SOC310H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Young Offenders Act

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11 Feb 2016
Slide: Until Someone Listens (1998) - Recovering from institutional abuse
Skyworks- Laura Sky
The Ontario Training School for Girls was opened in Cambridge (then
Galt), Ontario in 1933. Renamed the Grandview Training School in
1967 and was closed in 1976
Grandview was an institution for girls between the ages of 12 and 18
it has been closed down
training school for girls
history of physical and sexual abuse in the school
some girls were like 10
most of the girls hadn’t actually violated the law but were sent there bc found to
be unmanageable
if a judge decided that a parent was unable to control their child or provide for
their needs, the girls became wards of the province of ontario
legally, parents lost the right to parent their children, and the province
became the parent and primary caregiver
now a detention centre
survivors formed a support group
got together to bring allegations to the government
wanted to bring to light the harm that had been done to them at
in 1994 the Grandview survivor support group and the gov of ontario finalized
the Grandview agreement which they call The Healing Package
agreement assures a number of benefits to former Grandview residents
who experienced abuse
given access to therapy, education programs, tattoo and scar removal
and financial compensation
Some of the women didn’t survive after leaving Grandview
they had a really hard time coping with life after
one was sent there for truancy
the thing about Grandview was that so much was hidden
terrifying all the time
not knowing what was going to happen next
fear of being the next one to be abused or the next to disappear
story of an aboriginal woman
13 when parents sent her there
sentence was indeterminate and was released at the discretion of the
training school staff
her experience with racism and discrimination was prior to entering
Grandview, and her experience in Grandview compounded the
damage that was already there and made her feel further
experiences with racism and discrimination was from grade 5 on cause
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thats when she left the reserve to go to school in a nearby
community and noticed how different she was- felt ashamed of
being an indian
they treated her different.
“everyone was white. don’t remember too many blacks or
anything else. us natives and whites”
remarks were made often
coped by acting like it didn’t bother her
mom thought it was okay to send daughter there, thought it would be the
same as residential school. she was in there from 5-16
they try to block out everything to do with your heritage and culture
she got sent tor Grandview cause she missed a lot of school
but this was common in her family bc so many kids and older
ones had to babysit
but missed so much school that mom had to go to court and they
determined that she was out of control and had to be
made friends with the other indians at Grandview
bows are earned to get out of the system. start off with black, there for 3
months, go before a board where they review your progress, give you next
bow if everything goes well, then go again.
Slide; Study Questions:
What role does race/class/gender play in the narratives by the women
who are grandview survivors?
Consider the saliency of
1. critiques of the JDA
the idea that young women can be seen as needy and therefore almost
simultaneously vulnerable and punishable
not every juvenile delinquent institution had such a strong legacy of
institutional abuse
it seems to be that the more secure facilities, the more likely that there is—
most of the more severe stories of abuse in Grandview happened in —
2. reformable young offender and
3. the punishable young offender in this film
Slide: Recap
take away is that we’re looking at how young people are described, how its
connected to social, political contexts
JDA was very much a response welfare based (parens patriae)
if there is an intervention, young people could be reformed
Beginning of rehabilitative philosophy- purpose was individual
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Informality- indefinite sentencing
there was this concern with the person
always a focus on the offender, not the offence
Social factors shaped delinquency
which sort of gives rise to this field of expertise of social work and other
institutions that focused on how young person should be
Slide: Changing landscape
there’s a long building up to how we got to the YOA
(don’t need to know all of the little acts that happened along the way)
but should know there was a long process of reform
one of the biggest pushes was the idea of human rights
Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)
children had rights separate from their parents, separate from the state
Civil Rights movements (Charter of Rights)
breaches of discretion that we saw under the JDA could not exist while
having a Charter
Changing public and political landscape
Long process of reform
Slide: Young Offenders Act (1984)
the JDA uses this language of delinquent to reflect categories of
neglected children and those young people that are in
conduct that we don’t necessarily want them engaged in,
“misdirected and misguided” children
youth/young offenders
“state of dependency” “special needs”
behaviour that is being outlawed is becoming a bit more particular
no longer status offences or municipal offences, its criminal acts
while it recognizes that young people are in a state of dependency, that
they have special needs, also this introduction of language of
responsibility and accountability
Slide: Young Offenders Act (1984)
Accountability- young people also have accountability, just limited
accountability- initially max sentence was 3 years and then 5 years in
1991. In 1995- 10 years
so they aren’t misguided, compared to what JDA used to characterize
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