Legal Studies Young Offenders Effectiveness

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Evaluate the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in dealing with young offenders. Young offenders are those offenders that are between the ages of 10-18 and are considered to be less responsible for their actions than adults. The criminal justice system tries to provide just penalties for juvenile offenders in NSW through mediation processes attempting to achieve rehabilitation and eliminate the chances of recidivism. Juvenile justice is impacted by significant factors such as the age of criminal responsibility, alternatives to court punishing and punishment options. Even though juvenile justice is given a lot of significance and there is an existing juvenile justice system within NSW, it is only partially effective in providing just penalties for juvenile offenders. According to the Children (criminal proceedings) Act 1987 NSW, young offenders between 10 and 18 are said to hold criminal responsibility. This is due to the common law of doli incapax. A child is believed to not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions, and therefore they do not have the intent (mens rea), to be convicted of the offence. Generally the types of crimes committed are neither serious or violent. The most common offences such as theft and related offences, acts intended to cause injury, offences against justice procedures, public order offences, robbery and extaution. Children are treated in a way that provides them with an opportunity to continue their lives in a positive manner, without being discriminated against due to breaches of law. A presumption exists that a child between the ages of 10 and 14 is unable to form criminal intent. This presumption is conditional and may be rebutted with proof that the child understood the wrongfulness of their actions. In NSW daily there are over 500 under 18’s incarcerated within juvenile institutions with 69% being 16-17

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