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SOC310H5 (39)
Chapter 10

Chapter 10- What to do about youth crime.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Abigail Salole

Chapter 10: What to do about youth crime Introduction  Ubuntu – my humanity is tied up with your humanity  Crime and justice sensationalized issues but is the criminal justice system the only way to deal with crime?  Nils Christie- ownership of crime and responsibility for determining how to deal with it should be transferred from state to victims, offenders, and their communities o i.e. neighbourhood watch, crime stoppers  juvenile court initially developed to deal with young offenders differently than adults- individualized treatment in best interests of the child Debates in the Literature  perception that crisis in youth crime calls for ‘tougher’ juvenile justice system backed by improved legislation is held by some officials, politicians and members of general public o pressure for more punitive youth justice system came from vocal public that blamed YOA for juvenile offending o **the cause of the problem (law) became the solution- a new law…  Bifurcated approach to youth justice  Labeling theory- young person’s self-concept changes to be consistent with a label, making delinquent behaviour more likely  Literature shows that criminal justice processing doesn’t reduce likelihood of recidivism o Contact with system sometimes increases likelihood of subsequent offending Detention Centres: Responding to crime with incarceration  Underlying the retributive paradigm of justice is the idea that punishment should send a message or warning that those who cause hurt and harm will suffer  Relied on custodial sentencing as response to youth offenders prior to YCJA in 2003  Notion of the “punishable” young offender o Youth custodial facilities provide sterile environments serving group of youth offenders together (exposure to peers and role models who engage in similar activity), opportunities for further delinquency  Boot camps: facilities or programs that emphasize military-style discipline, physical conditioning, and teamwork in their attempt to both punish and rehabilitate offenders Boot Camps  Sentencing option for adult offenders and way of reducing prison population and correctional costs  Established separately for young offenders by 1980s  Development of boot camps can be attributed to loss of faith in rehabilitation and shift toward focus on preventing recidivism and protecting the public  More intrusive that probation but non-conventional prisons and shorter sentences make it less intrusive than typical secure custodial institution  Doob- boot camps typically adopted for political, financial, and ideological reasons rather than for demonstrated success or effectiveness  Military environment provides structure where young person can focus attention on positive activities  Community resistance to location, tensions between rehabilitation and military discipline  No evidence that boot camps decrease recidivism  Scared Straight- frighten youth into behavior in conventional ways in society o Aim to invoke fear in those who have not yet committed crime or only committed minor violations to show them that potential punishment outweighs any pleasure  Panacea phenomenon- policymakers latch on to quick, short-term and inexpensive cures to deal with social problems Re-thinking system-based responses  Narrow of crime as law-breaking widely understood and accepted  Circumstances for disenfranchised youth characterized by sexism, racism, poverty, and neglect  Isolation and exclusion of victims from the justice system; becomes an issue of law breaking against the “state”  Restorative justice: attempts to involve victims and engage offenders and hold them accountable for their actions and for repairing harm o Non-adversarial, non-retributive approach that emphasizes healing for victims, meaningful accountability of offenders and involvement of citizens to create safer communities Restorative Justice and Community  Restorative justice echoes traditional justice in aboriginal culture and is engaged in two contradictory aims: 1. Sending message than an act is unacceptable (punishment) 2. Supporting the offender (rehabilitation)  Guiding principles of restorative justice approaches: o Crime is a violation of a relationship among victims, offenders, and community o Responses to crime should encourage active involvement of victim, offender, and community o Consensus approach to justice is the most effective response to crime  Types of programs: Victim-offender mediation (i.e. John Howard Society), Family group conferencing, sentencing circles, victim-offe
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