PSYC 2400 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Truancy, Conduct Disorder

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13 Apr 2017
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1. Unit 11 Lecture – Young Offenders
Current and Historical Treatment of Young Offenders in Canada
Early Young Offender Legislation
17th/18th centuries
oNo formal rules regarding treatment of adolescents
oCharges, sentencing and incarceration were as with adults
1908: The Juvenile Delinquents’ Act (JDA)
oApplied to children between the ages of 7-16 (18 in some
jurisdictions)
oSeparate, somewhat more informal, court system was
established
oSentencing options were expanded to include less formal
options
oParents were encouraged to be a part of the proceedings
Young Offenders Act (YOA)
Replaced the JDA in 1984
Represented a shift in how adolescent offenders were perceived
oWhile younger, were still viewed as an equal threat to society
oWere thus:
Afforded all rights stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms
To be held accountable for their actions
Youth falling under the act were between the ages of 12-18
oUnder 12, were handled through child and family services
Some differences between adults and youth were still recognized (i.e.:
cognitive development)
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These differences were addressed through differential levels of
accountability, and differential consequences for their actions
Diversion was possible – to have the adolescent undergo educational
or community service instead of formal prosecution
Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)
Replaced the YOA in 2003 and remains active today
Three main objectives are:
oTo prevent youth crime
oTo provide meaningful consequences and encourage
responsibility of behaviour
oTo improve rehabilitation and reintegration of youth in the
community
There is a push for extrajudicial measures
oMeasures taken to keep youth out of court/custody if possible
Youth must remain anonymous, except under special circumstances
Sentencing options have increased
Transfer to adult court has now been eliminated
oHowever, adult charges can still be requested and applied at
times
Victims are given the opportunity to participate in the process
Youth Crime Rates
Youth crime has been decreasing since 2001
Assessment of Young Offenders
Assessment Procedures
Often assessment of youth is mandated by the courts
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oFor the purpose of determining reoffending risk
In other cases, youth may be assessed voluntarily
oAssent gathered from parents
oOften to determine mental stability
Offense history is often limited
oContext may play a greater role in offending
oThus, unlike adults, history is often not a major risk
consideration
Risk Assessment
Generally mandated by the court
Assessment instrument generally entails a checklist or risk-relevant
characteristics
oAge at first arrest, antisocial attitudes
oGenerally assumed: more risk factors = higher reoffending risk
Example assessment instruments
oHCR-20
oORAMS
Mental Health Assessment
Often undertaken with assent/consent
Intends to evaluate the mental health of the adolescent
oInternalizing problems: emotional difficulties including anxiety,
depression and obsessions
oExternalizing problems: behavioural difficulties including
delinquency, fighting, bullying, and lying
Externalizing problems are often considered to impart greater risk for
reoffending
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