A new youth justice website that is intended to give children and youth in New Brunswick an understandable online resource about the law has been launched by the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB).
“Even if you have never been involved in or accused of a crime, it is important for you to know your rights,” said Deborah Doherty, executive director of PLEIS-NB.
The site includes several updated resources for youths aged 12 to 17 who are dealing with the youth criminal justice system. In Trouble with the Law: Youth Rights explains what might happen when a youth is arrested by the police or charged with an offence. It outlines such things as the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer. It also suggests options for youths who feel they were treated poorly while detained by the police. For example, youths who have concerns about their legal rights can contact the Child and Youth Advocate Office which is one of the agencies that contributed to the creation of the booklet.
“Our office will be releasing its report and recommendations on better implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act in New Brunswick in the coming weeks,” said Child and Youth Advocate Norm Bossé. “We applaud the work of PLEIS-NB and others, such as the Crime Reduction Round-Table, in educating youth in conflict with the law about their rights.”
Consequences of a Youth Record explains how a youth record can stay with a person and cause problems for many years, even after the individual becomes an adult. It answers some common questions about youth records, what information they hold, who has access to them and things people should know about making sure their youth record is closed.
The Youth Justice website covers several areas of the law. There is a section on abuse and exploitation that has helpful resources on dating violence, bullying and internet child exploitation. There are also resources for youth victims of crime. The section called legal rights offers information on youth rights in the home, at school, on the job, going to the doctor, and so on. Articles and resources will be added over the coming months. The website also has games, videos, quizzes, and even a section for teachers and parents.
“Teaching young people about their rights helps them become autonomous, productive members of society,” said Bossé. “It's a shared responsibility between parents, families, schools and all of us. We are very pleased with this enhanced focus in the work of PLEIS-NB and the prospect for an on-going partnership in child rights education.”
PLEIS-NB is a non-profit, charitable organization that educates the public about the law. It is funded by the federal Department of Justice, the New Brunswick Law Foundation and the Office of the Attorney General.
Project funding for updating youth justice resources was provided by Justice Canada.
PLEIS-NB will be distributing the new booklets to libraries and agencies which serve youths throughout the province. To request copies contact PLEIS-NB at 506-453-5369; email email@example.com; or fax 506-462-5193.