Fighting Fire with Fire: Why Harsher Punishments for Young Female Offenders is Not the Answer


  • Rachelle Marie Younie Douglas College


Female Offenders, Youth Crime, Youth Criminal Justice Act


Female juvenile crime is on the rise. In a response, some agencies are suggesting a remedy to revise the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act in favour of harsher sentences for youth. This paper delves into the inevitable negative repercussions of said amendment such as increased involvement in gangs and deteriorating mental health. Furthermore, alternative methods such as after school programs, mentorships, and therapeutic means of rehabilitation are shown to not only be more effective for reducing crime among young women but are cost effective as well. Prisons have been shown to worsen the situations of young women who have grown up in extremely disadvantageous circumstances. Thus, this paper argues that harsher sentences for female youth will not only be ineffective in solving the current problem of female youth crime but make it worse.

Author Biography

Rachelle Marie Younie, Douglas College

Rachelle is a fourth year Applied Criminology student at Douglas College pursuing a career in medicine.