Call for Papers

The Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Special Issue on Young Offenders: Balancing Control and Treatment

In recent years public discourse regarding youth crime has been dominated by calls for a revamping of the Young Offenders Act. In March 1999 the Federal government responded to these demands by introducing the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The new Act was designed to facilitate the sentencing of youth in adult courts, and to expand the responsibility of parents for the violent acts of their children. It also reinforces the emphasis of its predecessor on the use of alternative measures to minimize the contact of youth with the judicial system. Thus, the Youth Criminal Justice Act has generated renewed interest in innovative ways of dealing with young offenders. It is yet to be seen whether appropriate funding will be allocated to establish and operate programs that address the complex problems and needs of youth-in-trouble. Nevertheless, this is a timely opportunity to review our knowledge in this area.

With a focus on young offenders, the 2001 special issue of the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health will provide an opportunity to expand our understanding of the issues faced by young offenders and those working with them. Specifically, this issue intends to explore the interrelation between the legal, social and mental health systems that deal with youth-in-trouble, and interventions that provide a fair balance between control and treatment. While all submissions related to this theme will be considered we are particularly interested in papers that will advance our knowledge and understanding of:

• the impact of the Youth Criminal Justice Act on the balance between punishment and treatment

• the treatment of young offenders in Canada within the context of international conventions on the rights of children and youth

• the routes followed by youth before and after they enter the criminal justice system
• the interface between the children’s welfare, children’s mental health and youth criminal justice systems and the coordination of services for young offenders

• diversion, advocacy and prevention programs

• the treatment of young offenders with special needs (e.g., youth with mental health problems or developmental delays)

• the perceptions of youth about their problems, needs and the system

• culturally sensitive approaches for dealing with young offenders

Submissions for publication may include descriptions of exemplary programs, policy analyses, theoretical articles, research reports, literature reviews and reviews of relevant books. Please follow the instructions to contributors in the most recent issue of the journal. These instructions are also available on our website ( and from the guest editors of this special issue.

Manuscripts in English should be sent to either Prue Rains, Department of Sociology, McGill University, Montreal, PQ H3A 2T6 (e-mail rains@LEACOCK.Lan.McGill.CA) or Eli Teram, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5 (e-mail Manuscripts in French should be sent to Cécile Toutant, Institute Philppe Pinel de Montreal, 10905 boulevard Henri-Bourassa Est, Montreal, PQ H1C 1H1.