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Youth and the Law

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Pick A Path Through The Youth Justice System (Game)

This activity can be used to demonstrate the many different paths a young person could take through the Youth Justice System. The activity can be done individually, in small groups or as a class activity. You can find background information on the Youth Criminal Justice Act, youth rights and youth records on our website:

Cut out one set of cards for each group and have participants begin with the card titled “Introduction”.

The story begins with a common youth crime – shoplifting – and by following the directions on the bottom of the cards and making decisions at key points in the story the participants will create one of 19 variations on the story.

Once participants have selected a path they can paste the cards in a notebook or on a poster to form a story or they can write out a more detailed version of Jack’s Story using the storyline they have created.


  • Is it important to have different options available or should everyone who shoplifts get the same treatment?
  • Which path is the shortest and which is the longest?
  • How long will the police keep a record of Jack’s crime?
  • Which path will cost the most for Jack?   
  • Which path will cost Canadians the most?
  • How would your path be different if Jack had used a weapon to rob the store?
  • How would your path be different if Jack was 12 years old?



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Disclaimer: Please note that our website contains general information about the law. This is not a complete statement of the law on particular topics. We try to update our publications often, but laws change frequently so it is important for you to check to make sure the information is up to date.  The information in our publications is not a substitute for legal advice. To receive legal advice about your specific situation, you need to speak to a lawyer.