OVERVIEW: Juvenile Justice. Emma Grimley. What is juvenile justice?. Combination of rules, institutions, and people involved in the control, punishment and rehabilitation of young people as offenders Various local and federal agencies play a role in juvenile justice:
OVERVIEW: Juvenile Justice Emma Grimley
What is juvenile justice? • Combination of rules, institutions, and people involved in the control, punishment and rehabilitation of young people as offenders • Various local and federal agencies play a role in juvenile justice: • 3 major agencies of NSW are • NSW Police Force, • Department of Justice and Attorney General • Juvenile Justice in the Department of Human Services • International instruments are useful benchmarks from which domestic legislation can be initiated or compared against • In NSW, those who are under 18 at the time they committed the offence are dealt with under the juvenile justice ‘system’
Major state legislation – NSW • Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 • How children are dealt with in the adjudication stage • Criminal responsibility (doli incapax) • Children’s Court Act 1987 • Establishment of the Children’s Court • Children (Community Service Orders) Act 1987 • Form of rehabilitation • Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act 1997 • Allows parents to be held accountable for youth behavior in public places e.g. out late • Young Offenders Act 1997 • Diversionary schemes – warnings and cautions • Crimes Act 1900 • Bail Act 1978
International law • Australia is a signatory to: • United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules) • Detention should be a last resort and for shortest period of time • United Nations Guidelines for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines) • Social policies for crime prevention • UN rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty • Maintaining contact with family and community • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) • Four guiding principles: non discrimination, best interests of the child, survival and development, and participation in decision making.
Age and criminal responsibility • In all Australian jurisdictions the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 10 years • Children aged between 10-14 years are presumed to be incapable of forming intent to commit a crime – the presumption is called doli incapax, UNLESS the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile knew they were doing something wrong (rebuttable presumption) • Selected other special protection: statements made in presence of adult, the use of the children's court, conviction recording.
SNAPSHOT OF NSW YOUNG OFFENDERS • In 2008-09 in NSW for every 1000 people aged 10-17: • 13.5 had a criminal matter finalized in the Children’s Court • 11 were convicted or sentenced • 3.3 were given sentences requiring supervision • 1.0 was sentenced to detention • 1/5 of alleged young offenders are female • The majority are male between the age of 15-17 years • Indigenous people are overrepresented in the JJS – 28 times more likely
Socio-economic status of juvenile offenders • They often have a parent who has been in prison • 27-43% for community and custody groups • 11% of the community group had unsettled accommodation • Many subject to physical or sexual abuse or neglect • Most had left school early or been suspended • 75% of custody group had left before year 9 • 56% of community group left before commencing year 10 • IQ scores low in both categories • Problems with reading, spelling and arithmetic prevalent • Custody group (88%) reported symptoms consistent with clinical health disorders
Types of offences • Common relation to property crimes – less than 1/5 are crimes against the person • Nearly all children appearing in court plead guilty and 92% receive a non custodial penalty
JUVENILE JUSTICE IN NSW • NSW Police are responsible for the apprehension of alleged youth offenders, diversion of eligible offenders, commencing proceedings in Children’s Court • The Attorney General is responsible for crime prevention and maintenance of the Children’s Court • Juvenile Justice NSW is a large agency in Australia for youth justice but fairly small in NSW contributions • Provides rehabilitation • Funding to community agencies that give assistance to youth offenders