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Chapter 2

CRIM 210 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Endangerment, Indictable Offence, Nationstates


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRIM 210
Professor
David Mac Alister
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2 - Creating a Juvenile Justice System: Then and Now
Introduction
juvenile JS created as response to problems generated by emerging capitalism that undermined traditional family
supports
two problems resulted (1) growing # of poor children on streets 92) higher levels of street crime committed by
youth
street crime generated fear, made middle class regard poor working class as the 'dangerous class'
was creation of Victorian reformers or child savers - 19thC middle class reformers who were instrumental in
creation of separate JS for juveniles
they thought delinquency was product of bad environments and state should act like parent to save children
juvie JS created via passage of JDA
The Canadian Juvenile Justice System
two men credited w/ creating juvie JS - J.J. Kelso and W.L.Scott
Kelso was reporting whose concern about plight of poor children became driving force for establishment of
Toronto Humane Society etc - began campaigns aimed at youth and delinquents, out of institutions into foster
homes
was backed up by child's court movements - Children's Charter and CC allowed separate non public trials
and custody for those under 16/21
SCott is a lawyer, and drafted JDA which created JS for children and youth separate from adult system
JDA: Philosophy and Definitions
Section 31 of JDA states every juvie delinquent shall be treated not as a criminal, but a misdirected and
misguided child, and one needing aid, encouragement, help and assistance
created a welfare based juvenile JS - model of juvie justice based on rehabilitative philosophy
main philosophy of JDA was parens patriae - doctrine based on English Common law that give state power to
take on guardian/parenting role for children
to protect young people in need; "best interest" principle
began as "kings prerogative", became legitimized in common/statutory law
youth who broke law is not necessarily criminal, but is named delinquent by court
defined delinquency as violation of any law (fed, prov, mun) by persons under 16 (may variate in provinces),
which fine or imprisonment was penalty// OR any act that would hold em liable
act revised in 1924, section 2(10 defines delinquent as any child who violates provinces of CC or statutes
Table 2.1 - Different models of Juvenile Justice 0 refer to study guide
JDA: The System
referred delinquents as 'misdirected/misguided" and they need "aid, encouragement, help and assistance"
gives court extensive powers, cases were to be handled summarily
if offence was indictable (serious offence w/ max sentence 2y+), then court can decide to try youth in adult
court
conducted privately, and notices of hearings had to be sent to parents
separated detention and jail facilities mandated
probation - central element of juvie court; involves supervision in community and set conditions that must be
adhered
p.o conduct investigations and supervise children; represent interest of child
some said that probation never lived up to its promise
once labelled as delinquent, youth remained wards of court till they were released or reached age of 21
each province allowed to set up max age which youth would be adjudicated as delinquent (17 in BC)
separate courts/judges/facilities was costly and sporadic
as Scott envisioned, women played major role in system as P.O and judges due to 'nature' and cheaper than
men
Opposition of JDA
said to be not punitive enough or out of concerns of potential abuse of children and parent's rights - too 'lenient'
opposition based on p.o's ability to properly supervise delinquent children

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Lancaster a lawyer, opposed JDA b/c he's worried children's rights would not be protected by new law and new
JS, that they would not be represented by lawyers and fate rests entirely in hands of P.O, and denied right to trial
Victorian reformers shrugged this off believing what they were doing were protection children; to focus on needs
of children on 'helping' than punishing
focus was to rehabilitate and treat
believe that welfare based system would ensure best interest and welfare of child
challenged by parens patriae
Modifying the Juvenile Justice System
was challEnged; Declaration of Rights of the Child (1959) gave legitimacy to ideas that children should have
rights
challenges principle of parens patriae and welfare focus and practices of JDA
major source of criticism directed at JDA was status offences - behaviours considered illegal only b/c of age of
individual
more criticisms
inconsistencies in application of law; sentence lengths varied according to individual's characteristic and
circumstances rather than by nature of behaviour and max age for delinquency
social workers and amount of discretionary power - why? not part of jjs, and not held accountable to courts
for decisions
JDA failed to provide adequate public protection of criminal behaviour of youth
reforms created, YOA was end product
most oppositions came from provincial government due to change in cost; looked for federal funding
the first YOA met w/ considerable opposition from welfare professionals b/c it was too legalistic and punitive
the new YOA drafted contain aspects of accountability, responsibility and legal rights, and central guiding
principle of protection of society
Finally YOA came to effect in 1984; based on assumptions reflecting cultural evolutions and inspired by
extensive research of human behaviour (moral and psychological development of children)
Principles of Juvenile Justice Introduced by YOA
YOA referred to young persons as in a 'state of dependency" who have "special needs and require guidance
and assistance" as well as "supervision, discipline and control"
introduced principles that focused system on youth responsibility and protection of society, special needs,
alternative measure and legal rights and freedom
these principles served as foundations of YCJA also
Accountability
section 3(1)(a.1) young people who commit offences would have to be assumed responsibility for behaviour
but recognizes they have limited accountability - youth held accountable by JS but in limited manner
compared to adults
still major contention for opponents of YOA and transfer rules were altered by YCJA
it provisions for shorter max sentences for youth (was 3, but changed to 5)
for first degree murder, it was 10 and for second degree it was 7
Protection of Society
section 3(1)(b) it's primary objective of criminal law is protection of society
Special Needs
section 3(1)(c)(c.1) outlines rationale for youth justice system
immaturity and dependency of youth, is said that they have 'special needs;
requires needs of youth to be addressed in manner relevant to offending behaviour
"special needs" is a term that is interpreted as social and psychological needs of a child (ex. safe and secure
environment, willing parents who'll provide the physiological and psychological needs of child)
Alternative Measures
s.3(1)(d) expresses principles of diversion: protection of society is not compromised, measures other than formal
court processing should be considered - protection of society is balanced via use of alternative measures
only first offenders and youth guilty of minor offences processed via alternative measures
important principles under YCJA - extrajudicial measure and sanctions
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