Young Offenders Act in Canada
The subject of young offenders in our troubled society has been one 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 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 offenders.
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.
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