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Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Kim Luton
Study Guide

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Chapter 1
In the past century, Canada has seen the introduction of 3 different regimes for administering juvenile
justice; The Juvenile Delinquents Act, the Young offenders Act, and the youth criminal justice act
- There was a shift in language
- Cosideig oug people as isguided hilde ho hae oitted at of juvenile delinquency
that are best dealt with through the juvenile courts to viewing them as criminal youth whose
antisocial behaviour is best dealt with through the youth criminal justice system
There seem to be 2 competing discourses:
1) That of the reform able young offender
Prevailed for much of the 19th/20th century
Proposed rehabilitation
2) Punishable young offender
Since the 1990s
Proposes punishment make them accountable
Hogeveen argues that recent years have witnessed a punitive turn (thesis)we are becoming harsher,
and allowing for less lenient treatment
The development of modern juvenile justice systems
- From little adults to misguided children
The meaning of childhood has changed over time
This has been influenced the most by Phillippe Aries who undertook a detailed study of the
treatment of children
Argued that the modern concept of childhood was discovered in the 17th century
o prior to this time, there was little distinction between people on the basis of age
o children wore the exact same clothes
o the education they had took the form of apprenticeships with other adults
o there was a high infant mortality rate that discouraged parents from becoming
invested in their kids
o BUT the kids were actually happier than current day
o Because, the conditions for kids were actually good, instead of being
repressed/protected/judged, they were sharing in all aspects of adult life
Epe elies o Aies ok to eplai that it ast util the shift i the iddle ages that
moral philosophers began to question the treatment of children
Age old tendencies were replaced with the concept of child welfare
“o… paetal duties eae saed and the school replaced apprenticeships
Childhood became a period of protection
o Out of this process grew the modern concept of childhood
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o Due to their sweetness and simplicity , they require protection from and
preparation for the adult world
- Historian Beatrice Gottlieb shows that it is misleading to talk about the discovery of childhood
having occurred at a specific time since adults have demonstrated a great deal of ambiguity in the
definition and treatment of youth
- Parents have always found raising children to be a difficult task
- Precursors to the creation of delinquency legislation
The term juvenile delinquency was first used in the 18th century
iolatios of the la  pesos elo the ouities age of adulthood
It is not true that before the advent of juvenile courts, youths were treated the same way as
Juries were often sympathetic and showed mercyto young people especially
Under English common law, persons below the age of 7 could not be convicted of
committing an offence
Youths ages 7-14 were subject to doli incapax—iapale of doig ha… the ouldt e
prosecuted unless argued by the crown
- Common features of early child- welfare model delinquency legislation
1) Laws commonly recognized that there were 3 age-graded levels for accountability
the legislation contained the concept of diminished criminal responsibility dependent
on age (not to be held responsible for their behaviour)
a) No criminal accountability for youths under the age legislatively determines
b) Limited criminal accountability for youths within a specific age bracket
c) Full criminal accountability for youth above a certain age
2) Second common feature was based on the principle of parens patriaewhich followed
the concept that the state had a duty to intervene in the lives of the children and to
assume the role of the parent for those who were delinquent
3) Another common feature was that juvenile delinquents should be viewed as misguided
children and be treated with friendly helpfulness
a) They did so by giving judges a great deal of discretionary power to deal with the kids
how they saw fit to do so
*Having these common features did not ensure that all legislation was evenin fact, they were not
- The invention of the Juvenile Court in the US
The US, and specifically Illinois was the first jurisdiction where a juvenile court system was
created based on the child welfare model
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In the 80s/90s the juvenile justice system had many critics claim that we should replace the
child welfare model with a more punitive one based on tougher/more adult treatment of
This is where they see a punitive turn in the treatment of juveniles
Much of the UH history on juvenile courts focuses on the creation of the first state-wide
juvenile court system in Illinois in 1899 and the factors that surrounded it, as well as its
evolution which is marked by the establishment of the Cook County Juvenile court in
The first criminologists to undertake a detailed study of the Chicago juvenile courts was
Anthony Platt
o He claimed that the Chicago and the Illinois system emerged as a result of the child
saving movement that emerged in the 19th century
o This movement was made my conservative reformers, middle class people who
sought to control the moral behaviour of lower class people and immigrants
o The CSM was influenced by positivism and social Darwinism
o The movement stressed the positives of traditional institutions
o They borrowed the concept of disease and pathology , and the immorality of the
lower classes
o According to Platt racism and class discrimination were the factors that lead to the
enactment of the juvenile courts
David Rothman gives a different account as to the development of juvenile court systems
o He examines the power of ideas and rhetoric of social reformers involved in the late
19th century child saving movement
o He links the formation of the court with a much broader range of social reform
o Reforms in child- welfare and juvenile justice was linked to changes in the adult
criminal justice system and the mental health system in the US
o The Pogessie ea i Aeia histo aked a ajo diide i the attitudes
and practices towards the deviant
o The emergence of new sensibilities was reflected in the dramatic rise in alternatives
to institutional confinement
o For rodman , the person who best encompasses the social- scientific approach that
underpinned the Progressive era was Stanley Hall
Made the first systematic studies of childhood in the US
Introduced the term adolescence the critical period in time where people
progress both biologically and emotionally
Hall identified several causes of delinquencymostly environmental but
included anything from bad homes to poverty and slums
Hall was a strong advocate for a juvenile system that kept adults and
children separate
o More recently published a detailed study of the origin and development of the
Chicago Juvenile Court
o Focuses more on the actual working of juvenile courts
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