Criminal Record Checks for Applicants Under 18 Years of Age (U18)
Posted Thursday, July 27th, 2017 by Chuck Walker, Sterling Talent SolutionsAmong Sterling Talent Solutions’ many clients, there are those that routinely hire or place young people within their organizations. The question often arises: can these applicants be screened for a criminal record? The short answer is “Yes.” This blog post explains the difference between young persons who may have youth convictions and young persons (U18) who may have an adult conviction(s) and how that distinction determines what organizations are allowed to know. In Canada, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) is the legislation that governs how young persons are treated in the Canadian Criminal Justice System. A Young Person is defined by the Act as anyone who has attained the age of 12 years but is not yet 18 years of age. The intent of the YCJA is to afford Young Persons additional privacy rights, the best opportunity to be rehabilitated and to be diverted from future conflict with the criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on avoiding the stigma of criminalization and the resulting marginalization that can occur from affecting young people so early in their lives. In keeping with the spirit of the Act, circumstances, whereby youth conviction information can be disclosed, are restricted to specific purposes that depend on how a Youth Court has disposed of the charges. Most of the purposes for disclosure that are outlined in the law are intended to ensure monitoring of the young person by different components of the criminal justice system. In terms of background screening for employment, the disclosure of youth records is narrowly restricted to decisions about positions within the federal/provincial/municipal government.