Youth Justice-Sept 17, 2012.doc

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Woodsworth College Courses
William O' Grady

Youth Justice -Sept 17, 2012 The social & Historical Context of Youth Justice -what is youth crime -role of mass media -objectivist v. constructionist perspectives -the origins of JDA -Why are young ppl treated differently? -Can youth be charged 12-18 yrs w/ something that adults can and vice versa? • Most crimes in crim code apply to both 12-18 yrs old and adults • But children under 12 cant be charged w/ murder • 3 categories , young offenders 12-18 , adults, and children • law applies equally to young offenders and adults • but why are they generally treated leniently nd • Rehabilitation-more emphasis on young youth should be given 2 chance –diminished criminal responsibility-better chance for rehabilitation • But why are is the age group from 12-18 yrs old? What accounts for these parameters? • Answer: Parameters are arbitrary. Not based on any kind of research. Age groups changed many times. Ex. JDA in Quebec applies to 18 yrs , in Alberta 16 yrs old. • Culture and context play a role in a creating parameters. Ex. In 1900-if charged w/ theftyouth end in adult court • JDA, YOA, YCJA(since 2003) ROLE of MASS MEDIA • Helps frame society understanding of youth crime • Media looks at Youth crime n 2 ways 1) News & commentary 2)- Drama (movies) • Media has been aware crime sells, media, news has been blurring the line w/ entertainment • Mass media is a business venture, so the way youth crime is depicted not so much to enlighten or inform, but to grab attention , grab viewers • That’s why mass media framing ,youth crime should be examined critically • Examle of how mass media depicts youth crime today • Causes/nature of problem • 1) problem of gangs • 2) Home Problemspoverty, poor parenting single parent families (females) • 3) Females are becoming more violent • 4) Race/Ethnicity/Immigration vs. Non Immigrants • What bout fallacious in Commentaryex. Danzig Shooting, police conference • Police conference said Galloway boys v. Malvern crew, was the cause of Danzig shooting, police presented that info as fact, and press asked no questionsbecause police are seen as ppl of authority • **police are often used as Primary definers- Press can get quick sotry from a person of authority w/out much investigation • **mass media indentifies the above as problems and identifies the (below)as solutions to Danzig ex. • increasing policing • increasing the severity of sentencing MASS MEDIA-history • pre-internet days, horizontal communication editors down to readers • Post Internet- vertical communication editor   Reader • Different framing for shaping the community view of crime • What if mass media was re-vamped and youth crime was defined as; • youth crime, majority is non violent • youth crime has little evidence is on the rise • little evidence, that female youth crime is on the rise • Many youth in the youth justice system are trouble, most did not grow up in stable househlold • ** so if crime was presented like the above, then the solutions would not be same as before • solutions would most likelty be-early intervention, **prevention would be seen as key thing, • **But politicians biggest interest is getting re-elected society wants immediate fix, which usually does not apply to meaningful solutions to youth crime • most solutions offered by the media, and adopted by politiciansis politically motivated, and not necessairtly effective for youths • Research fits into 2 categories , Objectivist vs. Contructionist perspectives • Objectivist perspectives— • Generally defines crime as being whats in the criminal code • Defined as uncritiziedd, seen as being real, and objective fact (facts in Statistics) • Crime is for the most part measured in a satistically accurate way in this view • Police are the experts in this field • **question as a reasearcher in this perspective is to figure out the causes of crimethen you can treat the problem or solve problembut you need a diagnosis first***this perspective is how most ppl in this country view crime in this country • CONTSRUCTIONIST PERSPECTIVE • Often asks the questions”Says who, and how do we know this?” • What is common sense? And who creates it • Reality vs. Socially constructed- Berger & Lukmann • The study of social problems, how they are constructed?, how do they appear, and are they based on relative risks • Why are some things not social problems? Who defines this? • You cant just take things for granted, that they are social problems. What is evidence of this? • STATUS OFFENCES • Ex. Breaking bail—ppl actually going to jail for breaking bail (which is not a criminal offence but breaking an administrative offense) • MORAL PANIC • 1970’s Stanley Cohen • This idea came in UK 2 youth groups MODS v. Rockers • One holiday in Brighton, there was a big brawl. Media covered event, as a huge event between mods and rockers w/ lots of violence • Garnerd much media atten
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