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Evaluate The Effectiveness Of The Criminal Justice System In Dealing With Young Offenders

1391 words - 6 pages

The reservation of the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CROC) had played invaluable role in charging the way in which young offenders are dealt with within the Australia Criminal Process. Including the introduction of the theory known as Doli Incapax meaning the age of criminal reasonability, the Young Offender Act 1997 NSW as well new law regarding the rights of a child once they have been arrested. It is evident that these while some of charges are still ineffective in dealing with Young Offenders within the Criminal Justice System the majority of them are in place for the greater good and are assisting young offenders when it relates to the Criminal Justice System.

Doli Incapax is ...view middle of the document...

The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) charged LMW with manslaughter and the case ended in the NSW Supreme Court. After hearing evidence from expects as well as other children who were witness to this incident the jury acquitted LMW of all charges. This case displays how in certain matters Doli Incapax is inaccurate and is not effective in achieving justice when it relates to dealing with young offenders within the Criminal Justice System because in certain matters young offenders are almost getting off scoot free like LMW did without receiving any real punishment for their crime therefore not teaching the child what they did was breaking the law. In light of the evidence presented above is it clear that while Doli Incapax and the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 are both effective in achieving justice and are assisting young offenders when they are being dealt with within the criminal justice system in most cases, they are still somewhat ineffective in cases such as R v LMW 1999.

The Young Offender Act 1997 clearly had a major impact on how young offenders are dealt with under the law. Brought in as a piece NSW Legislation the Young Offender Act 1997 brought out many chances regarding the options a young offender has after they have be charged with a criminal offence. One of the most important and most valuable things that was brought in under the Young Offenders Act would be the new three divisionary processes to ensure that young offenders did not appear in court, for most summary offences the three processes are warnings which an police officer is able to give and is recorded on the police database, caution which is a formal recorded warning which an offender must sign and finally Youth Justice Conferences (YJC). In most cases these three steps are effective in detouring and assisting young offenders through the criminal justice system, this is shown in the report entitled “Reoffending among young people cautioned by police or who participated in a youth justice conference”. The report states that the number ,of young offenders who appeared in the Children Court dropped from 16,113 in 1996 – 1997 to only 8,428 in 2005 this is a significant drop and shows how the three step system is detouring young offenders from the children court in most cases. Despite this the same report questioned the usefulness of the three steps stating that in 2004 – 2005 58% of the 1,200 young offender who took part in a YJC reoffended within five years, 42% of the 28,000 young offenders who received either a caution or a warning in 1999, 42% reoffended within five years. These shocking statics shows that while the Young Offender Act is somewhat effective in dealing with Young Offenders within the Criminal Justice System overall there are still many issues. Therefore overall it is evident that...

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