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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Notes

16 Pages

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David Nussbaum

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Chapter 13: Assessment and Treatment of Young Female, and Aboriginal Offenders YOUTH OFFENDERS Historical Overview In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, youth who committed criminal acts were treated the same as adult offenders The Juvenile Delinquents Act (JDA) of 1908 was enacted in response to the justice systems past regard. o The JDA applied to children and youths between the ages of 7 and 16yrs (18 yrs in some jurisdictions) indicates minimum age for which a child could be charged with a criminal offence. o In the justice system, youths are referred to as delinquent while adult offenders are referred to as offenders this terminology reflects a difference between youths and adults. o A separate court system was also created. They were more informal that adult court proceedings and delinquents were seen merely as misguided children in need of guidance and support. o In serious cases, the JDA made it possible for delinquents to be transferred to adult court o Punishments for delinquents were to be consistent with how a parent would discipline a child this provided judges with increased sentencing discretion and options (e.g foster care, fines, etc) o Parents were encouraged to be part of the judicial process as well. Despite great optimism for the JDA, services to be provided to delinquents as outlined in the JDA were not always available, some youths were denied their rights (e.g right to counsel and the right to appeal) due to the systems informality, and the broad definition of delinquency included acts that were not illegal for adults. The JDA was replaced by the Young Offenders Act (YOA) in 1984 o Youths had to be at least 12 years old (and up to 18 years old) to be processed through the justice system. Children under 12yrs were dealt with through child and family services. www.notesolution.com o The YOA allowed for youth cases to be diverted (Diversion: a decision not prosecute the young offender but rather have him or her undergo an education or community service program) for this to occur, the young offender would have to plead guilty. o Two types of custody are available: open (placing the youth in a community residential facility, group, home, childcare facility, or wilderness camp) or secure (incarcerating the youth in a prison facility). Bill C-37 changed section 16 of the YOA. With this amendment, 16 and 17 yrs old charged with murder, manslaughter, or aggravated sexual assault, would go to adult court. Youth Crime Rates Though crimes committed by youths are decreasing, probation is the most frequent sentence imposed (approx. 63% of youths receive probation) Assessment of Young Offenders There are two levels of consent a clinician will obtain before commencing the assessment of a child or adolescent o Consent from the parents orand the consent from the child or adolescent Childrens and youths emotional and behavioural difficulties can be categorized as internalizing (emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and obsessions) and externalizing (behavioural problems such as delinquency, fighting, and bullying problems) o Externalizing problems are more difficult to treat and more likely to have long term persistence o Externalizing disorders have been known to be quite stable, though symptoms peak in he teenage years and decrease in the late 20s. o Internalizing problems can co-occur with externalizing problems. To assess externalizing problems. A number of informants (e.g. parents, peers, teachers) are needed to obtain information concerning their behaviour that the child or youth may not be aware of. o It is important that the behaviour s viewed within a development context that is, while rebelling against rules may be normative for adolescents, a www.notesolution.com
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