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Sociology 2267A/B
Kim Luton

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 - Considering young people as “misguided children” who have committed act 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 19 /20 century • Proposed rehabilitation 2) Punishable young offender • Since the 1990s • Proposes punishment – make them accountable • Hogeveen 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 17 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 • Empey relies on Aries work to explain that it wasn’t until the shift in the middle ages that moral philosophers began to question the treatment of children • Age old tendencies were replaced with the concept of child welfare • So… parental duties became sacred and the school replaced apprenticeships • Childhood became a period of protection • EMPEY o Out of this process grew the modern concept of childhood 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 th • The term juvenile delinquency was first used in the 18 century • “violations of the law by persons below the communities age of adulthood” • It is not true that before the advent of juvenile courts, youths were treated the same way as adults • Juries were often sympathetic and showed mercy—to 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—incapable of doing harm… they couldn’t be 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 patriae—which 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 even—in 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 • 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 youths • 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 Chicago • 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 19 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 th 19 century child saving movement o He links the formation of the court with a much broader range of social reform movements 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 “Progressive era” in American history marked a major divide in 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 delinquency—mostly 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 • Tanenhaus 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 o He shows that rather than being born into their complete form, the Chicago Juvenile Court took several decades of trial and error to evolve into what it was o Child savers in the 20 century struggled with the same issues hat current policy makers should address • Bernard o Formulated an argument about the cyclical nature of the juvenile justice reform o It’s about the recurrent nature of cycles of juvenile systems o The Chicago Juvenile court represented an example of how adults tended to respond to the perceptions of juvenile crime on the rise 1) They are convinced that youth crime is on the rise 2) So , they create harsh punishments and no lenient ones , 3) As a result they have to choose to let people of smaller offences off Scott-free because they don’t want to give them the alternative- they harsh punishment o What happened in Chicago was a mirror of the New York house of refuge that occurred 75 years earlier o These were considered “middle of the road” approaches o It was to provide leniency for those who would otherwise be sentences like adults - Paths of Juvenile Justice reform in other western Countries • Take note of how the US juvenile court model influenced developments in other countries • Jean Trepanier reflected on the operation of juvenile courts in NA and Europe o he pointed out the diversity that characterizes the history and evolution of juvenile courts in Western societies o it’s important to examine the different paths of development that can take place o one of the commonalities he points out is the eventual separation of youths and adults in court proceedings o in Canada, as far back as 1857, two statues were passed, one for more expeditious trials for youths, and one for the creation of reformatory prisons for young people th • there was an international dynamic in 19 century juvenile justice reform that most likely involved the cross-fertilization of ideas in different countries • with the enactment of juvenile delinquents act (JDA) in 1908 individual provinces were able to set their own max age of jurisdiction between 15-17 - Paths to reform in Canada and the Origins of the JDA • A few claims have been made that the Chicago Juvenile system was not the first • Some have claimed that South Africa introduced the first juvenile courts ➢ JJ Kelso ▪ Toronto news reporter ▪ He witnessed firsthand the poor conditions that street children and neglected kids have ▪ He was among the new breed of child savers ▪ He promoted the ideas of foster homes ▪ He founded the Toronto Humane Society ▪ He also lobbied for the enactment of “An act for the protection and reformation of neglected children”—which allowed municipalities to conduct trials for juvenile offenders under the age of 16 ▪ He began working with WL.Scott to campaign for the enactment of federal delinquency legislation ▪ The Canadians turned to Philadelphia for their first effort to put a juvenile court into practice • Apparently Scott attended a meeting of the National conference of Charities and Corrections in Philadelphia where they learned about juvenile probation being used • Most recognize Scott as lobbying for the passage of legislation JDA ▪ BUT Kelso claimed that the Juvenile court movement didn’t come from Philadelphia , but instead originated in Ontario The JDA - Made the supervision of children under the act a central feature—Probation - Widened the net for who could be considered a juvenile delinquent - Originally , the act defined a juvenile delinquent as “ a child who violated any provisions of the criminal code, any provincial statute or municipal by-law - In 1924- the definition came to include any child who is guilty of sexual amorality or a similar vice - This led to the creation of status offences—offences a youth commits only because they are underage. i.e. Drinking, running away from home - In many provinces , children were committed to industrial or training schools for offences such as being “unmanageable” or ‘incorrigible” - The doctrine parens patriae gave judges the ability to give children indeterminate sentences, which meant that they would not be released until they were thought to no longer be a threat, or they reached the age of 21 - The act also allowed for considerable variation among provinces—they could decide the cut-off point - The child welfare orientation of the JDA was reflected in the informal nature of the courts, judges sought to give advice to misguided children - The JDA came into effect , but it didn’t spread evenly , took longer to reach the rural places The Young offenders Act (YOA) - Came into effect in 1984 to replace the JDA - Brought in the need for “due process” rights and safeguards for kids - Critics viewed it as representing an unfortunate shift towards crime control and child-blaming models Youth criminal justice act (YCJA) - Came about in 2003 - The enactment was clearly part of a broad international shift away from child welfare and towards punitive justice - It contained sections that allowed for the harsher, more adult like punishment of youths who committed violent acts, but restricted the use of confinement for non-violent youths - Bifurcated youth justice system  a two pronged justice system where first time offenders and non-violent offenders are diverted out of the system and violent offenders can get more severe punishment ❖ Hogeveen and Smandych - Located the origin of the YCJA in the political discourse surrounding the perceived crisis of youth crime in Canada - Parliamentary debates showed that people expressed that the YOA was too lenient - In recent years, other critics voiced their concern about the adulteration of youth justice policies the re-merging of youths with adults - Chapter 5 – key challenges in hearing the voice of youth in the youth justice system The legal regulation of childhood and adolescence - The law that regulates criminal conduct for youths is based on a binary system where the state focuses on the protection of children until such time that they cross the threshold into the age of majority/adulthood - Prior to this age, the children the youth receive the protection of the state in the form of restrictions of their freedom, with the hope that this restriction will promote the development of competent adults - The age of majority assumes that the individual in question has reached a period in their development wherein they can be seen as completely autonomous individuals who are responsible for their own actions - There have neem changes to the age of consent, In the case of youth justice the rationale for lowering the age is for treating youth as an adult for the purpose of promoting criminal responsibility - “adult crime equals adult time” - The best interest of the child doctrine is they key Principle for the UN declaration on the rights of the child (UNCRC) is in direct opposition to the trend of adulteration of youth crime - Imposing adult penalties on kids actually runs counter to the reduction of youth crime The codification of a separate system of youth justice in Canada - In 1985 the UN standard minimum rules for the administration of youth justice (Beijing rules) recognized the special needs of young people - Custody should be used as a last resort for children and all proceedings involving kids should be anonymous to avoid stigma and labelling - The UNCRC says that the best interests of the child should be the primary consideration - A child who violates the penal law should be treated in a manner that is consistent with the child’s age, and should promote the reintegration--- the introduction of the person back into the community - In Canada, it was not until the YCJA expressly stated that a criminal justice system for young people must be separate from adults that Canada was explicit in its law that there be two distinct systems - Diverting children from a life of crime: sustaining the original purpose of a separate system of youth justice • at first the “child savers” attempted to divert kids away from the harshness of the adult justice system • eventually , adults began to question if the discipline of the youth court was sufficient enough to provide the community with protection from the terrible acts of young people • YOA heralded a shift from the welfare model, yet there were still a number of provisions intended to provide alternatives to the courts • The YOA , which had contrary goals of rehabilitation and the protection of society led to an increase use of youth courts and an increase in custodial sanctions (custody) • This led to Canada having the highest rate of youth incarceration in the world • In 1997 a task force was established to complete a review of the YOA—the group determined that there were 6 broad priority areas to be addressed, with diversion being seen as quite important • Recently in Canada, the YCJA has come into effect—with its focus on alternatives to the formal system while reserving the courts for the small number of minor offences • In 2012, an amendment was made that serious violent crimes could lead to adult sentences for the youths that committed them • We make our biggest mistake when we provide intensive treatments to low-risk offender and send them on the trajectory of net-widening • The YCJA is based on research that shows that incarcerating people does more harm than good • Wilson and Hodge claim that police caution programs were most effective in reducing recidivism Challenges faced by youth with highly complex needs - There should be additional training and funding for assessment and early intervention in the education system for children with learning disabilities and psychological problems that may increase their likelihood of coming into conflict with the law - In 2002 Texas implemented a Special Need Diversionary Program for youth sentences to probation ho presented with a minor offence and a diagnosed mental disorder - The most common mental disorders for these people is: substance abuse, anxiety , disruptive disorder, and affective - More than half the youth with mental disorders were rearrested within the year - Programs applying the theory of therapeutic jurisprudence have been developed, this means that the law is brought together with a variety of therapeutic techniques - Skwoyra and Cocozza outlined a comprehensive model for the identification and treatment of youth with mental health needs in contact with the youth justice system 1) Kids should not have to enter the juvenile justice system solely in order to access mental health services 2) Whenever possible, youth with mental health needs should be diverted from the justice system 3) If diversion is not possible, youths should be placed in the least restrictive setting possible 4) Information collected as part of a pre-adjudicatory mental health screen should not be used in any way that might jeopardize the legal interests of the youth 5) All mental health services provided to youth should respond to issues of gender, ethnicity, race, age and faith 6) Mental health services should meet the developmental realities of youth 7) Whenever possible, families should be partners in the development of treatment decisions 8) All responses to the children should be collaborator , reflecting the input and involvement of multiple systems 9) Services and strategies to improve the evaluation and identification of youths with mental health needs should be routinely evaluated to determine their effectiveness in meeting desired goals What does NOT work? - Since the mid-late 1990s programs have been designed that focus on restricting the activities of convicted offenders, so that they will not be able to continue their criminal activity - Incapacitation can be achieved by supervision, incarceration, electronic monitoring - Other programs were created with a clear focus on deterrence , with punishments so insane that no one should want to continue this behaviour - However, research shows that programs that increase the severity of punishment are not effective in reducing recidivism - The failure of programs that focus on punishment without rehabilitation have been referred to as correctional quackery by Latessa, Cullen and Gendreau What works? Addressing risk factors - In order to understand youth offending we have to look at several factors: individual, family , school and community - Individual: impulsivity , anti-social attitudes , alcohol, drug abuse - Family : lack of discipline, harsh punishment, parental criminality - School: truancy , poor academic performance, aggression at school - Community: disorganized community , access to drugs/alcohol, lack of amenities like access to sports - Youths will have multiple risk factors and this sometimes makes it hard to untangle the effects of individual risk factors - Individual characteristics are often long term problems that are not easily changed—some though, are short term and amenable to treatment/intervention. I.e. Boredom, frustration, etc. - These intermediate factors are criminogenic needs—which produce or tend to produce criminality in kids - We should target these needs and deal with them appropriately How to make “what works” common practice - Effective programs appear to have the following characteristics: • Designed to target crime-related characteristics that are able to be changed • Spend time deciding if the change is desired • Implemented in a way that is appropriate for the persons age – and emphasize positive reinforcement • Delivered by well trained staff that are knowledgeable and skilled • The most intensive ones are delivered to those with the greatest risk of reoffending - The risk, need, responsivity model, suggests that programs should be delivered in a way that addressed the specific risk level of the offender, targets his or her specific criminogenic needs, and takes into account individual learning styles and capabilities - Full adherence to the principles of RNR lead to a reduction in youth recidivism by 30% Youth engagement, adult-youth partnership and the promise of resiliency - Therapeutic pessimism comes about with respect to dealing with high risk youth since treating them is often very difficult - The offenders most likely to benefit from treatment are those that are least likely to complete it - The social context is just as important as the individual outcome because social circumstances and relationships with others are both the object of the intervention and they medium through which change can be enacted - Resilience is fostered through the adult-youth relationships present in the place where the young person is being treated - It might best be defined as the young person’s ability to navigate towards resources while the institution provided the needed resources - Unger found that it was not the quantity of the services that the youth received, but rather the quality of relationship between a single provider and the young person that predicted positive outcomes for the youth - Positive relationships with adults are essential as a protective factor for youth in the criminal justice system - They have become part of the “relationship custody” frame work—staff should work not only form a strengths-based approach but also to engage in a rapport with the youths - This requires a balance between the dynamic and static security approaches - Office of the child and Youth advocate did an investigation into the Roy McMurty centre in 2009 and uncovered many deficiencies – 52% of the youths said that they felt they were disrespected - Youths who feel that they have no one to turn to are the ones that have difficulties post-release - To actively engage young people , adults need to work with them in supportive manners - Kids need to be engaged with “adult allies” who support them and work as their advocate every day - Youth-adult relationships protect youth rights of participation, facilitate positive youth development, and work to steer youth into improving their communities Developing youth policy with youth voice - Bessant argues that kids are left out of policy making, we just imagine what they want - The UNCRC outlines the right of children under 18 to fully participate in decisions that affect them, express their ideas and concerns , and to have access to full information about situations that affect them - Without choice, services and resources, there is a strong likelihood that these young people will breach the conditions of their release - Chapter 2- Measuring youth crime in Canada: an elusive challenge - The presentation of youth crime in the media and through political debate is not always based on an empirical reality but rather on “constructed versions that serve moral and political purposes” - There are two separate sources of measurement that describe the nature and extent of delinquency and youth crime • Official counts of social control (police, courts, etc.) • Unofficial sources - Self-report and victimization surveys allow researchers to examine the nature and extent of the dark figure of crime - Defining youth crime • Delinquency and juvenile delinquency were terms used in the 1908 JDA to describe any child that “violates any provision of the criminal code or any provincial or federal statute” • The term young offender by contrast, refers to only behaviours against the criminal code • Legal definition ▪ Although the JDA definition of juvenile delinquency was intended to support the concept of family and to build an informal system of social control, the YCJA places greater emphasis on a legalistic approach under which young offenders are held legally responsible for their actions • Limitations is assuming a purely legal definition ▪ The legal definition of youth crime focuses primarily on predatory and aggressive behaviour that is deemed punishable by law ▪ There are limitations to the use of the legal definition o Theoretical insight—the legal definition does not take into account victimless crimes o Demographic—changes in the age distribution can influence crime rates o Case filtration and dismissal –cases of youth crime are often eliminated because they are perceived as lacking gravity, or are unlikely to secure a conviction o Policy and administrative variation—how the YCJA is interpreted varies among provinces, as do the policies of individual police departments o Method of gathering statistics—the data used to track youth crime trends, cleared crime, and patterns of youth crime are derived from different administrative sources o Reporting rates – the extent to which youth crime is reported depends on the public’s willingness to report youth crime o Public perception – society’s perception of youth crime can profoundly affect the legal implementation of the youth justice legislation o Technologies- changes in technologies create new opportunities for complex crimes to emerge and go undetected - Measuring delinquency : a historical overview • The history of youth crime trend in Canada can be divided into three periods: pre-confederation, state intervention and the 20 century th • Delinquency trends: pre confederation to the 19 century ▪ During the early 17 century , children were allowed considerable freedom, which resulted in crime and hooliganism ▪ Children were involved in petty theft, brawling, vandalism and prostitution ▪ Youth crime during the 17 century was also most likely caused by the uncontrolled growth of New France. Many young families were enticed to come to the new world with promises of land, opportunity and prosperity ▪ Many of these families soon broke up ▪ The disintegration of families ultimately resulted in numerous young people being abandoned, neglected or abused ▪ It was this lack of supervision that led to crime ▪ The delinquency problem in pre-confederation Canada cannot be accurately quantified, however, some information is available ▪ Boys continue to be disproportionately represented in the youth justice system, most crimes were property related, and most crimes occurred in urban centres • State intervention: the first step in defining and officially counting delinquency ▪ The dramatic increase in youth crime throughout the 1870s can be attributed to the deterioration in economic condition in north America ▪ Kids were neither schooled nor employed ▪ Kids were less and less supervised, and they became criminally active ▪ It was believed that the problem could be solves by state intervention: Universal public education was the first step – so they made school mandatory for 4 months a year ▪ The JDA was intended to support young offenders within the context of the family Social untie • Youth crime trends: The 20 century th ▪ The early 20 century was the introduction of juvenile courts and a generally more efficient system of responding to youth crime ▪ Most of the crimes committed during the 20 century were petty , property related crimes ▪ DeMause refers to this period as the socialization mode, during which youth were given extra attention by their parents and society ▪ Fathers began to invest more time in raising their kids ▪ Youth crime slowly dropped from 1940 onwards, until 1955 when the youth crime rate as 300/100,00 , this was called the “helping mode” during which there was a faddish technique for raising kids ▪ Kids were brought up to be “unconditionally loved” ▪ After this place, rates began to rise again ▪ The increase was attributed to the improved social and economic conditions after WW2 • Further State intervention: solutions for a changing society ▪ By the early 1980s there was a sentiment that laws were needed to address the growing problem of youth crime—and so … the INTRODUCTION OF THE yoa - Characteristics of today’s young offenders – the official picture • The media is bound by a code of ethical reporting, it’s the sensational reporting of negative- related youth crime that triggers cautionary attitudes towards youth and creates a moral panic • Official data refers to the records of youth whose illegal activities have come to the attention of the various social control agents • Not all data received are presented a or published; however, if specific data have been collected, they can be purchased from Stats Can • Only youth with a public record are officially young offenders • Canadian entre of Justice Statistics—here, measures are available • In terms of youth crime the CCJS expresses crime data in 3 ways: 1) the number of youth charged 2) the rate of youth charged per 100,000 3) the percentage of change in total youth rate between the reporting rates and the previous years • Demographic facts of young offenders ▪ Gender o Young males tend to commit more reported crimes than females do o Almost 72% of youth court cases involved accused males o Since the introduction of the YCJA in 2003, the youth court data reveal that those cases completed tend to be older young people and that male involvement in crime increases with age, while female involvement peaks at around age 1 o Males are more likely to be involved in sexual assault, drug possession, attempted murder, and weapons offences o Females are involved with prostitution, common assault and fraud ▪ Age o Age is one of the most important determinates that researchers focus on to explain youth crime trends and patterns o The rate of accusation increases from age 12-17, and then declines for all types of offences o The age related patterns of offences have remained fairly consistent since early 1990s o Those who ae younger are more likely to engage in property-related crimes o Older youth on the other hand, are far more likely to commit administrative offences, like failure to appear in court and failure to comply with disposition o 12-13 year olds are more frequently charged with crimes against the person then are 16-17 year olds o Young people engage in more antisocial behaviour because they are less organized and more spontaneous than older peers o Since the 1990s young people appear to have been getting involved in delinquent activities at an earlier age than ever before • Measuring youth violent and non-violent crime ▪ In the late 1990s, Gabor suggested that while youth crime may not have increased dramatically, the level of seriousness has ▪ If we take into consideration the crime severity index , which was introduces in 2009, we get a different official picture ▪ The CSI measures the seriousness of crimes reported to the police ▪ The CSI scores for all crimes declined steadily between 2003 and 2013 ▪ Police and governments like to take credit when crime stats improve, but more often than not, such numbers point to long term trends ▪ Robbery declined, major assault dropped, but homicides rose ▪ Nonviolent crimes have been declining since the early 1990s, and in 2013 the police reported crime rate for property crime dropped 3% ▪ The drop in property crime can be explained by a notable decline in the rate of frauds and break-ins, as well as a drop in the rate of possession of stolen property ▪ While property/non-violent crimes have been going down, certain types of illicit drug offences have been going up • Youth court related facts ▪ Court dispositions o Data from the CCJS show that throughout the 1990s there was a shift towards finding more young offenders guilty and imposing harsher sentences for them o Since 2004, we have been moving in a less punitive direction o Canadians tend to believe we are too lenient o Incarceration rates have steadily dropped from 2003 to 2013—which is largely attributed to the increased use of diversion and other extrajudicial measures, as well as the fact that under the YCJA, youth custody sentences have been followed by a period of probation o One of the stated objectives of the YCJA was to ensure that justice would be administered more quickly o The increase in case processing time with the introduction of the YCJA may , in part, be due to the fact that the courts are hearing lengthier, more serious cases ▪ Transfers to adult court—adult sentencing o Under the JDA and during the first few years of the YOA, their respective juvenile justice models have been described as the tug of war between welfare and modified justice o As a result , transfers to the adult court were frequent the current legislation no longer provides for the transfer of youth to adult courts a the focus of the YCJA HAS SHIFTED TOWARDS REHABILITATION AND RE-ENTRY INTO SOCITY o EVEN THOUGHT THE ycja NO LONGER INCLUDES SPECIFIC PROVISIONS FOR ADULT TRASFERS TO , IN 2012, THE CONSERVATIVES INTRODUCED SEBASTIEN’S LAW OR Bill C-4, which now allowed young offenders to be detained in pre-trial detention, and for their names to be published, if they have committed serious, violent acts ▪ Recidivism o The success. Or failure of punishment can be measured by recidivism , or the rate at which convicted people reoffend o Official data tells us that in early 1990s 18.6% of offenders who appeared in court had five or more prior convictions o The older a youth gets, the more likely it becomes that they have priors - Measures of youth crime—the unofficial picture • Self-report surveys ▪ SR surveys were developed during the 1940s and 50 because police and court stats were to biased ▪ These are helpful to uncover the dark figure ▪ They are not without their limitations o Limitations on some peoples literacy and ability to comprehend questions o Short term v. long term memory o The extent to which people are likely to answer honestly ▪ Offending among young person’s is fa more prevalent that official data of media report ▪ Over 80% of youth surveyed admitted to at least one delinquent act while less than 3% of these acts had been detected by the police ▪ The nature of offending among middle class youth was less serious than among lower class youth ▪ The largest self-report study of young people in the world: The international self- reported delinquency survey, which started in 2013 marked the beginning of the third international sweep involving up to 50 countries ▪ Second generation immigrant youth remained at higher risk of reporting delinquent acts • Victimization and Victimization surveys ▪ Victimization survey data indicate that young people are more likely to be victims of crime tan are adults ▪ Several years ago , we realized that victimization of youths was on the rise ▪ Young people were at a greater risk to being victims of assault sexual assault, and robbery , than those who were over the age of 24 ▪ Nearly ¼ of all violent crimes victims were teenagers, most were males ▪ Children under 12 were most often the victims of common assault or sexual assault ▪ Aboriginal youth are 3 times more likely to be victimized ▪ Canadian Urban victimization survey o Young people were the most victimized age group o 15-24 had the highest rate of repeat victimization o The difference between male and females was actually not that large o The age groups 15-24 consistently had higher rates of victimization for personal theft, robbery , sexual assault ▪ In 1999 Paetsch and Bertrand conducted a victimization survey of young persons in Calgary, and focused on the relative influence of schools o Males were more likely to report being victimized, and was greater for people who attended school o The strongest prediction of victimization was type of peer group, weak family relationships, and socializing more with your age group than with adults o Difficulties in school correlate with a higher chance of being victimized o More likely to be victimized if you have psychological challenges ▪ Women’s victimization is more likely to be at the hands of friends/acquaintances ▪ Women are more likely to be victims of sexual assault and young men are more likely to be victims of physical assault ▪ Prior victimization may be a key risk factor in criminal activity ▪ A notable number of victimized youth turn to a life of drugs, gangs, prostitution, or self-destruction—suicide ▪ Supporters of the victims-offender causality typically subscribe to the influence of the nurture assumption—what goes wrong in life is attributed to upbringing ▪ In an effort to uncover the dark figure of crime, researchers often rely on triangulation—using different sources of data to provide a richer account of facts Chapter 6 – Youth deviance and the media: mapping knowledge and the limits to certainty - Stanley Cohen coined the term moral panic to describe the exaggerated fears about youth deviance that were generated by the media , and used the term folk devils—any groups that is perceived to pose a threat to the traditional values of society - The official version : stats on youth crime • The creation of an official statistic ▪ The CCJS has collected information of crime every year since 1962 in the UCR ▪ Lumps crime into categories based on reports from over 1000 separate police detachments ▪ This crime total represents only crimes that they police know about ▪ In order for the UCR to provide meaningful statistics, police would have to count crime in the same way, consistently , across jurisdictions ▪ Change in the UCR can be read as a commentary on the effectiveness of the police, courts, and correction ▪ Overall, crime rates have continued to decline ▪ in addition to incidence and crime rate, police agencies report the total number of “crimes cleared” which means the arrest and charging, or diversion ▪ the highest clearance4 rate is usually for homicide, while the lowest is for motor vehicle theft ▪ violent crimes are more likely to be solves than property crimes, because the police are more likely to devote their resources to them • The youth crime statistic ▪ The youth crime rate peaked in 1991, decreased substantially over the next decade, and then remained relatively stable until a recent downward trend ▪ However, the rate of violent youth crime has been on the rise since the mid-1980s, due to an increase in common assault ▪ The increase is accounted for by an actual increase in crime and a change in reporting and charging practices ▪ Youth homicide rates can vary from year to year because of the small number of offences ▪ The decline in charges followed the intro of the YCJA • Limits of the official version of youth crime ▪ The quality of the raw material going into the crime machine is affected by 5 factors because 1) crime is report-sensitive, 2) policing sensitive, 3)definition sensitive— changing law can effect what is a crime, 4)media sensitive , 5) real trends in the number of crimes in society change over time ▪ Law enforcement practices o Increased law efficiency can increase crime rates o Discretion affects how they can enforce the laws ▪ Legal definitions o Changes to law effect crime rates ▪ Media practices o News of crimes committed in public by strangers, against innocent victims encourages the perception that crime is random, sensitizing the public to fear crime o It can also desensitize the public in the other direction o Disproportionate coverage of violent crimes - The unofficial version: Alternative methods of measuring youth crime • The assumption is that techniques can be used to catch the dark figure of crime missed in official data • Self-report and victimization surveys ▪ Ask participants to reveal information about deviance that may have been committed by or against them ▪ Using self-report surveys to collect information on young offenders in school is convenient and practical because many can be questioned at the same time ▪ It is in self-reports that disclosure about police treatment of minorities is made available ▪ Delinquent behaviour was more prevalent among youth who consumed alcohol, took drugs, had delinquent friends, and had little parental supervision. ▪ Early onset of delinquency is a significant risk factors in repeat offences, those who begin their court career at age 12 have an average of 8 incidents, those who begin at 21, have about 1 incident ▪ Youth report being victims of theft, or bullying, but only report those cases in 14 percent of cases ▪ Risk factors for delinquency include being in a single or step-parent family ▪ Youth commit violent crimes and property crimes almost equally (pa 154) - Youth crime in the media • Official statistics show a steady decrease in youth crime, but a gradual increase in violent crime • Unofficial data shows a higher rate of offending • For most people, media is the main source of knowing about youth crime • Social scientists have looked at the media as a source of misinformation – the coverage is very distorted • The misrepresentation of crime in the media can cause fear and anxiety by distorting the frequency and severity of youth crime, creating an impression that it is worse than it is • The construction of the research ▪ Jane Sprott gives a good example of how we can begin to use a context analysis— analyze the media content for themes of distortion ▪ The reality constructed by the news, doesn’t reflect other images of reality ▪ Juvenile homicides have declined but the number of cases receiving media coverage increased ▪ Cultivation hypothesis—the media inundates the public with ideas about crime ▪ Distorted media make the public more fearful ▪ Uncertainty produces a fear that anyone could be a victim, and anyone can be a perp • The social constructionist analysis ▪ Social constructionism – sees social problems as constructed in the media ▪ This discursive construction is what Lowman refers to as the “discourse of disposal”— how media descriptions of the attempts of politicians , police trying to get rid of prostitution lead to an increase ▪ Social constructionism has a few main themes—media presents a growing problem, they identify innocent victims and guilty predators, then they link or converge—when a current issue is framed in its relation to an older one , there are also claims-makers who describe the problem and call for its attention ▪ Youth violence was treated like this, as though it was on a crisis level, it was spreading and could strike anyone ▪ The crisis of youth violence was linked to unemployment, child abuse, cocaine, guns ▪ Ideological flexibility—when the portrayal of someone is ambiguous – a young offender is presented as both the victim and the villain • The implication of the patterns in Media coverage of youth crime ▪ We can use a frame analysis – analyze media content to see how crime and criminals are depicted ▪ Then we combine the frame analysis with a political discourse analysis- links discourse with political structure, we do so to see a link between portrayal and they larger political structure of society ▪ Hogeveen argues that the construction of the “punishable young offender” in political and media discourse is based on the perceived inadequacy of the current law , on the centrality of victims, and on emotionality - An example of the Media Analysis of Newspaper Articles on youth crimes • TO BE READ Chapter 3- understanding the YCJA - Historical context leading to the passage of the YCJA • Prior to the JDA, no separate treatment for young people occurred in the CJS • The JDA represented a paternalistic view to youth justice—they were misguided • Little emphasis was placed on due process • The JDA was replaced with the YOA in 1984—shifted focus to make young offenders more accountable for their crimes • They were now offered due process protection • The YOA brought the treatment of young offenders in life with adult • Despite the intended goals of youth accountability , the YOA was criticized that it did not hold them accountable, it wasn’t “tough enough” to make a difference - Policy objectives underlying the YCJA • This act as intended to reduce the high levels of incarceration under the YOA, and that the most serious interventions would be saved for the most serious crimes • The main components of the philosophy underlying the act includes: o Restraint --- both sentencing and whether or not to use the court process o Accountability – holding the youth accountable for their actions o Proportionality – their sentence must be proportionate to their crimes o Protection of the public – holding them accountable and being fair o Rehabilitation and addressing needs—the seriousness of the offence sets the degree of intervention o Structured discretion • The preamble of the YCJA says that members of society have a responsibility to address the developmental challenges and the needs of young people • Young people are entitled to a presumption or diminished moral blameworthiness because of their age • In the YCJA, a young person s between the ages of 12-17, and must be tried in youth court • Extrajudicial measures: dealing with less serious offences and less experiences offenders outside of court o Extrajudicial measures were called “alternative measures” under the YOA o The YCJA claims that extrajudicial measures are the most appropriate and effective way to deal with youth crime o They are presumed to be adequate to gold the young person accountable o Extrajudicial measures should be designed to provide a timely response to offending, encourage young people to recognize the harm they caused, encourage the family and the victims to participate, and must respect the rights of the young people o The YCJA compels a police officer to consider the following: ▪ Taking no action ▪ Issuing a formal warning “caution” ▪ Recommending a community based program o Keeping less serious and first time offenders out of the court system leaves more of the system’s resources available to deal with the more serious offences - Rights and obligations of young person and parents under the YCJA • Procedural protection for young people o The key source for procedural protection for young people comes from the Canadian Constitution—Charter o The most important provisions for youth under the charter include: ▪ Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security ▪ Right to be secure to unlawful search and seizure ▪ Right to be told why they are being arrested ▪ Right to be tried within a reasonable time ▪ Right to be presumed innocent o In conjunction with the rights outlined in the Charter, the YCJA sets out a series of rights to protect young people ▪ Extrajudicial measures will be adequate if the person is non-violent ▪ They have the right to be have their parents notified upon their arrest ▪ The right to be represented by a lawyer ▪ The right to have their charges read out loud and explained ▪ The right to not be detained in custody prior to being sentenced ▪ The right to not be denied bail ▪ The right to be held in custody separate from adults • Parents under the YCJA o Parents have the right to receive notice from the police when their child is detained o The right to be advised of the sanction their kid is dealt with o They have the responsibility to attend court with their child o They have the responsibility to comply with any condition set on them o There is no provision that makes the parent liable to victims for damage their child caused - Sentencing under the YCJA • Sentencing principles o The purpose of sentencing is to hold the youth accountable while promoting his or her rehabilitation and reintegration into society o The punishment must not be more serious than the punishment an adult would receive for the same thing o The sentence must be similar to other sentences imposed under similar circumstances o The sentence must be proportionate to the severity of the offence o All available sanctions other than custody must be considered – especially for Aboriginals o The youth court must now consider ▪ The degree of participation by the young person ▪ The harm done to victims ▪ An reparation made by the offender to the victim ▪ The time spent in detention by the young person ▪ Previous findings of guilt ▪ Other mitigating or aggravating circumstances ▪ The judge also has to consider the pre-sentence report o As a result of 2012 amendments to the YCJA, two principles that are only now contained are specific deterrence and denunciation • Variety of sentences o The YOA and the YCJA allow a youth court judge to grant conditional/absolute discharge, impose a fine, order them to pay restitution, or order them to do community service, or to place them on probation for up to 2 years o The YCJA provides additional sanctions , the judge can reprimand them, the youth can be ordered into intensive support and supervision program o The YCJA requires each province to establish two levels of custody – distinguished by degree of restraint o In deciding between open custody or secured custody ,the judge must consider: ▪ Should be placed in custody involving the least degree of containment and restraint ▪ The seriousness of the offence ▪ Needs and circumstances of young people ▪ Interest of society ▪ The safety of the other youths in custody ▪ The level of custody should allow for the best match possible for the programs the young person needs ▪ The likelihood of escape should they be placed in an open facility ▪ And recommendations of the provincial director o the total length of custody and supervision order should not exceed two years, unless the offence to which they are being sentenced is liable to a life sentence, then they may be kept for 3 years st nd o ten years maximum imprisonment for 1 degree murder and 7 years for 2 degree • Limitations on custody o Youth court hall not sentence an offender to custody unless that young person has committed a violent offence, has failed to comply with non-custodial sentences, has committed an indictable offence for which an adult would receive at least two years, o 2012 amendments to the YCJA has broadened the definition of “violent offence” to now include- any offence that lead to bodily harm , an attempt or threat, an offence wherein you endanger the life or safety of another person • Provisions regarding the sentencing of Aboriginal young people o Sentencing judges should undertake the process of sentencing Aboriginal offenders differently, in order to have a true fit and proper sentence o The courts are to pay particular attention to the systemic biases and background factors that may have brought the Aboriginal offender before the courts o The judges should seek alternatives to jailing Aboriginal offenders, given their overrepresentation in the prisons of Canada o Despite the goal of reducing the number of Aboriginal people in custody , the number has actually increased since the implementation of the YCJA • Circumstances under which a youth is to be sentenced like an adult o The YOA allowed for the transfer of youths to the adult court o The YCJA says that youth can only be charged in the youth courts but can sentenced as an adult in some rare circumstances o A major feature of the YJCA was the definition of so called presumptive offences—there was a presumption that the youth convicted of such an act would be sentenced as an adult o The youth had to be 14 years of age in order for this o Murder, attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault o This presumption was determined to be unconstitutional—Now the onus is on the crown to show why an adult sentence is appropriate • Provisions of community supervision and reintegration o Sentences should be the least restrictive measure consistent with the protection of the public o Youths retain their rights o Facilitate the involvement of families o The YCJA now provides that any custody sentence be followed by a supervision order, one half of the sentence of custody - Multidisciplinary approached to youth justice and crime prevention • There is a relationship between the supports available to young people and the presence of that young person in court • The CJS has become society’s default system , taking in all the youths that fall between the cracks of the other systems and resources • Under the YOA, they said that custody should not be used as a substitutes for child protection, health or social measures • The YCJA says the same • The YCJA also says that communities , families, parents, and others concerned should take reasonable steps to prevent youth crime by addressing the underlying causes, to respond to the needs of young people, and to provide guidance to them • Education is a key part of crime prevention – money spent on early year education decreases the likelihood that a young person will come into conflict with the law - Conferencing under the YCJA • Conferencing – a collaborative and non-conventional approach to decision making in youth court • Conferences involve the participation of a variety of people • One of the benefit is that it allows voices other than judges, police and lawyers to enter into the conversation • Youth justice committees can also act as a conference--- these committees are organizations that play a part in community-wide consultation and cooperation in youth justice matters - Mental health issues as a consideration in youth court • A judge may , at any stage in the proceedings require that a young person be assessed by a qualified person who is required to report the results in writing to the court • An assessment may be ordered if the judge believes that a medical , psychological, or psychiatric report regarding the young person is necessary • The court has reasonable grounds to believe that they person is suffering from a mental disorder • The young person’s history indicates a repeated pattern of guilty findings • They are alleged to have committed a serious , violent offence • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder ▪ Neurological damage and cognitive impairment resulting from prenatal exposure to alcohol ▪ A diagnosis of FAS requires evidence of a delay in growth, a distinctive pattern of facial features, and a central nervous system (or brain) dysfunction ▪ The damage is permanent and irreversible ▪ They have a significant risk of being victimized while in custody ▪ They have trouble comprehending and following institutional rules- they get labeled as deviant or defiant ▪ Risk the influence of negative peers - Public’s right to know v. young people’s right to privacy • Members of the public are free to attend the court proceedings , at all stages, with some exceptions • A key difference between youth and adult court with regards to public access is the publication of names • One of the exceptions to the non-publication of names is when the person is sentenced as an adult • The onus for dispensing the ban on name publication rests with the prosecution - Some effects of the YCJA on the at-risk and chargeable youth • Across Canada, the number of youth court cases began to decline in the 1990s, and a more substantial downward trend occurred with the enactment of the YCJA in 2002 • The number of violent crimes remained relatively unchanged until after the YCJA where is began to decline slightly • One of the reasons for the decline in the number of cases completed in youth court since the YCJA was that fewer youth were being charged with criminal offences • The chargeable young person were being dealt with by means other than the formal laying of charges • The police are diverting more people • Fewer youth are now being charged with criminal offences, ore are being given community based sentences • The number of youth being held in remand is also higher than the number that are being given custodial sentences • After the YCJA, more people are being held in remand Chapter 4- the youth justice system in action - Youth offenders are processed different through the youth criminal justice system at various stages - Police • Entrance into the CJS begins with initial contact with the police • From 2012-13 there was a 16% decline in the rate of young people accused of Criminal code offences • 40% reduction since the YCJA • Children under the age of 12 cannot be held responsible for their actions under the YCJA • Of youths who were accused, 55 percept were dealt with outside the formal criminal justice system • For first time offenders or youths who commit minor offences, police are expected to rely on pre-charge diversion—they can take no farther action, issue a caution, or make a referral to a community based program • When police respond to a more serious call, the options available to them become more formalized • Cases require a bail hearing within 24 hours of this arrest • Under the former YOA, where diversionary measures were first introduced, police were more like to use post charge diversion rather than pre • Police are more likely to charge male youth and those who have had greater social disadvantage • In the YCJA, more formal EJS may be considered during the formal trial process after the police have charged the young person with the offence • One concern with the regulation of diversionary methods is that it may cause net widening – a greater number of people actually end up getting processed • Racial and Social profiling ▪ The increases surveillance of certain racial groups or culturally distinct neighbourhoods by the police ▪ Black youth were more likely to be stopped and questioned by the police and also more likely to be caught engaging in delinquent behaviour than were Caucasian youth , Asian youth, and South Asian youth ▪ Importance racial differences in police practices cannot be explained by an actual increase in such activities ▪ Many police agencies maintain that racial profiling is a technique used to guide police- decision making - Court • The next step after police is the court • Young offenders reach the court stage of the judicial process if they are formally charged by the police with a Criminal code offence • At which point they may be charged and released or placed in youth detention • Youth are released on Judicial interim release (bail)—they are released back into the community and required to abide by the courts set of conditions • For the continued pre-trial remand (remand custody) the court must show that there is concern related to the young person’s attendance in court—custody would protect the public • A young person cannot be detained as a substitutes for child protection , health care, or other social measures • In some cases, the judge may include an order for a monetary deposit – Bail surety—to ensure that the youth will return to court • YCJA guidelines state that a young person charged with a serious offence or who has a history that shows a pattern of guilt meets the criteria to be detained in youth custody prior to his or her trial • A serious offence is any indictable offence for which an adult would receive a punishment of at least 5 years • The primary step in the court process is the arraignment – where you plead guilty or not guilty • If the youth pleads not guilty—the case will proceed to trial • When the crown is seeking an adult sentence, the youth has been sentenced as an adult, the youth has been charged with murder, the young person can elect to have a trial by judge without a preliminary inquiry ,, a trial by judge with a preliminary , or a trial by judge and jury with a preliminary inquiry • Before a youth case proceeds to trial, the crown will determine is an EJS would be more appropriate – if it is not , a trial will proceed • Youth probation officers are called upon to assist by giving a pre-sentence report—that includes details of the young person’s history, mental health , family lie, feelings of remorse • Under the YCJA the publication of the youth’s name is not allowed—amendments due to the SSCA allow for the judicial discretion to lift the ban when the offender gets a youth sentence for a violent offence • In 2011/12 the time needed to complete a youth court case in Canada dropped with the median time being needed = 108 days - Crown Counsel • Sometimes the determination of whether a young offender should be charged or diverted is left up to the crown - Defence Lawyers • The YOA introduced the youth’s ability to be represented by a lawyer, which continues under the YCJA • They help in the youth understanding the legal process, and especially their own rights - Parents • Kids have the right to have their parents there during police proceedings - Sentencing • YCJA offers additional non-sanctioned sentencing options; an absolute discharge or a conditional discharge • For an absolute discharge , no further action is taken • For a conditional discharge—the judge assigns a set of conditions to the youth, which s/he has to follow in the community • The Role of Youth Probation Officers ▪ Under the YCJA, probation is the most commonly ordered sanction for youths convicted on a Criminal Code offence ▪ Youth probation officers have experienced sizeable reductions in their caseloads ▪ The average youth probation sentence in 2011/12 was 1 year ▪ Under the supervision of the probation officer, the young person is expected to abide by a series of court-ordered conditions—keeping the peace and being of good behaviour, appearing in court, etc. ▪ Youth who fail to comply with a probation order a charged with a breach of probation and could eventually result in a custodial sanction ▪ Probation officers play a role in court decision making , they act as a communication bridge between the courts and corrections, the family and the youth ▪ Probation officers are responsible for supervising young offenders in the community during their time of bail or during their completion of a community-based sentence ▪ They must balance an enforcement and rehabilitation role • Custody Based sentences ▪ Custody can be criminogenic for offenders—exacerbates criminal behaviour ▪ Especially for low-risk offenders ▪ A custodial sentence can only be imposed on a young offender in a select set of circumstances—for serious violent offences when all other alternatives have been considered • Sentence Length ▪ The YJCA establishes the max sentence length that a young person can receive ▪ For a youth that has been charged with an offence, they can receive a max penalty of 2 years , if they have committed multiple offences, they can receive max 3 years ▪ 1 degree murder= 10 years , second degree= 7 years ▪ A young person may be given a life sentence, such as when a youth, 16/17 has committed murder but has been sentenced as an adult ▪ If a young person turns 20 while in custody , they get sent to an adult facility • Adult sentences ▪ The YCJA outlines that adult sentences are only to be considered for youths 14 years and up, when the courts believed that a youth sentence was not long enough to hold the youth accountable st nd ▪ Presumptive offences—1 degree and 2 degree murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault ▪ A young person may be liable to an adult sentence if the young person is found guilty of an offence that an adult would be liable to more than 2 years ▪ The onus is on the crown to prove that an adult sentence is appropriate - Youth Corrections: treatment regimes in open and closed custody facilities • Youths who are sentences to serve a custodial sanction in a youth custody centre may be placed in either open or closed custody • This is determined by the severity of the offence • Youth may also be placed in a secure isolation unit, for a brief period of time during their incarceration if they have been engaging in behaviour that has suggested that there is a risk of them becoming aggressive • Young offenders receive daily behavioural ratings from correctional staff that can be used to determine what time they are to be in their cell at night • All young offenders have access to a range or program options that can assist in the development of pro-social attitudes, education, life skills, recreational programs, substance abuse, anger management, etc. • Educational and substance abuse programs are the most commonly delivered programs in youth detention centres - Restorative Justice • There are practices utilized within the youth justice system that reflect restorative justice ideas • A youth sentence should promote a sense of responsibility in the young person, and an acknowledgment of the harm done to victims • Youth justice committees ▪ The YCJA defines the role of youth justice committees , that comprise volunteer citizens from the community who are delegated with the ask of assisting and administering the act and determining suitable programs for low-risk youth involved in the CJS ▪ They work collaboratively to promote the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of young offenders - Challenges in dealing with youth mental health issues In courts and corrections • Young offenders with mental health disorders ▪ 50-90% of young offenders in the CJS display symptoms of a mental health condition ▪ Youth with mental health disorders fail to engage in delinquent behaviour discretely and thus have a higher chance of being detected, they also don’t have the ability to understand the implications of their crimes ▪ Young offenders typically present with higher levels of anxiety , depression and low self- control than the general population ▪ The YCJA has established protocol for responding to youth who may have a diagnosable mental impediment and should be weighed as a mitigating factor • Issues relating to mental incapacity and fitness to stand trial ▪ Another challenge is determining the impact that their mental health had on their commission of the offence and their ability to fully partake in the court process ▪ The courts assess to see whether the mental illness prevented their appreciation of their actions, prevent them from comprehending the court process ▪ Fitness to stand trial o Unable to conduct a defence o Unable to understand the nature or object of the proceedings o Unable to understand the consequences of the proceedings o Unable to communicate with counsel ▪ NCRMD o The assessment to determine this is carried out if the issue of severe mental disorder at the time of the offence was presented by the Crown o The disorder rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission , or knowing that it was wrong o When a person has been found NCRMD—they can get an absolute discharge , conditional discharge, detention into a psych hospital o The YJCA created the intensive rehabilitate custody and supervision order, which is a specific youth sentencing option offered in cases where the person has committed a serious violent offence and suffered from a disorder • The potential for specialized youth mental health courts ▪ Special serviced aimed at diverting mentally disordered youth from further court involvement are effectively working in some jurisdictions ▪ The firth youth mental health court opened in Ottawa in 2008 ▪ To partake in the program , you have to admit guilt - The use of risk assessment tools in youth courts and corrections • Youth centres rely on both screening and risk assessment tools to guide the way youths are responded to at various stages in the system • Screening tools are used to identify youth who may be at risk or who have specific risk factors • Risk assessment tools assess the person as being low, med, or high risk to recidivist • The foundation for risk assessment lies in the risk-need-responsivity model • Risk principle--- states that risk assessment should begin by identifying the offenders risk level and services that can target them • Need principle—the assessment should be used to establish the risk factors that may help the young person’s rehabilitation • Responsivity principle—is the assessment of if the offender is likely to response to treatment based on their individual learning style • Youth assessment and screening instrument (YASI) assessed the youth’s risk , needs and protective factors • The tool collects info on the youth’s static risk factors and dynamic risk factors Youth in conflict – exam number 2 – text notes Chapter 8 – new theoretical perspectives on youth crime ➢ The general theory of crime: self-control - Gotfredson and Hirschi - Self-control is the ability to restrain oneself from temptations - Low self- control is made up of 6 characteristics that tend to come together in the same people, operate in tandem and persist over the lifespan • Impulsivity ▪ The inability to defer gratification and control impulses ▪ Focuses on the here and now ▪ Criminal activities can serve to satisfy various personal desires easily and immediately ▪ Quick acquisition of property without having to put in the effort • Lack of diligence ▪ People naturally wish to accomplish their g
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