Lesson 7: Youth Criminal Justice Act - Sentencing and Records

Topic 4: Publication of Identity of Offender


Publishing Youth Identity

The main rule is that identity of the young offender should not be published. His or her identity should be protected. Publishing a young offender's name may harm them. It makes going back into the community more difficult. However, there are exception when youth idenitifies may be published.

  • Found guilty of a crime and receives an adult sentence
  • No one knows where s/he is and s/he is a danger to others and it's necessary to publish his or her name to help the police apprehend the offender
  • 18 or older, and are not serving a custodial sentence. In this case, youth may choose to publish or agree to publish their name
  • Found guilty of a presumptive crime and gets a youth sentence. In this case, the judge decides if the publication is a good idea. However, if the Crown lawyers do not give notice during the trial that they are seeking an adult sentence, the identity cannot published.

Did You Know?

  • If youth are dangerous and wanted by the police, their name can only be published for a specific time under a court order. Once the time period runs out, the police need to go back to court to get another order for publication.
  • The young offender’s real name is used throughout proceedings in youth court. This is not considered to be publication of the name. However, if the name appears on TV, in a newspaper, or on the Internet, then it is considered to be publication of that identity.
  • The young offender’s initials are used when referring to s/he in written court documents and case names. For example, a trial against Angie Sam, aged 17, would be Regina v. A.S.


  • The basic rule is that there will be no publication of the youth’s identity as that identity should be protected
  • Publication of the name of the youth would impede the rehabilitation efforts and it would detrimentally affect the youth
  • The youth’s name may be published if:
    • The youth has been found guilty of an offence and is given an adult sentence
    • The youth has been found guilty of a presumptive offence and is given a youth sentence and certain conditions are met
    • The youth is at large and is a danger to others
    • The youth is 18 or older, is not serving a custodial sentence, and either chooses to publish or gives consent to publish his or her name.