• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent should principles and practices of criminal justice for young offenders be different from those for adults?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent should principles and practices of criminal justice for young offenders be different from those for adults? Over the past two decades there has been a number of different ideologies regarding the approach to young offenders. At the end of the nineteenth century there were many social reforms that demanded that children should be removed from the adult prison system. The Youthful Offenders Act 1854 established separate industrial schools for young offenders that were supposed to be more educational than punitive. It was at this point that society recognised young offenders should be treated differently to adults. The policies of the developing youth justice system can be gathered from the later acts. For example, The Children Act 1908 endorsed "the conception of the child or juvenile as a special category" and the Criminal Justice Act 1948 was based on recommendations that "strongly emphasised the unwisdom of sending young persons to prison". Although the way that the system deals with young offenders has changed over the decades the basic tenet that juveniles should be treated as distinct from adults has survived. They have a separate court system, separate detention centres, and a variety of additional non-custodial orders. During the course of this essay I shall be drawing on some of the past practices of this country's youth justice system to highlight some of the ways that juveniles are treated differently to adults. ...read more.

Middle

is likely to be counter-productive and may set juveniles off on a criminal career at an early age. This has got to be detrimental to society, even if only on an economic level, as the earlier they start the more money they are going to cost the community, not only in the crimes they commit, but also in the further judicial intervention they incur. In highlighting these points, however, one must be aware not to become too lenient in the treatment of young offenders. You don't want to treat them with kid gloves, so to speak. As important as it is to understand the differing needs of children as compared to adults, one must be careful not to treat them so differently as to legitimise their behaviour. Although the welfare of the young offenders is important, what is equally important is the fact that they are still treated as a young offender. In some respects this may advocate treating them in a harsher way than adults in the same position. For example, although the greater proportion of offences committed by young offenders result in a caution (or now warnings and reprimands) it must also be noted that a number of juvenile offences are cautioned that would not have resulted in a caution if committed by an adult. ...read more.

Conclusion

To treat them too differently may be to play down the effects of their behaviour and tacitly encourage offending. The Home Secretary voiced this concern in 1994 when he said that repeat cautioning of young offenders led to the reduction in the effect of the caution and had limited effect on reoffending. It is unclear where the balance lies. Although the recent developments in the youth justice system in this country seem to be coming somewhere close. Although they have become tougher this tightening up seems to be taking place out of court rather than in it. Action Plan Orders, reparative orders and referrals make the juvenile acknowledge that he has wronged but also go some way to trying to rehabilitate them back into society. This comes somewhere in between the welfare approach (best posited by the Children and Young Persons Act 1969) and the justice approach (which is much more akin to the time of the Conservative boot camps and short, sharp shock treatments). Whether this has struck the right balance only time will tell. It does acknowledge that young people can be moral agents, although they may not be as free in their choices as adults and so deals with them in a slightly different way, but a way that still holds them accountable for their actions. Kate Johnson Week 6 Youth Justice ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Corporate Separate Personality

    3 star(s)

    Some say it is to allow flexibility when dealing with different situations such as fraud or misuse. A distinct situation in which the veil of incorporation is required is when a company is a mere fa´┐Żade. This is when a company is hiding true facts to avoid contractual obligation they must comply to.

  2. Free essay

    Critically discuss whether the criminal courts of England and Wales require substantial reform. Firstly ...

    This helped them understand the system better and work more efficiently and quickly. What I am motivating at is that changes in the criminal justice system are regular, and so they should be. Magistrates, some 30,000 or more, received no training of any kind. That after all was their purpose.

  1. Woolf Reforms

    both parties to use an alternative dispute resolution procedure and facilitating the use of that procedure. The parties will have to show that they genuinely attempted to resolve their dispute through ADR and are not just after a court hearing, as has been the tendency in the past.

  2. A critical evaluation of labelling theory.

    Howard Becker provides a major contribution with his book 'Outsiders' where he studies the process by which marijuana smoking was made a crime and smokers of it were considered to be criminals and 'junkies'. Becker believed that the moral outrage created by the state, where pot smokers were painted with

  1. The Canadian Justice system towards aboriginal offenders

    By referring to the victimized entity as 'her majesty' and the prosecuting lawyer as 'the Crown', the justice system legally accentuates that responsibility for crime has been taken over by the state.5 The implications of removing the victim from the process are numerous for the aboriginal offender, whose cultural values

  2. As the juvenile courts converge procedurally and substantively with the adult criminal courts, does ...

    Historically, the United States recognizes a distinction between the adult and the child. From its inception, of course, this hasn't always been the case. In the colonial era there was little distinction between the adult and the child; the only substantive distinction was in the nature of the crime itself.

  1. Why do young people join gangs and other subcultures? How does a criminal sub ...

    This disapproval may or may not stem from delinquent activities, and Thrasher was careful not to include delinquency in his definition of gangs. Instead, Thrasher argued that gangs facilitate delinquency. In contrast, other scholars like Cohen distinguish gangs as delinquent groups.

  2. Expert Testimony and Its Value In the Justice System

    the opinion of a qualified expert witness over their own personal belief even though their own opinion may be just as valid. This is most probably the single greatest issue with regards to the use of expert witness. Their role is, by definition, to provide an ?expert? level of knowledge

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work