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19 Young offenders.docx
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School
Carleton University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2400
Professor
Jenelle Power
Semester
Fall

Description
Young offenders Legislation in Canada - Juvenile DelinquentsAct in 1908 • Up until 1908 – no real legislation to say to treat youths different than adults • 1908 – youths under age 7 were put into a different court system - Young Offenders Act in 1984 • 1984 – youth became age 12 – 18 - Youth Criminal JusticeAct in 2003 • 2003 – prevention, taking responsibility/consequences, reintegration • Youth are still held accountable, but not in the same way as adults • This act is still currently in place YCJA(Youth Criminal JusticeAct) - Less serious and less violent offences should be diverted • Focus on diverting youth out of the criminal justice system - Extrajudicial measures are increased • Can still get an adult sentence, but happens in youth court - Greater focus on prevention/reintegration - Interests and needs of victims recognized Naming Youth - Name of youth cannot be reported to public but only under special circumstances • Defendants between 14 and 17 years and are convicted of serious, violent offences • Youth is considered dangerous • Youth has not been apprehended yet - Victim must give permission to have their name published Persons accused of crime, by age, Canada, 2010 - Peak around age 18 - Late teens / early 20s The rate of youth charged has declined since 2001 - Decrease in last decade of # of youths charged with crime - Huge drop in 2003 because of the legislation change (so it had an effect) Youth accused of crime in Canada, 2000 to 2010 - Lines cross in 2003, after 2003, youth are less likely to be charged • Get more rehabilitation instead of a criminal record The most common youth court case is theft The most common disposition for youth is probation - People can fall into more than one category - Probation is the most common with youth - Other= restitution, formal apologies, etc… Behavioral Issues in Youth - Internalizing problems- personal, ex: mental health issues • Emotional difficulties - Externalizing problems- not getting along with others/acting out • Behavioral difficulties - Childhood psychiatric diagnoses that may be more common in young offenders: • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) • Conduct Disorder (CD)  Persistent pattern of violating the rights of others- more violent  Adolescent pre-cursor to antisocial personality disorder - These increase the risk of offending Trajectories of Young Offenders - Child-onset, life-course persistent (before puberty) • Early onset related to more serious and persistent antisocial behavior • 3% to 5% of general population - Adolescent-onset, adolescent limited (usually outgrow this behavior as they grow up) • About 70% of general population • Common for youth to desist antisocial behavior Biological Theories - Frontal lobe functioning • Major decision-making; more impulsive • Responsible for planning and inhibiting behavior - Physiological • Slower heart rates for youth who engage in antisocial behavior - Genetic studies/biological link • Antisocial father, more likely to engage • True even if the child isn’t raised by the father (genetics) Cognitive Theories - Not good problem-solving skills, can’t understand social situations well, have a more negative outlook Social Theories - Social learning theory • Learning from watching others in the social environment and reinforcement contingencies - More likely to imitate behavior that receives positive reinforcement than behavior that receives negative reinforcement - Intergenerational aggression Risk Factors - Individual • Parent’sADHD & substance abuse • Child’s personality • Early maturation*  Hitting puberty earlier – may get more freedom at a younger age so have more opportunities to offend - Familial • Parenting/family environment • Insecure attachment - School & Social Risk Factors • IQ • Aggressive peers/behavior • Delinquent peers* • Delinquent intimate partners* - Child more likely to offend if they have these risk factors Attachment Theory (Bowlby) - Attachment = bond between two people - Developed with children & caregivers - On-line tests if you are curious http://www.web-research-design.net/cgi-bin/crq/crq.pl Low Avoidance Secure Anxious- Preoccupied Low Anxiety High Anxiety Dismissive- Fearful- Avoidant Avoidant High Avoidance - Anxious vs. avoidant around relationships - Secure – positive about themselves and others - Anxious preoccupied – overly dependent / emotional - Dismissive avoidant – really independent – avoid relationships - Fearful avoidant – mixed feelings of relationships - All insecure except for the “secure” category • Insecure related to youth offender risk factors Protective Factors - Resilience • Multiple risk factors but does not develop problems - Individual • Resilient temperaments - Familial • Positive & supportive parents - Social/External • Peer groups - Can have all these risk factors but still don’t offend - Good values internally, positive attributes, good social networks Gender Gap - Males commit more crime • Gap widest with serious/violent forms of crime • Smallest gap in adolescents Richardson Family & Jeremy Steinke - "I hate them. So I have this plan. It begins with me killing them, and ends with me living with you." - 12 year old girl with 23 year old boyfriend - Parents forbid the relationship - She convinced him to kill her parents - Killed them and her 8 year old brother - Medicine Hat (tiny city) • Biased, so trial moved to Calgary - He got 3 life sentences; she was under 18 so not eligible for adult sentence, she was found guilty and spent 3 years in a mental health unit (got a 10 year sentence of being followed by the criminal justice system) Reena Virk & the Shoreline Six - British Columbia, 1997 • 14-years-old - Swarmed by 7 girls and 1 boy (teenagers) • “Shoreline six” beat her - Warren Glowatski & Kelly Ellard murdered her - She didn’t fit in well sociall
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