Comparative Youth Justice by John Muncie, Barry Goldson

By John Muncie, Barry Goldson

Comparative formative years Justice

is the 1st ebook to significantly contemplate modern juvenile justice reform in England and Wales and throughout a variety of different western jurisdictions together with the united states, Canada, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Scotland, Japan, Italy and Finland. In doing so, it identifies significant overseas variations in juvenile coverage and perform. despite the fact that, Contemporary early life Justice is no longer easily an try and record nationwide similarities and ameliorations, yet seems severely at how international traits are translated on the neighborhood point. This booklet additionally examines how early life justice is applied in perform on the way to selling swap in addition to mirrored image.

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What do we make of these provisions? First, it is clear that the YCJA does attempt to comply with many aspects of the UN Convention including the principle of non-discrimination, the guarantee of specific legal rights, and the principle of the ‘minimum use of custody’ (Bala, 2003; Denov, 2004; Muncie, 2005: 45). However, some academic commentators, like Doob and Sprott (2004), and even Federal government Department of Justice officials (Canada, Department of Justice, 2003), suggest that the YCJA actually goes beyond the UN Convention in the degree to which it places strict limits on the use of custody sentences, because of its strict adherence to a ‘proportionality framework’ which requires that the sentence ‘must be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the young person for that offence’ (Canada, Department of Justice, 2003; YCJA, section 38(2)(c)).

The processes of repenalization, defined as the hardening of attitudes and criminal justice responses to young offending, and adulteration, as the erosion of special measures designed to protect young people from the full weight of the law (Muncie, 2005), were in full-swing in Canada by the mid-1990s. This is reflected, first, in the young offender punishment trends and incarceration rates. As Hogeveen (2005: 81) notes, ‘in 1997 Canada had an incarceration rate of roughly 1046 while the United States possessed an incarceration rate of roughly 775 per 100,000 youths aged 12 to 17.

For example, Section 39(1), on ‘Committal to custody’ for an offender receiving a ‘youth sentence’, states that ‘a youth justice court shall not commit a young person to custody’ except under specifically allowed circumstances, including that ‘the young person has committed a violent offence’ and that the young person has [previously] failed to comply with noncustodial sentences’, while Section 39(2), on ‘Alternatives to custody’, orders that ‘a youth justice court shall not impose a custodial sentence under section 42 (youth sentences) unless the court has considered all alternatives to custody raised at the sentencing hearing that are reasonable in the circumstances, and determined that there is not a reasonable alternative, or combination of alternatives, that is in accordance with the purpose and principles [of sentencing] set out in section 38’.

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