Edmonton Youth Justice uses a restorative justice circle approach to restorative justice. Volunteers, Youth, and their Family sit together to discuss the impact of the actions of the youth. Where possible, we do hope for victim participation as well.
What our Youth Should Expect/Prepare:
Youth should be ready to accept responsibility for their actions
Youth should attend with a person that they trust.
Youth should attend ready to discuss the events that lead to their charges
Youth should think about some ways that they can repair the harm they create
Victim participation is encouraged, youth should not be surprised if the circle is attended by the victim as well.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Anytime you do not understand or agree with what is happening, you should immediately talk to a lawyer. It is your right to refuse to make a statement or answer any questions until after you have spoken to a lawyer.
If you have been picked up for an offence, it is possible that you will be dealt with outside the court system, particularly if the offence is less serious. If this happens, it is still a good idea to talk to a lawyer because a record may be kept and this may have consequences for you later. This is especially important if you are being dealt with extrajudicial sanctions, which are explained later on the page. If you are charged with an offence, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Do I need to contact a lawyer?
The Act states that you have the right to a lawyer (also called legal counsel) at any stage of the proceedings against you. This is true even if you or your family can't pay for one. This means that you have the right to a lawyer:
if you are being questioned or interrogated
if you have been arrested but not charged
if your case might be dealt with outside the court system or
if you have been formally charged with an offence.
In all of these situations, the police must provide you with a phone to contact a lawyer.
What are my rights and obligations if the police stop me or pick me up?
It is a good idea to cooperate with the police by telling them your name, address and age. You do not have to say more than that. If you are driving a car, you must show the police your driver's license, registration and insurance papers. If the police believe you have committed a crime, they can search you and possibly your car without a search warrant. They cannot search the place where you live without a search warrant.
The police must tell you why they stopped you or picked you up and if you are being arrested. You can be arrested and taken to the police station for questioning. If you are not arrested, you do not have to go to the police station. Being arrested does not mean you will be charged with an offence. You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. You have the right to speak to a lawyer at any point, whether or not you can pay the legal fees. You have the right to speak with another adult, such as your parent or guardian or someone else you trust, before you make a statement, and to have them and your lawyer with you when you make a statement. You are not required to make a statement.
You can sign a form called a waiver that says you do not want an adult present when you make a statement. This will not keep your parents or guardians from finding out about the incident. The police must notify your parents or guardians if you become involved in the youth justice system. They will be expected to participate in whatever process you go through.
There is a separate waiver that you must sign if you decide to give up your right to a lawyer. It is not a good idea to give up this right before you have spoken to a lawyer and you should not sign anything until you speak with a lawyer or an adult you trust. These policies are in place as guarantees to protect your rights - it is a good idea to use them.