Young People Subject to Incarceration

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‘Young people subject to incarceration may have committed serious offences. However, they have a right to be cared for and their complex needs met’.

In this assignment I am going to explain and discuss the above statement. I will outline how the Youth Justice System tries to address the complex needs of a young person. I will look at the OU case study on Damien and outline his complex needs along with his risk and protective factors, and the possible consequences of failing to address these issues.

The statement suggests that young people are entitled to their welfare looked after while incarcerated whatever the offence maybe, this suggests they should have their basic needs met such as: Food /water

Shelter
Heating
Dentistry
Doctors
Also they are entitled to have their complex needs met such as: Education
Mental Health
Emotional support
Physical support
Behavioural support.

The structure of the Youth Justice System

In September 2003, Every Child Matters, the government’s vision for children’s services was published. Its main plan was to reshape children’s services to help achieve outcomes that are important to children and young people. The government called for changes in the way children’s services work together. The five main points as indicated by children and young people as a key to well-being in childhood and later life are;

Be healthy
Stay safe
Enjoy and achieve
Make positive contribution
Achieve economic well-being

As stated in the document ‘The criminal justice system makes a vital contribution to all five of these outcomes, however its key focus is on two particular outcomes,

Making a positive contribution; a key element of this is encouraging young people to choose to engage law-abiding positive behaviour.

Staying safe; Ensuring children and young people are safe from crime, exploitation, bullying, discrimination and violence is one of the major responsibilities of the CJS. (Every child matters: change for children 2004 pg 1). All agencies involved in the CJS play an integral part in helping young people achieve these out comes. The long term aim of this strategy is to prevent offending by children and young people.

In 1998 the government produced the Crime and Disorder Act (CDA). Section 37 of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act states:
‘It shall be the principle aim of the Youth Justice System to prevent offending by children and young persons’.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a statutory duty on all those working in the Youth Justice System to have regard for this aim (CDA, 1998, 37.2).

Section 1 of the Children’s Act 1989, sits alongside the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act and states: ‘When a court determines any question with respect to the upbringing of a child, the child’s welfare shall be the courts paramount consideration’

The Youth Justice System has programmes in place to support Young people before court right through to custody such as,

Preventative projects and programmes,
* Youth Inclusion Programmes
* Positive Activities for Young People
* Mentoring
* Safer schools partnerships
* Restorative Justice in Schools

Pre/criminal court orders,
* Child Curfew schemes
* Child Safety Orders
* Acceptable behaviour Contracts
* Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
* Reprimands and Final Warnings
All of which are in line with the Youth Justice System’s principle aim of preventing offending by children and young people .

Court interventions with parents,
* Parenting order
* Parenting binding order

Custodial Sentence,
* Young Offenders Institute
* Secure Training Centres
* Local Authority Secure Children’s Homes
The choice of the secure facility will depend upon the needs of the child. Some of the key requirements for secure centres are, * Education assessments occurs on arrival
* Young people engage in an education programme
* Offence related work/offending behaviour...
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