Youth Justice

Youth Justice BY a14984 The youth Justice system focuses mainly on punishing children and young people and fails to promote their welfare’- Discuss this view, giving arguments for and against, and referring to the relevant legislation and course materials.. In this assignment I will concentrate on the youth Justice system, citing The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (CAD), The Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentences) Act 2000, The Children and Young Person Act 1969 and The Children Act 1989.

The Criminal Justice system comprises a number of agencies and structures that over investigation of crime, probation services, social services, the prosecution of defendants, the sentencing of offenders, and the administration and enforcement of sentences. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 does not change section 6(1) of the CA 1991 , which provides that a court shall not pass a community sentence unless it is of the opinion that the offence or the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it was serious enough to warrant such a sentence. Workbook 3, p. 31) To some extent the young Justice system recognizes the vulnerability of the child or nouns person during the progress through the criminal Justice system. This however has been reduced by implementation of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. This means that the past requirement that the prosecution of a child (under roars old) involved their understanding of their crime is no long required. The child’s right to remain silent was also abolished by the CAD 1998. The prosecution now only has to prove that the child committed the crime as charged.

The CAD 1998 also introduced a number of civil orders to control sub-criminal anti- social behavior and replaced cautions with reprimands and warnings. Furthermore, Schedule 2 of the Children Act 1989 requires a reduction of criminal proceedings against children and young people. The local authority also has a duty to take reasonable steps to avoid the need for children within their area to be placed in secure accommodation. The Youth Offending Team (HOT) set up by CAD has a preventive role encouraging children and young not to engage in crime.

It is the statutory aim of the youth Justice system to prevent offending and re-offending. The CAD also specifies that a HOT must include at least one social worker, a probation officer, a person nominated by the coal health authority and one person nominated by the local authority education. The local authority has a wide range of responsibilities and powers in preventing and combating youth crime. Anne World and Anna Sashimi in the Reader say that the CAD 1998 creates new opportunities for social work intervention to prevent and support the principles of restorative Justice; this is largely achieved through and is of Hoot’s.

Multi-agency work is central to working with children who commit crimes or are engaging in delinquent disorderly behavior. According to the Children and Young Person Act 1933 (amended 1969) youth Justice routs were required to give a paramount regard to the welfare of the child or young person appearing before them. Acting in their best interests however often resulted in removal of the child from the family to an institution.

A policy of ‘bifurcation’ (sass’s) has therefore ensured that the majority of less serious offenders were dealt with in the community with the support of the Juvenile Justice workers A theory was developed that young people need to grow out of crime and should be supported within their own communities encouraging their senses of ‘belonging’ and evildoing their skills and problem solving choices. Holman (1995) cited in workbook 3 refers to ‘resourceful friends’ who can bring concern, stability, integrity and certain skills to help young people (Workbook 3, p. 2). Recently however we have returned to early and maximum intervention involving secure training centers and young offender institutions for children as young as ten and formal supervision orders for children even younger. Children who have committed immoral acts of ‘pure evil’, for example those responsible for the murder of Jamie Bulgier in 1993, came to symbolism a perceived increase in crime by very nouns children and a growing public belief that children who commit ‘adult crimes should be treated as adults’ (Reader chapter 13, Pl 24).

The case study of a gang of children on the Greyest estate aged between nine and fifteen shows their behavior includes being very noisy, staying out late in the evening, Joyriding, vandalism and abusive behavior. This resulted in other residents contacting the police regarding their behavior (Workshop 3, pig 41). Although children aged under ten cannot be charged with a criminal offence; nor can they be the subject of an application for an Anti Social Behavior Order (“SABA”) under the CAD 1998.

Although under SSL 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and SIS of the Children Act 2004, the local authority can apply for a child safety order (CSS) in the Family Proceedings Court. The effect of such an order is that the child is placed under the supervision of a ‘responsible officer. The police contact the local HOT as an appropriate adult must be called. The questioning must not begin without an appropriate adult being present, in the case study provided from the HOT. The role of the appropriate adult at the police station is to advise, assist and protect the rights and welfare of the children while being interviewed.

It is the duty of the appropriate adult to observe and intervene when necessary. There are often tensions between the criminal Justice system, specifically the police. The police criticism the working practices of the HOT and the HOT consider the police child the police decide there is not enough evidence to issue charges. The child could be issued -3- with either a police reprimand or a final warning or given that it is an ongoing and worsening issue, the police will apply to the criminal court for a possible Anti-Social Behavior Order (SABA) as provided by CAD 1998 S. If the children breaches the terms of the SABA they can be fined or imprisoned. The police would then need to consider whether to release on bail or to detain until a court appearance. An SABA normally runs alongside a Parenting Order as provided by CAD 1998 SO. A Parenting Order has a minimum duration of two years. This requires the parents to comply with the terms of the order and to engage in counseling and guidance sessions. A responsible officer, usually from the HOT would be involved. Parents breaching the terms of the POP will be liable to a fine.

It is the HOT who would arrange for these young people to participate in some sort of rehabilitation program. The HOT would first assess the young people in order to ascertain whether the rehabilitation programmer is suitable for them and would then identify the key elements to be addressed. CAD 1998 SIS requires local authorities to provide youth Justice in their area. Each HOT is responsible for co-ordination the provision of youth Justice services in its local area (Workshop 3, p 46). The Government believes that early intervention is vital to prevent frequent anti social behavior and repeat offending.

The National Standards for Young Justice require all youth Justice agencies to take steps to encourage anti-discriminatory practice. When working with young people the professionals are to promote their understanding of different cultures and to combat racially motivated offending. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 SIS provides that where a young person aged ten to sixteen is charged with an offence the custody officer should order their release unless the person has been arrested for an impressionable offence and their detention is necessary to prevent further offending (Workbook 3, p 54).

The child’s family would be fully supported throughout the course of the court proceedings by the HOT. Vernon Stewart explained that family should have an understanding by describing to them the physical structure of the court and who is going to be present and what their respective roles are. Social Workers today are expected to have a good understanding of how the law impacts upon practice and verify that Judgments pronounced by the courts comply with all relevant laws and case law precedents.

The social worker is also responsible for the Pre-Sentence Report (USSR) or Specific Sentence Report (USSR) which supports more informed decision making in the determination of sentences. In the case of “the trouble with children” the Criminal Justice Act 1991 SO (1) requires that the USSR is obtained and considered in the court before a custodial sentence is imposed. People and to ensure the magistrates act in the young people’s best interest while at the same time, somewhat contradictorily, passing sentence.

The HOT will provides crucial information about the offender’s circumstances and often even presents realistic rapports considering the statutory aim of the young Justice system as set out in CAD 1998 SIS. The report must follow the National Standards as well as the welfare principle as provided by the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 SIS. If a young person is convicted the sentences available to the court include supervision orders, action plan orders and detention and training orders. In this case study the court would be most likely consider an Action Plan Order (PC (S) A s. 9) to be most suitable due to its flexibility. It allows for more intensive and focused intervention with the young people. The offender is placed under the supervision of the responsible officer, usually the Police Officer connected to the HOT. After making an APP a court can fix a further hearing within 21 days to obtain a report of the effectiveness of the order (CAD 1998 s. 69). The White Paper (Home Office 1997) suggested a radical reform of the function and organization of the youth court; the purpose of the youth court must change from simply deciding guilt or innocence and then issuing sentences.

In most cases, the offence should trigger a wider enquiry into the circumstances and nature of the offending behavior. The local authority could apply to the Family Proceedings Court with the view of obtaining a Child Safety Order (CSS). The CSS is a preventative order designed to intervene swiftly and briefly with children under the age of ten to ‘nip the offending in the bud’ at the earliest opportunity (The Reader, Chapter 30, IPPP). It is designed for children under the age of ten who appear to be unsupervised or are causing a nuisance.

The local authority can also issue a notice imposing a curfew on the young person for a maximum of 90 days. This is a provision of the Local Child Curfew Scheme (LACKS) introduced by CAD 1998. Its aim is to prevent children being involved in anti-social or potentially criminal behavior. This would ban young people from being in a public place at certain hours without responsible adult. The curfew is enforced by the police, a breach will result in the local authority visiting the young person’s home and probably issuing an appropriate CSS.

In addition to this the POP would also apply under the supervision of the social worker. If the parents are found to be unable to care or supervise their children the social worker would than need to consider further options, for example other relatives/guardians o take on parental responsibilities for the children. Advice, counseling and guidance usually through Family Centers {Children Act 1989 Schedule 2, paragraph 8} and also a broad range of services provided by different agencies for those who care for children.

The local authority also has a duty towards the children and young people in their area to publish information about their services and to take -4- reasonable steps to ensure that those who might benefit from services receive the information relevant to them. It is the responsibilities of the social worker (HOT and Children’s Trust) to visit the Emily and work together in the partnership with them with regard to the welfare of the children. If families are excluded from the decision making processes affecting them there is likely to be issues regarding their commitment to the planning process undertaken by professionals.

Social workers should always remember that separating children and young people from their family should be the last option. The Children Act 1989 supports the principle that children should live with their parents and that the primary responsibility for their welfare and upbringing remains with the parents. In order for certain parents to provide a safe and supportive family environment it will be necessary for the social worker to promote an inner partnership within the members of the family.

The ongoing search for a more effective response to crime has continued for centuries. The actions of children will often have their roots within their family, although social workers working in partnership with families can help reduce repeat cycles of behavior. We are gradually moving towards an increase in formal intervention in the lives of children, although society will likely continue searching for the “right” way to bring up children. It is our duty to provide a safe environment and present a good example to our children who are the next generation.

The purpose of any Justice system is, through sentencing, to punish the offender and obtain retribution for his crime for society. Sentencing also has its aim to rehabilitate the offender. Sentencing therefore has a number of aims which can appear paradoxical and to create tensions with each other. These tensions are very evident in the youth Justice system where rehabilitation is seen as more important than when applied to adults sentencing. There are a number of statutory measures designed to rehabilitate youth offenders ND prevent re-offending.

The principle of the welfare of the child being of paramount importance (CA 1989 SSL) is reflected in a number of the orders available punish and for this punishment to be seen, often to satisfy the desires of society generally. The tension between punishment and rehabilitation will often surface amongst professionals working within the youth Justice system. Generally the police and the courts are seen as there to exact punishment and retribution while social and youth workers are viewed as advocating a sentencing structure which focuses more on rehabilitation.

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