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Lecture #4

Course Code
Zachary Levinsky

of 5
September 28th 2011
Lecture #4
decline of rehabilitative ideal
explosion of rights discourse
YOA (1984)
Models of Juvenile Justice
Discourses of Young People
Decline of the Rehabilitative Ideal
Welfare: state rowed and steered
Neo-liberal: state steers, we row
state getting out of the business of solving crime
right: too lenient (slap on wrist, not correcting enough)
left: not really about rehabilitation
Martinson - 'Nothing Works' - 1974
experts questioning value of programs
-class warfare/class conflict
Cambridge-Somerville Study
Hypothesis: rebellious and horrific youth "may conceivably be steered away
from a delinquent career and toward useful citizenship if a devoted individual
outside his own family gives him consistent emotional support, friendship and
timely guidance" (McCord)
matched case design [n=253 matched pairs]
randomly assigned to the control or experimental condition
similar on almost every measurement scale
careful to avoid stigma of the intervention program
counsellor visited the home of the treatment boy - on average twice a month
treatment lasted on average 5 and a half years
social events - sports, woodworking, helped get jobs, join community groups,
program ended in 1945
followed the subjects longitudinally
initial findings:
-improved adjustment among treatment groups
-beyond what was predicted
-control group also did better than anticipated -almost at an equal number
1948 findings
-treatment group had slightly more offences (264 vs. 218)
-had been in court more (96 vs. 92)
1975-1981: McCord et. al.
tracked down 98% of the matched pairs
2/3 of those in treatment had said the program was helpful and made them
well-adjusted citizens
150 pairs treatment had no measured effect
103 with their differences:
-treatment was more likely convicted for 'serious street crimes' according to
-died an average of 5 years younger
-diagnosed as alcoholic, schizophrenic or manic depressive
38 boys who showed 'the most benefit' in 1945
-22 turned out the same, 4 better off, 12 worse off
those visited most frequently and in the program the longest, more likely to
fare worse than control group
adverse effects occurred only among those who cooperated
these programs could actually hinder and not help as much as proposed.
as rehabilitative ideal is losing 'steam', rights discourse gained 'power'
Kent - District of Columbia
1961 - 16 years old - while on probation, broke into a woman's apartment,
raped her and stole her wallet.
arrested 3 days later, and interrogated until 10pm and all the next day
lawyer argued against waiving jurisdiction to the adult court
the juvenile court conducted informal hearing on whether to transfer
required by law to make a "full investigation" in waiver decision
decision was 'black boxed' - judge said made investigation but never actually
did - never reported on how/why this was best interest of child.
convicted in adult court of 6 counts of B&E and Robbery
not convicted of rapes (found to be insane)
Kent was sentenced to 30-90 years in prison, when declared fit by hospital
would be returned to jail.
on appeal to the Supreme Court afforded some due process protections to
"There is evidence, in fact, that there may be grounds for concern that the
child receives the worst of both worlds: that he gets neither the protections
accorded to adults nor the solicitous care and regenerative treatment postulated
for children" (Cited in Bernard, 113).
Kent 'backdoored' into the adult system
Juvenile court not as welfarist in orientation in practise
waiver must measure up to due process and fair treatment
limited judgement to DC only, but left door open for these issues to be re-
1964: 15 year old, on probabtion for stealing a purse
"do you have big bombers?"
informal environment
no record kept
no witness testified
Gault committed to an Industrial School until he turned 21
Gault was being punished not helped
based on assessing actual performance not good intentions
rejected the parens patriae model
-didn't exist in jurisprudence
need for due process protections
-"under our consitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a
kangaroo court" - Bernard (1992), p.116
YOA - 1984
Important components
-uniform max age of 18
-more offence oriented
-only federal offences under the jurisdiction of the act
-dispositions definite in length
-maximum sentences provided
-appeal procedures the same for adults
-due process protections part of the law
Revising the YOA
-added failure to comply
-1/8 of the cases brought to court because of this
-1/4 cases in custody
-allowed publication of information about identity of 'dangerous' young
offenders in the community
-transfer to adult court test was changed so 'protection of the public' given
more clout
-5 years less a day = new maximum (anything over 5 years = trial by jury)
-parole eligibility was changed to 5 to 10 years in adult custody (sooner
compared to adults)
-sentences of 10 years for 1st degree; 7 years for 2nd degree
-presumptive transfer to adult court for 16 & 17 year olds charged with
serious 'personal injury' offences.
-rehabilitation best achieved in the community for minor offences
Cycles of Juvenile Justice
"This cycle arises from the fact that, at any given time, many people are
convinced that the problem of high juvenile crime rates is recent and did not
exist in the 'good old days'... Problems lies in policies for handing juvenile
offenders...result is cycle of reform harsh punishments blamed for high crime
rates and replaced by lenient treatments -> lenient treatments blamed for high
juvenile crime rates replaced by harsh punishments..." (Bernard, p.22).
YOA Issues
youth crime became an election platform
system too lenient
system creating young offenders
anti-young rhetoric ("the punishable young offender")
Federal-Provincial tensions
unclear principles
rise of custodial sentences (short-term)
provincial variation (QC vs. everyone else)
status offences re-coded - parts of other systems
rise of victim's rights
nothing about very young (under 12)