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Sociology 2267A/B Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Exam Guide - Amplitude Modulation, Criminal Justice, Canada


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Professor
Tara L. Bruno
Study Guide
Final

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Sociology 2267A/B

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Chapter 1: Juvenile Delinquency
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
11:24 AM
Introduction
In the past Canada has introduced three different legislative regimes for administering juvenile
justice: The Juvenile Delinquents Acts of 1908, The Young Offenders Acts of 1984, and the Youth
Criminal Justice Act of 2002
Reformable Young Offender: youth require intervention and could be rehabilitated
Punishable Young Offender: "troubling" youth require "punishment first and foremost, leaving
reform and rehabilitative interventions as secondary measures"
Punitive Turn Thesis: the argument that in recent decades the criminal justice systems if many
Western countries have become more punishment orientated, with longer prison sentences and
higher rates if incarceration
Juvenile Delinquency: was used to describe the "violations of the law by persons below the
community's legal age of adulthood"
Changing Conception of Children
Children past the age of 6 or 7 were not viewed much differently than adults until a few hundred
years ago
o Children would dress as adults
o Education consisted of apprenticeships in trades working daily along side adults
o Also a very high infant mortality rate discouraged parents from wanting to invest
emotionally in their children
Peoples view of children began to change in the 1500's and 1600's
o Seen as immature and dependent on adults for guidance and protection
o The decline in the death rate of children is viewed as major factor
o The extension of education to broader segments of the population
Historically speaking, adolescence/teenagers did not exist
As people came to view children differently than adults, they were more inclined to view and treat
juvenile offenders differently than adult offenders
The new view of children was not the only factor that led to the invention of delinquency
Major Social Changes
Industrial revolution -> child labour laws -> displacement of youth
Responsibilities shifted from the Family -> School
Parental care for children became a sacred duty; the school gradually replaced the apprenticeship
system as the second most important child-raising institution; and children become a transitional
period
School system and peer groups allowed for the creation of a separate "collective conscience"
among youth
o Distinct identity, separate from adults and children
It is not that prior to the development of juvenile courts young offenders were not dealt with in
exactly the same way as adult offenders
o Kids committing the same crimes as adults were shown more mercy by the judge and juries
Also important were the major social changes that occurred in the United States and Canada
during the 1800's and early 1900's
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o People leaving the farms and moving into the cities and developing large cities
o Large slums began to appear
These slums suffered from a variety of problems
o Many people became especially concerned about the children living in these slums
o Children living on the streets, stealing things and committing other crimes to survive
Two interpretations of how this concern over poor children contributed to the invention of
juvenile delinquency
o Reformers were genuinely concerned about the plight of poor children growing up in the
city
According to this view, the invention of juvenile delinquency sprang from the desire of
middle-class reformers to help children, especially poor children in the city
o Many upper-class people were disturbed by the large concentration of poor people
especially immigrants in the city
According to this view, the invention of juvenile delinquency is due to the desire of
upper-class people to protect their privileged position in society
Child savers
Common Features of Early Child Welfare- Model Delinquency Legislation
The laws commonly recognized that there were three distinct age-graded levels of criminal
accountability
1. No criminal accountability for youth under a certain legislatively determined age (for
example, under 10 years old)
2. Limited criminal accountability for youth who were subject to the jurisdiction of the
legislation because they fell within a certain legislatively determined age range (for example,
10 - 15 years old)
3. Full criminal accountability for youth above a certain age (for example, 16 years old). In
other words, all late nineteenth - and early twentieth-century juvenile delinquency
legislation came to be formally premised on the concept of diminished criminal
responsibility for so-called juvenile delinquents
There were also a second general feature related to both legislation and the operation of early
juvenile courts was they were based on the principle of parens partriae - the idea that the state
had the duty to intervene in the lives of children and assume the role of a substitute parent for
those who were found to be either "delinquent" or "dependent"
A third feature of the delinquency legislation was the extent to which it reflected the common
belief that juvenile delinquents should be viewed as "misguided children" and treated with
"friendly helpfulness"
The Social Construction of Juvenile Delinquency
Is there really a proble? Are youth ore troubled today than in the past?
Myth of the golden age—the good ol’ days—1950s
Globe and Mail heading
o Another outbreak of street gang fighting has reawakened citizens to the extent of the
probles these youg people preset” (qtd. in Tanner (2010), p.2)
Change in image but not in response
NOT a new phenomenon20 year cycle
The Invention of the Juvenile Court in the United States
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