewed by Charlotte Neff

Charlotte Neff is an associate professor of law and justice at
Laurentian University and co-author of The Annotated Competition Act


Caught in the Act is a procedural guide to the Young Offenders Act for
professionals who work with young people and for young offenders and
their parents. It is intended to help young people in trouble figure out
how to deal with the system. The author is a provincial probation
officer with many years of experience working with young people. The
material is presented in relatively simple language, without

The book explains how the current Act works, from the commission of a
crime; through the police investigation and laying of charges, selection
of a lawyer, court hearing, and sentencing; to the implications of a
verdict of guilt. It does not just present procedures, however; it also
explains their existence. For example, the author explains the purposes
of sentencing and includes the “Declaration of Principle” from s. 3
of the Act. In addition, it offers advice on how to get the best from
the system; for example, “the young person should demonstrate to the
court acceptance of responsibility for the actions ... and an altered
lifestyle.” It also addresses more practical issues, such as what one
will see when entering the courtroom, and includes samples of some of
the most common forms used in a trial, a glossary of 67 terms, and a
reasonably detailed index.


Tustin, Lee., “Caught in the Act: A User's Guide to the Youth Justice System and Young Offenders Act,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,