4. Understand the differences for bail and pre-trial detention

As a young person, you must be given bail unless the judge thinks:

One of these is true:
You are charged with a serious offence

You have a pattern of other charges


One of these is also true:
You won’t show up to your court dates

You might commit another crime or be dangerous to other people

The public might feel the courts aren’t working properly if you get

The judge can’t stop you from getting bail just because:

  • people think you might be safer in , for example because you are using drugs or not attending school
  • your parents don’t come to court
  • your parents refuse to take you home

Responsible person instead of custody

If a judge thinks you shouldn’t get bail, they must ask if there is a responsible person who can supervise you somewhere else. If there is no responsible person available, the judge will send you to a custody facility. But if there is a responsible person available, the judge can let you go with that person.

Unlike a who promises money to the court if you break your bail rules, a responsible person doesn’t promise money to the court. Instead, the person must sign a document with rules about supervising you. If they don’t follow the rules, they can be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

Number of bail hearings

An adult usually only gets one . But as a young person, if don’t get bail at your first bail , you have a right to a second bail hearing called a “de novo bail hearing”.

Detention facility

Young people who don’t get bail can be placed in either open custody or secure custody.

Open custody facilities are like group homes. You must follow the rules, but you can get permission to leave for certain activities.

Secure custody facilities are more like jails. There are stricter rules and there is security to stop you from leaving.

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