JUVENILE JUSTICE AND CHILD PROTECTION

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Question 1 (1000 Words)

Adrian is a 16 y/o young person, who was born in a remote town in NSW. About five years ago, his paternal uncle died in a quad bike accident on the family farm. He was very close to his uncle and so devastated by this news. Following this event, he began getting in trouble with police for stealing, damage to property, joy riding and common assault, which have all been dealt with under the provisions in the Young Offenders Act 1998 (NSW)’https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1997-054#pt.1′.

In order to have a new start in a new school, Adrian moved to Sydney to live with his maternal aunt and uncle about six months ago. Since this time, he has settled down and began to focus on his school studies. He is brilliant at science, loves nature and wants to become a climate scientist.

A few weeks ago, Adrian heard the news that, back in his hometown, his father had died by suicide on the family farm. This news has hit him hard. He couldn’t concentrate at school and found himself getting more and more behind. His attendance at school dropped and he began to experience an increasing sense of frustration as well as isolation.

He began to feel angry at the smallest thing and found it very difficult to relate to the other students in the school. One day during a training session for athletics, some of the other boys were mocking people who experience mental health issues calling them ‘losers and dropkicks’. Adrian couldn’t take it. He snapped and punched one of the other boys in the face. The boy fell to the ground and was taken to hospital to receive medical care for a bruised nose.

Adrian was charged with common assault and pleaded guilty.

What are the main principles that would guide sentencing and how they can be applied in Adrian’s case? In your answer, refer to S6 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1998 (NSW) ‘http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cpa1987261/s6.html’ as well as international agreements relating to young people who commit crime, and explain why these may be relevant.

(25 marks)

Question 2 (800 Words)

Last July, just after the Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre riot on the Central Coast (See Youth detention centre inmates leave roof after 21-hour siege), ‘https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/prisoners-out-of-their-cells-as-police-establish-perimeter-at-juvenile-detention-centre-20190721-p529cd.html’ you read the following letter in the Sydney Morning Herald, which reads:

Dear Politicians,

I am writing to express my outrage at those young hoodlums who took it upon themselves to waste tax payer’s money and engage in riotous behaviour at the Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre last Sunday. Who do they think they are? They are in detention because they are criminals and the court determined that they should be locked away in order to learn a lesson and take responsibility for the crimes they have committed.

These yobbbos should be grateful that they have their creature comforts (too many of them in my opinion) in a safe and secure environment. Instead, they chose to abuse the very system that is caring for them.

I blame the left wingers with their welfareist agenda and soft touch for this complete lack of respect of the foundations of a decent society.

Sincerely, Jo Bloggs

You find Jo Bloggs’ attitude towards young people who commit crimes discerning and feel you need to write a letter back to him. Finally you have got around to writing back to him.

What would you say in your response? In your answer, you need to draw on theories that might help understand why the public may have these views about the treatment of young people in detention and why young offenders might riot while in detention. You also need to draw on international treaties to support your argument.

You can write your answer as a letter straight to Mr Bloggs, or you can write it in an essay form discussing what you would say and why.

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