Textbook Notes (270,000)
CA (160,000)
Western (10,000)
SOC (2,000)
Chapter 1

Sociology 2267A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Juvenile Court, Defense Of Infancy, Young Offenders Act


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Professor
Lisa Lyons
Chapter
1

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 8 pages of the document.
Chapter 1
The Rise and Fall of Delinquency
Public issues- matters of public concern that are debated in a variety of forums and
usually involve demands for action
Distinct periods in Canadian history
oThe pre-Confederation period—children and youth were treated the same as
adults
Confederation- British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New
Brunswick were federally united into one Dominion of Canada- 1867
Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
oThe Victorian period—behavior and well-being of children and youth became a
subject of concern
oPost-Victorian period—youthful offenders were separated from adults in an
attempt to prevent them from developing a criminal lifestyle that could last a
lifetime
The Public Issue
Discourse- how things are talked about and understood, both orally and in written form,
e.g. formal talk (theory), professional talk (books, media) and conversations
End of 1990s, newspapers and magazine headlines and stories were fueling public
concerns about violent events involving girls
oSummer 1995- five teens in BC charged with 2nd degree murder for fatal beating
of a fisherman
o7-year-old boy responsible for murder of another 7-year-old
oReena Virk, BC in 1997- 16-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl convicted in adult
court of 2nd degree murder
oTwo 15-year-old girls charged with 1st degree murder for stabbing Helen
Montgomery to death in Saskatchewan
Politics of youth crime- amount of coverage devoted to youth crime, particular when
adult crimes surpass youth crimes both in quantity and severity
General consensus of YOA was that it was a “slap on the wrist”
1993- Liberals; 2006 and 2011- Conservative, Harper
Federal Platforms
on Young
Offenders
1993 2006 2011
Liberal Recommends YOA
be amended to
increase sentences
for violent crimes
No set policy, proposes
fines, not jail, for
marijuana, mandatory
minimum sentences for
gun crimes, toughening of
penalties for gang violence
No policy on crime,
critical of
Conservative
platform, focus on
“stronger, safer
communities”, e.g.
through fighting
poverty
[Progressive]
Conservative
Recommends
increasing severity
of punishment under
YOA
Advocates amending YOA,
proposes 14y/o be tried as
adults, mandatory prison
sentences
Crime control major
part of policy, promise
to implement reforms
that would strengthen
handling o violent and

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

repeat offenders
(Sebastian’s Law)
NDP Advocates review of
YOA
Advocates 16y/o tried as
adults for gun crimes,
recommends funding
programs
No specific policy,
new offenses for
home invasion,
carjacking, and anti-
gang strategy
Reform Advocates an
overhaul of YOA
National Expresses general
concern about
handguns and repeat
violent offenders
Bloc Québécois No set policy,
expresses concerns
about law-and-order
rhetoric
No policy No specific policy, but
proposed criminal
code specific to
Quebec and more
funding for crime
prevention
Green Party Advocates for restorative
justice, no jail time for 1st
offenders, legalize
marijuana
No policy/proposals
Juvenile justice system- a system of laws, policies, and practices designed under the
guiding philosophy that children and youth (due to age and maturity) should not be
subject to criminal law in the same manner as adults
Attempts to address flaws in YOA
oModifications reflected in new legislation in April 2003 (Bill C-3): YCJA
Party positions on youth justice did not change in the 2006 election, and we were still
being told that youth violence was out of control
oStories of “swarmings” 10 years ago
o“Joyriding” made to look like a major threat to pubic safety, causing property
damage, serious injuries, and death
Attacks continued until, in second term, Conservatives successfully revised YCJA;
amendments came into effect October, 2012
Two Opposing Sides
Strategy for Reform- Liberal federal government’s 1995 YOA reforms
oClearly divided into two camps on youth crime issue as demonstrated at a pubic
forum held in Halifax summer of 1995
Youth advocates- concerned with problems experienced by young people rather than with
youth crime
oYouth crime had been exaggerated and misrepresented in most public accounts,
particularly by the media
oIn Halifax, presented stats showing crime in Nova Scotia had dropped in all
categories since 1986 and recent increases in violent crime had “flattened out”
oAlso indicated youth were being treated far more harshly under YOA than under
former legislation (Juvenile Delinquents Act)
oPreferred policies addressing poverty and high youth unemployment rather than
focus on punitive justice reforms
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

“Law-and-order” group (“old buffalo police officers”) viewed youth and the YOA as
problems, accused youth were enemies from whom adults needed protection
oYouth were a problem because
Lack of respect for anyone/anything as reflected in foul language
Lack of sense of responsibility for criminal behavior
Increasingly involved in violent criminal behavior
oYOA viewed as problem because
Youth could not be identified
Youth were not punished for their crimes
Youth had more rights than their victims
Youth were too protected by YOA
oCited a Stats Canada release reporting an 8% increase in youth involvement in
violent crime, which portrayed young offender as remorseless and lacking
feeling- the “super-predator”
oAdvocate a “get-tough” approach to young offenders
Theresa McEvoy- October 14, 2004
o16-year-old crashed into her, had prior charges, driving stolen car, reportedly in
high-speed chase when accident occurred, killed her
oQuestioned why released when sufficient evidence showed he was at risk of
reoffending and there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest
oAnswers called for public inquiry (Nunn Commission of Inquiry) at request of
McEvoy family- interest in 3 things
Systemic and individual failures leading to the release of the youth two
days prior to Theresa’s death
The extent to which YCJA provisions contributed to the release
The role of service providers in responding to at-risk youth before and
after a youth’s criminal activity
January 2006, newspapers, TV, and radio began relaying details of Nunn inquiry to the
pubic; participants of public forum had changed from forum 10 years ago, but focus of
attention remained the same—youth justice system
oPublic discussion about YCJA rather than YOA, but views presented still fell
under law-and-order and youth advocate groups
oCrown prosecutor quoted saying YCJA= You Can’t Jail Anybody
oResulted in change of procedure when youth plead guilty
Crown required to request an immediate bail hearing to decide on
detaining youth before sentencing
Theme of textbook: to try and understand youth crime with a view to developing more
effective responses to youth behavior before it spirals out of control
“The Good Old Days”
Crime stats (back in 1885) indicate youth have always been involve in crimes
1998- youth account for 19% of Criminal Code charges and 16% of violent crime
2013- 6% of all Criminal Code violations and 9% violent crime violations
In early years of Europe settlement, crime information was recorded in the reports of
colonial administrators
Some stats are available for Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) after
Confederation
Prison records provide a source of information on youth crime, but the ages of prisoners
were not always recorded
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version