Criminalization of Minority Youth in the Youth Justice System in Canada


  • Adam Lake York University


Despite the immeasurable amount of research completed on adult correctional facilities within North America, little is known about the overrepresentation of visible minority youth within the juvenile justice system. Through preliminary indications from this experimentation high delinquency due to cultural identity and socio-economic status has caused the federal offender population to become diverse. The face of the youth justice system within Canada is rapidly changing. Increasing forms of diversity serves as a principal pattern because the criminalization of minority youth occurs from cultural incompetence, unawareness, and insensitivity. This study recovers the institutional/systemic forms of treatment that minority youth face within the criminal justice system. It also further shows that there is no focus on the experiences of minority youth within juvenile correctional facilities due to a lack of information.  The examination of criminalized practices, policies and methods of police organizations, correctional institutions and the court of law within Canada reveals institutional racism. Racial antagonism within the youth justice system leads to the criminalization of minority youth, which serves as a foundation for why culture shapes the identity of racialized youth.


Key Words: Racialized Youth; Institutional/ Systemic Racism; Crime; Juvenile Justice System