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Lecture 3

CC200 Lecture 3: Creating a juvenile justice system- Then and Now

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Wayne Morris

Chapter 2: Creating a juvenile justice system: Then and Now Youth Crime and Capitalism Youth justice is a reflection on society One perspective on early youth crime laws is that they were developed to address concerns about rising poverty and youth crime in urban areas. Result of new urbanization: poor children on the streets and new crime committed by youth This creates a fear among upper classes that the root problem of crime lies in the children of the poor and working (or dangerous) class. Youth Crime and Child savers th Another view of the origin of the youth crime laws is that 19 century North American social reformers were influential in the creation of a separate justice system for juveniles They believed that delinquency was the result of a bad social environment. Children could be saved and therefore reformed through various methods. Juvenile delinquents Acts (1908) Originates with the ideas of J.J. Kelso and W.L Scott Childsaving: leads to the creation of a separate system of justice Adopted a child welfare philosophy YOUNG OFFENDERS CHART SLIDE SHOW Welfarebased juvenile justice: focus is on rehabilitation of the youth offender Rehabilitation belief that a persons attitudes, values, and behaviour can be changed Parens patriae: a doctrine that gives the state the right to act as parent or guardian of the youth offender Parens Patriae is intended to serve the best interests of the child Forms the basis of the JDA JDA: Key Components Extensive powers were given to the courts Focus was on reforming the youth offender Sentences ranged from fines to sending the child to an industrial school or reformatory Probation was a central element to the JDA Once labeled as delinquent, children remained under control of the state in some cases up to 21 years of age Age of Delinquency: set by province JDA was costly due to the new bureaucracy it entailed Implementation by provinces was inconsistent Criticisms of the JDA Child advocates: saw the JDA as potentially abusive of the rights of children and their parents Conservative critics: saw the JDA as not tough enough on the youth crime the problem was Youth and the Act Police: saw problems with the administration of the JDA. The JDA was also too lenient, with police expected to act as parents of the youth offender
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