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[Sociology 2267A/B] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (63 pages long!)


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Professor
Tara L Fidler- Bruno
Study Guide
Midterm

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Western
Sociology 2267A/B
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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What is Delinquency and who are the delinquents?
We View Juvenile Delinquents Differently Than Adult Criminals
- If a juvenile breaks the law, we generally view that person as immature and in need of
our guidance and help
- If an adult breaks the law, we generally view that person as someone who is
responsible for his or her behavior and deserves to be punished
- In a recent poll, 21 percent of the public said that rehabilitation should be the most
important sentencing goal for adults
- 50 percent said that it should be the most important sentencing goal for juveniles
Special Laws for Juveniles: Status Offenses
- A status offense is a violation because of the juvenile status of the offender
- Running away from home, truancy, incorrigibility, violating curfew are all
examples of status offenses
- If committed by an adult, they would not be a violation
- The state felt it necessary to regulate the lives of juveniles more closely than adults
- Status offense laws were taken quite seriously until the late 1969s and early 1970s
- Often formally processed
- Sometimes subjected to severe punishments
- Especially likely to be enforced against females
- These laws came under heavy criticism in the 1960s and 1970s
- The laws were often vague
- Often subjected juveniles to severe penalties
- The poor, minority, and female juveniles were more likely to be punished for
such offenses
- In response to criticism, most places developed “diversion” programs designed to
divert status offenders from the juvenile court
- Status offenders who were processed by the juvenile court were no longer classified
as “delinquents” in most places
- They would be classified as Children in Need of Supervision (CHINS)
- There has been a dramatic decline in the number of status offenders confined
in institutions
A Special Court for Juveniles: Juvenile Court
- The goals of juvenile court are different from those of adult court
- Juvenile court was set up not to punish juveniles but rather to guide and help them
- Act in the best interests of juveniles
- Provide them with the help and guidance that the parents should have
- The juvenile court focuses more on the offender than on the offense
- Focus on the entire juvenile, not just the offense
- Learn of any problems the juvenile might have
- Juvenile court hearings are usually closed to the public and the media
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Protects the juvenile from adverse publicity and stigma
- Juvenile court records are usually unavailable to the public and the media
- These policies are beginning to change
- Differences in the sentences given out by juvenile and adult courts
Older, Serious Juveniles Offenders as an Expectation
- We are starting to view and treat older juveniles who commit serious crimes like adult
offenders
- In a 2003 national survey, 59 percent of respondents agreed that “juveniles between
the ages of 14 and 17 who commit violent crimes should be treated the same as adults
in the criminal justice system”
- As a consequence, there has been a major movement in recent years to punish more
severely older juveniles who commit serious crimes
- Part of this movement has focused on increasing the severity of the
punishments administered by the juvenile court
- But the major thrust has focused on making it easier to try older juveniles who
commit serious crimes in adult court
Common Types of Crimes Committed
- Crime 1 40% of young people suspected of a criminal offence were arrested for
property crimes
- Crime 2 other miscellaneous category mischief, disturbing the peach, prostitution
- Crime 3 violent crime (make up 25% of offences youth are accused of) yet it’s the
one we focus on the most in the media
Official Stats: Youth Crime in Canada
- Youth contribute significantly to the overall amount of crime rates in all societies (age-
crime curve)
- Older youth more violent
- Younger more involved with property crimes and then tapers off as they enter
their twenties
- In contrast to the youth crime rate in general, the rate of violent youth crime has been
increasing throughout the past 25 years (1987-2012)
- majority of crime is 15-24yrs
- Debate about the “reality” of the increases
- Why the fluctuations in the crime rate? • Is it an objective view of the reality?
- reporting practice change people are reporting it more
-
WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN DELIQUENCY?
Is Social Class Related to Delinquency?
- Early studies based on arrest data
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