Impacts on Children & Youth


The effects of the criminal justice system on children and youth - children's rights, incarceration of parents

The Committee [on the Rights of the Child] recommends that the State party [Canada] bring the juvenile justice system fully in line with the Convention, including Bill C-10 (2012 Safe Streets and Communities Act) in particular articles 37, 39 and 40, and with other relevant standards, including the Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (the Havana Rules), the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System; and the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007).

~ Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic report of Canada, adopted by the Committee, 2012, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Children of incarcerated parents

Children and families of prisoners experience broad and complex impacts. In 2014-15, CFSC contributed to conference panels on this issue and endorsed the Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities. In 2015, CFSC commenced work on sentencing issues related to the incarceration of parents.

The Youth Justice Knowledge Hub

The Hub is a place to share research and best practices on youth justice issues. It aims to create greater understanding of the issues and help practitioners deliver even more effective services.

Why create the Hub? Much innovative, quality research and practice on issues related to youth justice is carried out around the world. However, most people working in the field are only able to access this research in a fragmented way.

A series of consultations and a workshop with Canadians working on youth justice issues sponsored by CFSC in 2013 confirmed the need for a more coordinated approach to knowledge gathering and sharing — in essence — a clearing house of research, tools and information.

CFSC launched a pilot clearing house, the Hub, in 2014, which can now be publicly accessed. The Hub is not updated but offers a collection of information in one place.

How it works – Resources are organized by keywords in files. A searchable master list of resources (in Excel spreadsheet format) is also available. Before getting started please read the Hub disclaimer (PDF).

Past issues of the Hub E-News can be found on our statements and resources page.

Youth in conflict with the law and physical punishment

In 2012 and 2013, CFSC made recommendations related to the effects of the justice system on children and youth in two submissions to a formal independent review of British Columbia’s justice system. CFSC also endorsed the Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth developed by a national coalition of organizations facilitated by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Based on our testimonies of faith and our understanding of penal abolition, we find physical punishment of children and youth to be incompatible with our belief that there is that of God in every person and with our rejection of violence as acceptable behaviour.