The benches in youth bail court look like pews in a church. People sit in clusters — young people with their relatives, lawyers, friends — all praying for a favourable outcome.
On a Monday in late February, there is room to spare on the benches at the bail court at 311 Jarvis St. Two girls in dangling earrings and hoodies whisper in the back row. Across the aisle, a boy, slim, his head down, sits next to his parents as his lawyer translates the proceedings into Mandarin. A few other knots of people are scattered among the rows. One bench is completely empty.
About 45 minutes into the hearings, the judge calls for a recess. There is no one left to come before the court.