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MEDIA ADVISORY

March 25, 2003
For Immediate Release

GUIDE FOR SCHOOLS ON YOUNG OFFENDERS RELEASED

OTTAWA - Following the replacement of the Young Offenders Act with new legislation, The Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) launched new guidelines on sharing information about young people being dealt with under the new Youth Criminal Justice Act today.

The YCJA is supposed to provide a better balance between the protection of the community and the rights of the young person. However, information sharing with school officials is allowed, but not required. As a result, school board officials are often not informed when young offenders are required to attend school, and may not know if they pose a safety risk to other students and staff. CSBA continues to press the government to amend the YCJA to require that school board officials receive such vital information. The Need to Know guide is based on the new Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) that will be proclaimed April 1, 2003, and the new approach to the Youth Criminal Justice System.

Most young offenders are of school age. Decisions regarding their cases have a direct impact on school systems in Canada. The primary concern of school boards is to ensure the safety of students and staff in their schools. Boards have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that schools are safe.

The Need to Know: A Guide for Timely and Ongoing Information Sharing Between School Officials and Justice System Personnel, doesn't just address the need for school boards to know about students who may pose a safety risk. It also highlights effective board policies for handling information about young offenders in an appropriate and responsible manner.

The Canadian School Boards Association, the national voice of school boards, is composed of ten provincial school board associations representing over 350 school boards serving more than four million elementary and secondary school students.

For Information:
Christian Larose,
Communications & Government Relations Coordinator
(613) 235-3724 Extension 23

Canadian School Boards Association
L'Association canadienne des commissions/conseils scolaires
350 - 130 rue Slater Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2
Tel: 613-235-3724 Fax: 613-238-8434


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