Along with the Criminal Code and the Youth Criminal Justice Act, guidelines and policies for the use of adult alternative measures and youth extrajudicial sanctions are outlined in the Alternative Measures and Extrajudicial Sanctions Policies and the Alternative Measures and Extrajudicial Sanctions Program Manual.
Typically, alternative measures and extrajudicial sanctions can only be used when:
- they are appropriate in regards to the needs of the accused, the victim and society;
- the accused freely consents to participate and has been advised of the right to be represented by legal counsel; and
- the accused accepts responsibility for the offence.
Some offences are ineligible for alternative measures or extrajudicial sanctions. Offences that are not eligible include:
- incidents involving the use of or threatened use of a weapon where the Crown proceeds by indictment;
- any offence involving the use of or threatened use of bladed weapons, firearms, or any restricted or prohibited weapons;
- offences involving violence against any person where the Crown proceeds by indictment;
- offences involving sexual violence against children or the sexual exploitation of children (including sexual assault, sexual interference, luring, child pornography and procurement);
- offences involving spousal/partner violence;
- offences involving a sexual assault where the Crown proceeds by indictment;
- Criminal Code driving offences in which drugs or alcohol are a contributing factor or in which the offender was driving while disqualified; and
- federal offences other than Criminal Code offences (the availability of alternative measures and extrajudicial sanctions regarding these offences is determined by the federal Department of Justice).
The decision about which offenders are eligible for these programs is made by the Crown Prosecutor, although police, defence lawyers, the victim or the accused may request a referral to an alternative measures/extrajudicial sanctions program.