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Key Challenges in Youth Justice.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2267A/B
Georgios Fthenos

Key Challenges in Youth Justice Introduction: - has been positive development in juvenile justice policy field (still challenges ahead) - what is most appropriate means of intervening in lives of troubled youth? Legal Regulation: - law that regulates criminal conduct for children/youth = based on binary system, where state focuses on protection of child until they reach “age of majority” (adulthood) - problem with binary system: no way to include evolving capacities of children as they mature in adolescences (immature children vs. competent adults) - youth justice: separate/distinct criminal justice system that explicitly meets unique needs of young people - best interest of children doctrine appears to be in direct opposition to increasing trend towards adulteration of youth crime through world - best interest: interest of youth = paramount in decisions – making regarding his/her experience in CJS - adulteration: dismantling of distinct system of CJ for youth and remerging with systems for adults (leads to increase level of processing to youth in CJS) Codification of Separate System of Youth Justice in Canada: - interaction treaties/conventions bearing on legal rights to children/youth that Canada has agreed to: - Beijing Rules (1985): includes recognition of special need, custody should be last resort, and that proceeding should be anonymous to protect child from lifelong stigma or labelling - UN conventions of Right of Children  focuses on same idea (reintegration of youth in society) - with YCJA, Canada now has explicitly domestic law which states that there should be separate justice system fro youth/adults - therefore meets international obligations Diverting Children: - shift in thinking: - “child saving” movement - “best interests” doctrine - “care” vs. “control” argument - rehabilitation  reintegration back into society - less focus on custodial sanctions - diversion  make an impression on them - today, YCJA = vulnerable to threats that can undermine success it has achieved to data; in particular potential negative effects of Bill C-10 (safe s
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