Youth Crime

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There is no doubt that youth justice practises have changed throughout the years, these changes have been made to adapt to the new challenges that present themselves today. Crime in general, but particularly youth crime is a consistent problem for society.

It was during the mid nineteenth century in England when the parliament initially recognised juvenile delinquency as a distinctive social phenomenon and accepted the responsibility not only for young offenders, but also for the children who, though not in trouble with the law, required full care and protection. Children who stood before the courts were no longer seen as little adults but were seen as beings in their own rights who were entitled because they lack full responsibility for their actions. Through this change in status it accomplished the introduction of reformatory rather than punitive treatment. A reformatory system undoubtedly distinguishes a child’s offence from an adult crime replaced penal systems which made little dedicated provisions for children. This departure culminated in Herbert Samuels Children Act 1908 (Margaret May 2002). The Children Act 1908 represented a key step in the progress of the idea that children were a special category of problem. Through the establishment of Juvenile Courts which were criminal courts in terms of the procedures and giving them jurisdiction over the care and protection issues. The Juvenile Courts became the family law courts which dispensed family justice. The courts and the state can intervene for the first time in working-class family life when children are seen to be immoral, conditions which were regarded as neglect included: truancy, begging, being beyond control etc...

Molony Committee

The Mol...

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...llows the authorities to tackle their delinquent behaviour but to also seek to reform their personality and way of life inside an institutionalized setting in which thorough discipline was imposed and which then imitated the harsh conditions of industrial employment.

Works Cited

Brown, S. (2005) Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth. England: Open University Press

Hendrick, H. (2006) ‘Histories of Youth Crime and Justice’, In B. Goldson and J. Muncie (eds) Youth Crime and Justice. London: Sage

Home Office (1927) Report of the Departmental Committee on the Treatment of Young Offenders, Cmd 2831 (The Molony Report). London: HMSO

May, M. (2002) ‘Innocence and Experience: The Evolution of the Concept of Juvenile Delinquency in the Mid-nineteenth Century,’ In J. Muncie, G. Hughes and E, McLaughlin (2002) Youth Justice: Critical Readings. London: Sage
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