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Lecture 10

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Natasha Myers

SOC219: Lecture 10 Aboriginal • Despite section 712, we have not seen a decrease in the representation of aboriginals in the CJS. • Long term- Need to address underlying systemic factors- need to look at issues around poverty b/c there is a relationship between poverty and crime. Need to think about social and educational infrastructure on reserve and off reserve. • Self- government- need to recognize that AB plp do come frm a diff culture, and need to let them take care of their own community. • Short term- improving the CJS for everybody. Need to stop and reflect, remove the politics. System should operate in a sensible rational manner, so it can improve the system for everybody and not only those that are disproportionately targeted. • Maybe we have to stop and think about the uncomfortable questions, and those with the most privileges should give up some of what they have. Just changing the law, is not going to have a dramatic impact. Need to narrow a focus that CJS is only good to hold plp accountable and not for anything else. Youth Justice • 1984- young offender act came into place. • What is that we’re hoping to achieve, is it different from the adult system • Statistics do Canadians believe young plp should be treated differently than adults. o Youth system applied to- ages 12-17 o Survey question tried to see how plp evaluate adults and youth public seem to say that we should evaluate the same for both adults and youth, so we don’t even need a separate system. o Higher likelihood for voting prison if they are adult. Suggest that in the context of young plp, we are more reluctant to send them to jail. About 78% say young should not be sentence to prison but about 50% say old should not be sentenced to prison. o WHY? o Because youth have a diff cognitive aspect. There are challenges to reason in a logical fashion. Because logical capacity is developed, as you get older, so may feed into one’s ability to understand the CJS. They are not able to appreciate their rights, lawyer. Teenagers also lack a SOC219: Lecture 10 psychosocial maturity so teens are known for being impulsive and risk taking. They are more susceptive to pressure from peers. It turns out teens do not think about the consequences of their act. o Teens mostly engage in some kind of criminal offending, but everyone ages out of experimenting with criminal activity. As plp move into late 20, plp age out this high crime period. So if we know that most kids break the law but are going to grow out of it, the concern is about have a long sentence and this may push them into more offending because your blocked from other opportunity. If you think about all the bad thinks you do as a teens, there is a potential that something you did as young would keep you from excelling in the future. SO we should be lenient with adolescence. o Affects their issues to work- there are number of employment you cannot attain, restriction to travel, reputation in community is destroyed. There has been strict prohibition in identifying young plp Long term stigmatization because of doing a single bad thing. That may push the young plp to go out and do more crime. Provisions to treat some young plp as adults: • Offence is just too serious, so need to treat offender as an adult with adult consequences. • Under JDA- mini trial to determine if the offender should be trialed as an adult. But only after conviction, the crown can apply for an adult sentence but remains in youth context so opens eligibility for longer sentences like an adult. ( adult sentence administered in a youth court) • When do we determine when a young person is an adult? Because you committed a serious offence does that make you an adult or are you still a young person who just did something wrong. History: JDA • Before the JDA. 1894 opened first youth court. Separate trial, no publicity of name, when held in custody, your not held in with adults but in a separate location. • 1908- developed separate legislation for youths. • Now JDA- before was age 7 , but now it is 12. Max age ranged from 16-18 according to diff provinces. • 1908 legislation created a offence of delinquency- any provincial law, any municipal law. i.e. law cannot ride a bike on the SOC219: Lecture 10 sidewalk so charged with delinquency. Under this, it was just a charge of delinquency • Status offences offence because of your own personal status. It is offence because you are a young person. So it is only against the law because they are young plp. o Incorrigibility- difficult child- so can be charged with delinquency. o Sexual morality- any female acting with a male, bisful behaviorcharged with delinquency o Smoking, spitting, drinking o Truancy- not going to school • Private trials- plp sitting around and talking about what was happen. Meeting with adults about the kids. • Under JDA- always had capacity to treat young person as an adult- but used rarely. Presumption is that young person should be dealt with the youth system. o Adjourne sine die- case ends and you don’t return o Placed in a suitable family care- foster home with another family o Put in training or industrial schools (fancy way of saying jail, may not look like adult jail but once in could not leave) • This court had the ability to do sentences indefinitely- so no end to your sentence, and had the ability to take you out of your home. UP until age 21, can call you back and take any action the court deems necessary • JDA- was not about being a criminal law, but about doing things for the child’s own good. o ie. homeless so charge you and put you in a home. • Something going on in the child’s life that needed attention. So system was just trying to do something good. Putting in industrial school is not punitive but doing so because you need good parents, your parents are not doing a good job. • No due process right to appeal- for youths. It didn’t matter what your offence was because everything came under the umbrella of delinquency. Consequences were the same for everyone. • PrinciplesMisdirected and misguided child that needed guidance and correction, youth were not seen as criminals. To move you out of the state of delinquency, you needed guidance, help and proper supervision. State was about to act as a caring parents. Child was not a criminal but a state of delinquency. Everything was about helping the child to act in the best interest of the child. (welfare of the child) • Youth offenders act- YOA – lasted only 20 years SOC219: Lecture 10 o Legislation that was moving in the direction of criminal law, gets ride of offence of delinquency can only brought into the youth system if you break a law that is in the criminal code. A young person can be brought only for the same reason an adult would be brought. o More criminal in the orientation of the system, emphasis that we may want to keep cases out of the formal system but keep a watch by alternative measures. This act had no formal principles to what it had to achieve or what was most imp. o There was a uniform age across country – 12 – 17 = young person o Creation of fixed disposition- not sentencing, disposing you . Max sent that could be imposed was 2-3 years depending on particular sentence. SO this meant state can not indefinitely hold you, the judge had to indicate how long they are going to keep you o Sig increase in max sentences from 3 years to 10 years by the time YOA died. • New provisions with the YOA- first time we legislated alternative measures- first time we recognized the due process right of young plp (right to a lawyer, judge can order govern to pay for your lawyer) o Happens in open public court so anyone can come in. right to a lawyer, cannot be compelled to testify against yourself. o Additional protections for young plp, to make sure they understand their rights, ability for a parent to be present when questioning police. o Criminal record automatically removed once you hit a particular age. o Criminal piece of legislation, coming in after charter of rights and freedom so recognizes that young plp have those rights as well. There is a concern about welfare of children. o YOA- added restrictions about the use of custody for young plp. o If deterrence does not mostly work, so maybe we should restrict youth of the lowest punishment available. o Restraint in the CJS, and the sentences we impose. o When we ask Canadian there is a distrust about the prisonment having a positive impact. They do not see the prison as a positive place. So YOA said we cannot use custody for child welfare reasons. SOC219: Lecture 10  i.e. child being homel
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