Youth justice in B.C. “needs an enema,” said a retired youth custody supervisor, to ensure there is no disconnect between a crime and its consequences for young offenders.

“I feel personally that the system could be sped up,” said Gordon Cruse, author of Juvie: Inside Canada’s Youth Jails. “Like constipation, it poisons the system. It poisons the kid’s attitude.”

Cruse, who is taking part tonight in a Law Society of B.C.-public forum on youth justice, recounted how a young man pleaded guilty to a count of possession of marijuana. The case dragged on for more than 10 months.


For his research, Cruse interviewed Surrey-North MP Chuck Cadman who said consequences for young offenders have to come “swiftly and sternly,” Cruse said.

“The change has to come from the lawmakers — our MLAs and MPs,” he said. “You need a push to speed up the system and that’s what I advocate when I say the system needs an enema.”

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