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Lecture 16

PSYC 2400E - Lecture 16 - March 12, 2013.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2400
Professor
Julie Dempsey
Semester
Winter

Description
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 PSYC 2400 - Winter 2013 Lecture 16 Guest Lecture: Jennifer Pettalia Young Offenders Learning Objectives - Youth crime rates - History of juvenile justice - Youth sentencing - Juvenile offending trajectories - Theories of juvenile crime - Risk and protective factors - Interventions for young offenders - Internalizing and externalizing problems Youth Crime - How serious a concern is it o Pretty serious – most common crimes o Usually not as violent o Most crimes occur at age of 18 Time of Serious Crime While adult robberies and aggravated assaults present similar temporal patterns, the juvenile patterns differ Youth crime - 21% of 16 year olds who had been arrested were first arrested by age 12 - 54% of males and 73% of females who entered the juvenile justice system never returned on a new referral Take away Youth commit crime at a relatively high frequency however majority of young offences are not violent History of Juvenile Justice th Prior to 19 century - Children treated as adults - No provision for developmental stage when it came to charging, sentencing or incarceration - Housed with adults - As young as 7-8 years old - Children were learning from the other criminals 1908 – Juvenile Delinquents Act (JDA) - Applied to individuals between 7 and 16 years - Special circumstances inherent in juvenile offenders - Separate court designed from delinquents, which were more informal than adult courts (parents encouraged to take part) - Juveniles committing more serious crimes could be transferred to adult court Criticisms - Informality for courts denied youths certain rights (legal representation and appeal) - Judges could impose open sentences; broad definition of delinquency included acts that were not illegal for adults (e.g., truancy) 1984 - Young offenders act (YOA) - Juveniles as cognitively different from adults - Need for community right to protection against juveniles - Increase in minimum age at which as individual could be charged (from 7 to 12; and up to 18) - Youth court remained as did transfer possibility (but youth had to be 14) - YOA also allowed for diversion Criticisms: - Pleading guilty to avoid transfer to adult court - Getting off light for serious crimes - Overused of incarceration - A number of revisions were made, mostly around transfers to adult courts for serious crime and sentencing lengths Influence of Legislation - Youth criminal justice act objectives a. Prevent youth crime b. Provided meaningful consequences i. Probably don’t even understand what they did wrong c. Encourage responsibility d. Improve rehabilitation and reintegration 2003 – Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) - Police to consider extrajudicial measures (e.g., warning or referral for treatment) - Charged juveniles can no longer be transferred to adult court, although judges can impost adult sentences when juvenile is at least 14 - Expanded sentencing options are available for judges (e.g., reprimands, attendance orders, supervision order, rehabilitative custody) - YCJA also allows victims of crimes to participate in court proceedings and provides them with access to youth court records Influence of legislation - Before the youth criminal justice act a. About 80% of custodial sentences were for non-violent offences b. Almost 50% of young persons whose most serious offence was fail to comply were sentenced to custody c. Incarceration rate (age 12-17) was 10.5 per 1000 or 1050 per 100,000 – higher than current adult incarceration rate d. Considerable variability across the provinces e. Rate of imposing custody was lower in the US (approximately 800 vs. 1000) Youth sentencing  The YCJA seeks to keep young offenders out of the court system  Following the YCJA, in 2006-2007, approximately 17% of guilty offenders received custodial sentences (2002-2003 – 27% of offenders did)  Other sanctions used in 2006-2007: probation (59%), supervision order (3%), reprimands (2%), intensive support (1%) (7% of total cases used the new sentencing options under the YCJA) Extrajudicial measures - Take no further action - Warning a. Verbal b. Police caution c. Written warning from crown - Referral - Sanctions a. Youth-centred b. E.g., conference - Why? a. Effective, timely b. Meaningful c. Community involvement d. Frees up court time Bill C-10 Revisions to YCJA - Removal of “long-term protection” - Diminished moral blameworthiness - Re-define serious offence/violent offence - Limit pre-trial dentation and no adult prison - Record-keeping or extrajudicial measures - Denunciation and deterrence a factor - Mandatory consideration of adult sentences - Potential to lift publication ban Take away - Youth criminal justice system is evolving Trajectories of Juvenile Offenders - Two types of juvenile offenders (Moffitt, 1983): a. Child onset, life-course persistent b. Adolescent onset, adolescent limited Child onset, life-course persistent - Not as common (3% - 5% of general population) - Behavioural problems that start very early in childhood (sometimes daycare and preschool) - As babies difficult to sooth, problematic temperaments, aggressive - Other challenges, including ADHD, learning disabilities, academic difficulties - Show more persistent antisocial behaviour later in life Adolescent onset, adolescent limited - Approximately 70% of the general population - Beginning to show behavioural problems in teen years - Acts include truancy, theft, vandalism - Acts are few and limited - General desist from crime in early adulthood, although a few persist Theories of juvenile crime Biological theories: - A number of genetic and biological difference exist between offenders and non-offenders - Children who have an antisocial biological father are more likely to engage in antisocial behaviour even when raised apart from the father - Antisocial youths have slower heart rate (perhaps higher threshold for excitability and emotionality) - Antisocial youths may have less frontal lobe inhibition (impulsivity is increased) Cognitive - Cognitive deficits and distortions occurring in social interaction may explain antisocial behaviour - Limited problem solving in conduct disordered children produced fewer solution to problems and the solution are more likely to be aggressive Social - Bandura (1965) social learning theory suggest that children learn antisocial behaviour from observing others, especially when they see the behaviour being positively reinforced - Studies support this, in particular when modeling is co
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