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Canada (158,173)
Psychology (9,565)
PSYC39H3 (201)
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Chapter 5

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University of Toronto Scarborough

Psychology and the Law4222012Chapter 5Developmental IssuesJuvenile Offending Background Children under the age of 12 are not charged even when they commit violent acts such as murder Professionals such as social workers psychologists and even police officers may intervene but the goal is to provide appropriate intervention or treatment so that these acts do not continue Once a child is 12 they are assumed to be in sufficient control of their behavior such that acts committed against the Canadian Criminal code will be pursued by the justice system oChildren 1218 have outlined provisions for younger aged offenders in the Youth Criminal Justice Act which provides direction on how youth committing Criminal Code offences should be processedThe History of Juvenile Justice in CanadaIn 1908 Canada enacted the Juvenile Delinquents Act JDAto recognize the special circumstances inherent with juvenile offenders This legislation applied to individuals between the ages of 7 and 16 These juveniles were termed delinquents rather than offenders Criticisms The informality of youth court denying youth their rights such as the right to legal representation and the right to appealThat judges could impose openended sentences and the broad definition of delinquency that included acts that were not illegal for adults In 1984 the young Offenders Act YOA replaced the JDA Juvenile offenders were recognized as cognitively different as adults and consequently their level of accountability and the sanctions for their behavior should be more commensurate with their developmental stageWith the YOA came an increase in the minimum age at which an individual could be charged with a criminal offenceoFrom 712 years of ageChild and Family Services would interveneYouth court judgments with the possibility of a transfer to adult court continued however one had to be 14 years of age The YOA also allowed cases to be divertedoDiversion is a decision not to prosecute a young offender but rather have them undergo an educational or community service program A younger offender would have to plead guilt for diversion to be possible Other diversions available include 1absolute dischargeyoung offender received no sentence other than a guilty verdict2a fine compensation for lossor damaged property3restitution to the victim 4a prohibition orderno weapons5community service6probation
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