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Young Offenders Act Essay, Research Paper

Young Offenders Act

that has generated many hours of thought and meditation for

concerned members. It is felt by many that the change needed in the

area of delinquency within the First Nations culture is to overcome the

effects of colonization and this must begin with the youth. It is with the

youth that the future of the culture lies.

There has been extensive research done in this area and

although much of the material is not directed at one specific culture in

society, the facts remain that it is a problem The subject of young offenders in our troubled society has been one

that is growing in

epidemic proportions. Many of the programs that exist in society today

do not address the problems associated with young offenders of

specific cultures. Although the trend is moving in a direction that

addresses programs for specific cultural groups much more emphasis

must be put on these programs.

For First Nations youth that are locked into the juvenile system,

there must be alternative treatment programs made available that

deal with the problems associated with the colonization process that

generations of First Nations people have been subjected to. The

process of decolonization will only be achieved through education,

understanding, and perseverance, and this can only be achieved by

First Nations people working with First Nations people.

As indicated earlier much research has been done on the

problems associated with young offenders and the current treatment

programs. In the following research some of the most recent and

important pieces have been used and to eliminate repetition much has

been deemed unnecessary.


Cooke, David J., Baldwin, Pamela J., Howison, Jacqueline. (1990).

Psychology in Prisons. London: Routledge.

In the second chapter of this book the authors explain in detail

the psychology of criminal behavior and how it develops at a young

age. Early environment of the adolescent, along with socio-economic

status of the young offenders are but a few of the possibilities

explored in this book. The authors explore the many influences that

can shape the lives of young people, the influences of feelings and

thoughts, others behavior, and surroundings, are all thought to shape

the minds of the young offender. This publication will be primarily

used to explore the history and causes of the subject of young


Davidson II, William S., Rednor, Robin,. (1990). Alternative Treatments

for Troubled Youth: The Case of Diversion From The Justice

System. New York: Plenum Press.

This publication presents the findings of a research study done

on alternative interventions with delinquent youth. The authors goal in

writing this book was to describe an alternative intervention model

and to examine its workability in the existing system. The authors in

their research show that the intervention programs in the past have

been ones of failure. It is believed that the success of intervention

programs must be researched in such a way that all variables are

considered before a program is to be implemented. One of the major

problems discovered in their findings is the lack of professionalism in

the implementation of these intervention programs, hence many of the

programs operating today are destined for failure.

Griffiths, Curt T., Verdun-Jones, Simon N. (1994). Canadian Criminal

Justice. Toronto: Harcourt Brace.

This publication is a prime source of material as it covers a

multitude of areas pertaining to young offenders. This book addresses

some of the cultural issues such as policing and community aspects of

the troubled youth. The author takes a close look into sensitizing the

criminal system and addresses the problems of cultural awareness for

the justice personnel. There is an excellent chapter in the book that

looks at programs for youth in different parts of the country and

explores the possibilities of alternative programs targeted for

marginal peoples.

Ottawa, Canada. (1993). Dept. of Justice. Toward Safer Communities:

Violent and Repeat Offending by Young People.

This journal was presented in an attempt to help the

government re-establish their stand that they are addressing the

problems of young offenders in the community. This publication was

primarily focused toward strengthening the governments stand that

they are moving in a forward direction. The material in the journal

primarily points in the direction that the age for young offenders

should be lowered for some offences and that stiffer penalties should

be invoked for many repeat offenders. It was clear that this would be

an excellent piece of material to use as a basis for the argument that

the government is not moving in a positive direction to address the

problems of repeat young offenders.

Ottawa, Canada. (1986). Canadian Association for Children and

Adults with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities and the Young

Offenders: Arrest to Disposition.

This publication investigates how the young offenders act in

many ways does not address adequately the special problems that

some young offenders are faced with. Like those of the population with

learning disabilities many young people are processed through the

system without knowing the importance of these actions. It is made

clear that even though the young offender is accompanied by a parent

or adult, in some cases the parent or guardian also does not have the

ability of understanding the seriousness and the legalities of the

situation the child is in. The authors of this paper make it clear that

there are some serious problems with this system and that safe guards

must be implemented to ensure that as few as possible cases of this

type slip through the system. This publication is an important piece as

it shows clearly that improved systems are needed in dealing with the

young offender, and that much of the process should be initiated

within the family and community.

Toronto, Canada. Canadian Bar Association – Continuing Legal

Education. “Saturday, November 14, 1992.” The Young Offenders Act:

significant trends for the 90s.

The articles that were presented in this issue is primarily

directed at the increasing need for community involvement in the issue

of juvenile delinquency and reforms necessary to control this problem.

The articles tend to lead the reader to see that the community must

become involved in the control of the young people. With the rise in

juvenile crime it is a problem that evolves with each new law that is

designed to protect the public. What was once a question of young

teenagers has become a problem of children from the ages of seven

years and up. One of the articles stated that each community should

resume control of their young people and work with the families so

that they can become more educated in the treatments and skills

necessary to curb this problem. This article is important to this

research as the information provided confirms the fact that the

management of the young offenders must start in the home and


Shwartz, Ira M. (1989). (In) Justice For Juveniles: Re-Thinking The

Best Interests of The Child. Toronto: Lexington Books.

The author of this book has worked in the juvenile justice area

for over twenty years and has discovered that there is much needed

work to be done to develop equality for juvenile offenders. The author

believes that the juvenile system lacks the due process given to many

of the adult offenders and therefore the rights of juveniles are

violated on a regular basis. The author describes how rights are

abused, the conditions of confinement, and how abuses and

unprofessional practises are commonplace in detention facilities. This

is an excellent publication that provides a factual basis for the need to

develop treatment programs that are more in tune to the needs of the

juvenile offender.

Ueling, Harold F. (1973). Correction of a Correctional Psychologist in

Treatment of the Criminal Offender. Springfield: Charles C.

Thomas Publishing.

The author of this book looks deeply into the need for evaluation

and treatment of offenders at an early age. The author makes a stand

that there are deep rooted problems within society that do not address

the problems of youth. It is through this belief that the author sees the

need to evaluate behavior traits of the young people at an early age.

This publication will be useful in stating a case that treatment for

criminal behavior should be initiated with the young people of society.

West, Gordon W. (1984). Young Offenders and The State: A Canadian

Perspective on Delinquency. Toronto: Harcourt Brice.

The author of this book looks at the effects of labeling the young

people and trapping them into a life of conflict. The book also

addresses the theory of sociological effects on delinquency. The author

addresses some of the current treatment programs and also the lack

of cultural approaches to the problems of young offenders. This is one

of the publications that will be of use in examining the current

treatment programs to explore the needs of new programs that meet

the needs of society.

Wood, Arthur Evans; Waite, John Baker. (1941). Crime And Its

Treatment. New York: American Book Company.

Although this publication dates back the authors have made

some valid discoveries in the approaches to the problems of crime and

delinquency that have not changed over the years. The authors

investigate the theory of the practice of punishment and delves into

the extra-mural form of treatment like probation. The authors also

make some concrete conclusions as to early interventions such as

education, early diagnosis of mental disorders, and the strengthening

of institutions such as the home, the church, and the school.

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