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Torts are cases that unfairly cause someone else to suffer losses and harm resulting from crimes committed by the tortfeasor. There are several types of tort crimes that are committed. They include; negligent tort, intentional and strict torts (Dawson, 2007). Negligent tort includes harm that is done to people as a result of failure of another person to exercise their duties. An example of this kind of tort is an accident. On the other hand, intentional torts refer to harm that is done on people following the willingness of misconduct of another person. An example of this kind of tort is frauds and theft. Lastly, strict torts are the other type of tort that does not focus on the harm done to the other person, but focuses on the act committed.
The later type of tort puts the person who has committed the act liable for the damage done regardless of care and intentions they had while doing the action. Some negligent torts that are performed can be attributed to mistake performed by several people handling cases. Police officers are some of the people who play a role in promoting these negligent torts done to other people. Errors made by the investigating police officers have drastic consequences on those involved in the case. Some of the possible results from these mistakes include arresting and imprisonment of an innocent. The essay will focus on some negligent torts performed on two cases in Canada (Santos, 2005).
Hill v.Hamilton-Wentworth was a negligence tort case that led to the arrest of Hill. From this example, majority of the judges were remained to protect the police officers that they were not liable for negligence tort. However, it was quite clear that the police’s mistakes were liable for the negligence tort facing Hill. Some weaknesses arising from this judgment included: a fact that police officers did not make thorough investigations on the 10 robberies that were committed but instead made conclusions based on the data provided by the eye witnesses. This led to his arrest. In addition, during the time of arrest, Hill had a long goatee that had grown for several weeks. However, according to the description made by the eyewitnesses, the robber was a clean-shaved man (Dawson, 2007). Basing an argument on their judgment it is clear that the majority’s decision had some weaknesses.
Despite the weakness in the judgment made by the majority, there also lies some strength that support their decision. According to the eyewitnesses, the robbers were aboriginal. Coincidentally, Hill as well was aboriginal. This can be used as strength by the majority since it shows that the police officers had some justification while concluding that Hill was the robber involved in the crime. On the other hand, the police officers had information about two suspects who resembled Hill. This acts as strength to the majority judges as they could conclude that Hill was one of the robbers. In addition, the ability to obtain information about the robbery from eye witness was also strength that was used in justifying that police officers were not liable for negligence tort. Having first hand access to information pertaining those involved in the robbery is another strength that the police had to their data (Santos, 2005).
Minority judges had their argument that the police officers were liable for negligence tort facing Hill. They lay their argument that having had been accused of 10 charges, 9 of his charges had been withdrawn before he was tried in court. This was an opportunity that the minority judges had in challenging the liability of the police officers. In addition, the minority judges had an opportunity to challenge the liability of the police officers following the description that was made by the eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses describe the robbers to have been clean-shaved. However, during the time of arrest, Hill had a long goatee that had increased for some weeks (Dawson, 2007).
On the other hand, despite having strengths that supported the minority judges while justifying their judgment that police officers were liable for negligence tort, there also lie some weaknesses from their judgment. Hill resembled the robbers and some eyewitnesses described him to have been one of the robbers. On the other hand, the failure of a search of Hill’s home to turn up evidence in the charges added to the minority weakness. Lastly, considering that Hill was an aboriginal, the minority judges faced a challenge on their argument that the police officers were liable for the negligence tort. This is attributed to the fact that the robbers were aboriginal similarly was Hill (Santos, 2005).
Considering the second case between E. B. v. Order of the Oblates where Oblates faced a tort charge following the assaults committed by his employee. The majority in this case had some strength following their decision. Some of the strengths that the judge had pertained the case include: Oblate had established a school that brought about separation between parents and their children. This is considered as strength to the judge’s decision following the sexual assault that was made on children. Separation with the parent gave the employee a chance to sexually assault the student. In addition, considering that the employees lived at close proximity to the children, the judge’s judgment on Oblate’s case is justified. While at school, children were at a regime to other staffs. This implies that they were expected to respect all the staff in the school. This acts as strength to the majority’s judgment the assaulted student had remained quiet for a period of four years (Dawson, 2007).
Despite the strength seen in the judge’s judgment, there were some weaknesses attributed to his conclusion. Some of the weaknesses of his judgment include: the employee did not have the authority to interfere with the life of the child. This makes him liable for his actions other than Oblates. While at school, intimacy had been prohibited. The employee had different roles to play while at school. He was responsible of banking and maintenance jobs while at school. This suggests that the act of sexual assault that he engaged in was as a result of his free will other than employer’s instructions (Dawson, 2007).
In the case, the minority judgment was made in support of Oblates. Some of the strengths from the minority judgment were based on the association that Oblates had with the employee. Oblate had assigned the employee the duties of maintenance and banking. This is evidence that made the minority judgment viable in the case. In addition, as the employer, he did not confer any power on the employee over the child. This suggests that the employee’s position did not have regular and meaningful contact with the students. While making their judgment, the minority judges use this fact to support that Oblates was not responsible for the charges facing him. Lastly, the vulnerability of the students was as a result of the nature of the institution other than the power granted by the employer to the employee (Dawson, 2007).
While considering the weaknesses of the minority judgment, Oblates can be found liable for the action that his employee committed. The close proximity between the employee’s premises to the children can be seen as one opportunity that the employee utilized while assaulting the child. On the other hand, Oblates did not put into consideration the vulnerability of children while starting the school. From the case, the children are brought out to be in a regime and had to respect all the staff in the school brings about a weakness to the minority following the judgment made by judge (Dawson, 2007). These were some of the weaknesses that the minority judges faced while challenging the liability of Oblates.
Considering the two cases, tort charges are common in Canada. The two cases clearly highlight negligence torts and partly strict torts. As with the case of Hill, negligence of the police officers can be attributed to his arrest and prosecution. On the other hand, as with the case of Oblate, his employer’s decision to sexually assault a child can be attributed to be the reason behind his charges. Torts charges have consequences. Considering the two cases analyzed, both Hill and Oblate face the consequences despite having not taken part in the action. Hill was innocently charged and arrested following the mistake done by the police during investigating the robbery. On the other hand, Oblate faces charges of the crime committed by his employees. The decision arrived at by the judge on Oblate’s situation is biased as the judge does not take into account conditions that lie between Oblate and his employees. In addition, he does not consider the vulnerability of the school. In both cases, both parties have their strengths and weaknesses resulting from the judgment made on the charges facing the accused.
Dawson, J. E. A. (2007). Scotland re-formed 1488-1587. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Santos, B. S., & Rodríguez, G. C. A. (2005). Law and globalization from below: Towards a cosmopolitan legality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Juvenile Integration Sample Essay & Outline
The juvenile justice system is a system that is established to dispense justice to individuals who are still regarded as children by the law. In most cases, these individuals are below 18 years of age since most judicial systems recognize individuals aged 18 and above as adults. Ever since its inception and establishment, the juvenile justice system has played a central role in shaping and changing the lives of millions of young offenders (Sherman, 2011). The ignorance and indifference that is characteristic of many youth is a key factor in the development of juvenile delinquency. These delinquents are, more often than not, just children who may have been integrated into bad company and, therefore, made terrible decisions concerning the path they want to follow. The juvenile system is structured to enable these disoriented and confused individuals to re-take control of their lives in stronger fashion. This system is specifically aimed at reforming the unlawful character and nature that many of these delinquents have.
Having a system that is specifically geared towards reformation and rehabilitation is vital, not only to the general public, but also to the social systems that have been put in place. Since the characters of many children are still malleable, it is necessary to mould these children into the model citizens that they ought to be (Junger-Tas, Dünkel, 2009). The case of cutting a child’s arm off for sticking a finger in the fan does not apply, insofar as the juvenile justice system is concerned. This system is one of the most important structures since it gives the youth opportunities not only to learn from their mistakes, but also to correct their deformed characters. The opportunity to correct any social or behavioral problems that these youths may have is the main reason for the establishment of the juvenile justice system.
Mistakes are just that, mistakes
In the formative years of one’s life, one is prone to make plenty of mistakes. It is often argued that life is no rehearsal, and there is no second opportunity to re-do, what one has done, in a better way than they did. This fact cannot be truer, and especially so for the youth who are in their formative years. The period between 10 and 16 years of age is one of the most crucial in the life of any individual (Sherman, 2011). Other than the physical changes in one’s body that take place, one also experiences emotional and psychological changes. In this phase, it is necessary to make sure that these youths channel their energies in the right direction if they are to make the most of their lives. Despite all this, the fallibility of the youth in this age group is very high. Many youths develop a false sense of adulthood in which they think themselves mature enough to make decisions that have direct implications on their lives. They often believe that they are old enough to decide what they want to do with their lives (Hastings, 1973). In the event that these youths are not properly guided and fall into bad company, the effects can be detrimental.
The influence that society has on the youth cannot be underestimated. Many youths tend to behave as the society in which they grew up does. This leaves a distinct gap between youths who grow up in privileged societies and those that grow up in impoverished societies (Ward, 2012). Many of the youths who grow up in the impoverished societies tend to be more likely to end up in front of a juvenile court judge than the youths who grow up in privileged societies. While this is saddening, it is often as a result of poor decision making coupled with influences from society. As a result, many youth engage in drug and substance abuse while others join criminal neighborhood gangs that terrorize society.
Many at times, a vast majority of the youth that are apprehended by law enforcement authorities while breaking the law are trying to prove to their peers that they can ‘fit into’ the societal frame. It is only right, then, that these youths are not condemned to eternal damnation due to moments of weakness (Junger-Tas, Dünkel, 2009). After all, they are just human, and man is to err. As a society, it is right that these youths are made aware of their unlawful activities and then corrected to ensure they learn from their mistakes. By focusing on the offender and not the offence, the juvenile justice system is geared at addressing the root cause of problems and not the superficial aspects of these problems. By changing the youth, the juvenile system is able to change the society.
This forms a vital component of the judicial system. Its drive to correct individuals, rather than punish individuals for wrongs done, is central in the fight against juvenile delinquency. By focusing on getting the individual to refrain from such offences in the future, the juvenile justice system distances itself from the criminal justice system (Hastings, 1973). In this manner, the juvenile system is able to address the more vital matter of dealing with juvenile delinquents than dealing with punishing juvenile offenders.
Behavioral Change in Juvenile Delinquents
Once the youths are charged and adjudicated in a juvenile court, they are put under the direct supervision of the court. This gives the court the opportunity to reform and re-mould the characters of these misguided youth. This is a great opportunity on the side of the judicial justice system, seeing that if it does its job well, it is able to create model citizens out of these juvenile delinquents. Recent surveys have found out that more than half of the juvenile delinquents that successfully completed their probation periods and rehabilitation programs went on to lead extremely productive lives. This is an impressive track record for the juvenile justice system, much unlike the criminal justice system. The few who failed to reform their characters after undergoing the juvenile rehabilitation program have been found to have an array of problems, most of which border on the mental and psychological domains.
The main reason behind the successful rehabilitation and reformation of these juvenile delinquents is rehabilitation through individualized justice. The keen focus on the offender and not the offence is vital in the juvenile justice system. This approach coupled with a focus on rehabilitation and not punishment further distances the juvenile justice system from the criminal justice system. This approach has enabled probation officers to keenly monitor the changes in behavioral patterns of the delinquents (Grigorenko, 2012). By concentrating itself on fixing the underlying problem affecting the individual, rather than the outcomes of poor decisions made by the individuals, the juvenile system has played a central role in the reformation of juvenile delinquents. By engaging the delinquents in a variety of rehabilitation programs, the court seeks to correct the defective character traits in the delinquents- character traits that have no place whatsoever in society.
Consistent engagement of these delinquents in such programs has a behavioral effect on them. By restricting their contact and relation with the negative facets of the society that led to their adjudication in the first place, the court is able to slowly change the behaviors of these delinquents. Human beings, among them the youth, are defined as creatures of habit. It is a fact that most of the societal norms and accepted behaviors are as a result of habits that were found to be socially accepted (Ward, 2012). Through the application of this principal, the juvenile justice system has been able to constantly influence and reform the lives of millions of youths. This, in effect, positively impacts on society.
By constantly associating the delinquents with positive aspects of life and society, the court is able to influence behavioral change in the juvenile delinquents. This behavioral change is the most positive aspect of the juvenile justice system, seeing that it can have a domino effect on the society (Junger-Tas, Dünkel, 2009). By changing a few misguided individuals, the court hopes to change society, as well. Having a few individuals that can influence their peers to refrain from making poor decisions that have strong implications on their lives can prevent more youth from falling into the snares of juvenile delinquency. Creating positive agents of change out of juvenile delinquents is a vital aspect of the juvenile justice system that continues to underscore its importance to delinquents and to society at large.
The procedural impact that the juvenile justice system has on the delinquents cannot be underestimated. The fact that the juvenile justice system bases itself on correcting the offender and not the particular offence has been key in reforming many of the youth that are adjudicated as delinquents by the juvenile justice system. Bearing in mind that the youth are still in the formative years of their lives, their ability to commit crimes does not portray these youths as rotten eggs that ought to be thrown away (Sherman, 2011). This highlights the much greater and more important fact-that these youths have the potential to commit worse crimes in the future. This is an omen that portends a dark future for these youths if the right corrective measures are not taken. Basing itself on this premise, the juvenile justice system is geared at making the world a better place by ensuring that the spotlight is put on the offender and not the offence. In this manner, the court is able to take on an active role in re-shaping the defective personality of the delinquent.
The ability of the juvenile justice system to play devil’s advocate for the delinquents and spearhead the rehabilitation and reform of these juvenile offenders only underscores the importance of the juvenile justice system in any country. Rather than condemn the young offenders, this system advocates for their rehabilitation and reformation into useful and model citizens in society (Junger-Tas, Dünkel, 2009). This is a big plus for the juvenile justice system. It only reaffirms the reason why the system was established as early as 1899. In the establishment of the first juvenile court in Cook County, Illinois, the welfare of the child was the primary concern of the court. Seeing this maintained to date is a manifestation of the importance of this justice system in society.
Dispositional Methods of the Juvenile Justice System
In carrying out its mandate to rehabilitate and reform misguided youth into useful citizens in society, the juvenile justice system is mandated to apply an array of dispositional methods in realizing this goal. The key concept and perhaps the most important one is that these disposition methods are all geared at reform and not punishment. The criminal justice system, unlike the juvenile one, is hell-bent on punishing offenders for the felonies that they commit on the premise that they are adults and know full well the consequences of their actions. The methods applied by the juvenile justice system in no way intend to punish the offender for the felony committed (Grigorenko, 2012). This, once more, echoes the primary role of the juvenile system as a parental body intent on reforming and rehabilitating delinquents.
First among the methods employed by the juvenile justice system is the simplest of them all. Issuing warnings seems quite a silly thing to do, especially to the person on whom the offences were committed. However, the power that issuing warnings has on the psyche and mindset of the individual can only be disregarded at one’s own peril. The best case scenario is that of raising children. When raising a child, plenty of mistakes are bound to be made. While this is inevitable, how to deal with the mistakes proves to be an uphill task even to the most learned or committed of parents. Punishing the child every time he or she makes a mistake only serves to acquaint the child with the ‘dreaded’ notion of punishment. While this may prove effective at first, repeated application of this technique has been found to have detrimental long-term effects on the development and attitude of the child. Seeing that the young delinquents are merely extensions of children, it is only right that this logic also be applied in dealing with the delinquents (Sherman, 2011). Paying special attention to the particular case, the effectiveness of a warning can be extremely powerful or outright ineffective.
Advocating for a juvenile justice system where all the alleged delinquents will be issued with warnings all the time is absurd, seeing that this will only make a mockery of a system so vital in the justice system of a country. However, advocating for the reverse- a system driven by instilling fear on delinquents through punishment will only make the situation worse as many delinquents will become familiar to the punishments issued. By judging from the juvenile files and records, as well as the severity of the crime perpetrated by the accused offenders, the court can rightfully determine if issuing a warning will suffice. Warnings are a vital part of the juvenile justice system, especially for first-time minor offenders (Junger-Tas, Dünkel, 2009). The warnings give first-time minor offenders the opportunity to quickly come back to their senses, especially in the individual in question is of sound mind.
Taking advantage of the psyche of young individuals is a key aspect in shaping the lives of these individuals. In the case of these young offenders, issuing warnings to offenders with impressive records will probably refrain them from committing felonies in the future, out of the fear that they may not be lucky enough next time. Although this dispositional method does not guarantee a 100% success rate if done correctly it has the potential to impact positively on the lives of many first-time offenders who find themselves in juvenile courts for mistakes they could have possibly avoided making (Hastings, 1973).
Another dispositional method that is applied by the juvenile justice system is probation supervision. In this particular method, the delinquent is put under the court’s probation and supervised by the court, through probation officers until the probation period is completed. This method has proven highly effective in correcting many of the juvenile delinquents that have found themselves adjudicated and put on probation.
The core principle behind putting delinquents on probation supervision is the correction of defective personalities and negative character traits. This correction can be applied through the administration of services that are essential to the community in which the delinquent lives. By making sure, the delinquent participates in constructive activities that benefit the community, the court aims at making the delinquent aware of the benefits of being a good citizen of society. A majority of the delinquents that are put on probation supervision are engaged in volunteer work in the community such as cleaning streets and alleys, planting trees, maintaining parks and playgrounds, as well as helping out in homeless shelters and homes for the aged (Ward, 2012). These activities are centralized on helping the less privileged in society. Seeing that a large number of these delinquents are individuals from similar less privileged backgrounds, such activities help the delinquents appreciate their society and the members of this society. This is a key aspect of reshaping the characters of these juvenile delinquents.
The supervision aspect of this probation is also a key factor in the rehabilitation of delinquents. It is a fact that many of the young offenders that find themselves in the throes of the juvenile justice system are, more often than not, victims of some kind of neglect or abuse. Having experienced plenty of parental neglect in their formative years, these young offenders have learnt quite early on to make decisions on their lives and how they want to live their lives. Their gullibility and naivety play a central role in the terrible decisions that many of these youth take. The absence of parental concern and care in their lives is a key reason why these youth engage in unlawful activities (Grigorenko, 2012).
For some of these delinquents, engaging in these activities is a channel of seeking parental attention and comfort. Seeing the great need for parental care, concern and comfort, it is necessary to have in place individuals that will assume the role of a parent or guardian in the lives of these young offenders. The absence of quarters from which these youth can seek advice on the daily challenges in their lives plays a key role in juvenile delinquency. It is only right, therefore, that this problem is fully addressed. The availability of probation officers and workers in the lives of juvenile delinquents is extremely important in the reformation process of these youth. The presence of some form of parental care and concern helps, albeit partly, to fill the void left by the parents of these young offenders. This reformation process is a key process in the juvenile justice system.
In order to guarantee the continued success of the juvenile justice system, the provision of these probation officers and supervisors must continue. The impact that many of these probation workers have on the lives of juvenile delinquents is impressive and often at the center of the rehabilitation of these young offenders. Having a role model works wonders on the juvenile delinquents (Hastings, 1973). Cases of juvenile delinquents moving on to become probation workers after being inspired by their own probation workers are not rare. It is necessary to underscore the importance of the probation worker in the rehabilitation program because a good worker will foster the rehabilitation process while a bad worker will facilitate just the opposite of the intended result. This observation only further emphasizes the importance of the juvenile justice system in any nation.
In severe cases where the delinquent is in need of immense help from the juvenile justice system, training school confinement is the preferred method of rehabilitation used. Usually a reserve for delinquents that stand to pose a threat to the peace and security of society, training school confinement is one of the most impressive dispositional methods that can be employed by the juvenile justice system in rehabilitation of delinquents (Junger-Tas, Dünkel, 2009). The main purpose of confining young delinquents in training schools is to get to change their delinquency traits through getting them to appreciate the value of hard and honest work. This is vital in reshaping the mindset and character of juvenile delinquents put on this rehabilitation process.
With a large majority of the delinquents being involved in petty crime, it is safe to say that the quick buck has been served as perennial bait for the desperate teenager. The desire to be rich and to fit in society has forced many an individual into petty crime, in the hope of fitting into the social classes that society brutally puts forward (Ward, 2012). This desire to make quick and easy money is a result of the despicable nature in which hard honest work is viewed. The training schools aim specifically to address this problem, so that even after the probation period has elapsed, the reformed delinquents have acquired skill sets that they can employ to better their lives.
In the training schools, the delinquents are confined, unlike when delinquents are on probation. This confinement serves to limit contact between the delinquents and negative forces such as bad company, which would derail the rehabilitation process initiated by the juvenile justice system. In the schools, the children learn useful and practical skills that will enable them survive in the modern world. The fact that the education of the delinquent, if there was any in the beginning is affected by the inability to regularly attend class due to confinement in the juvenile training school. This forces many young offenders to learn and perfect certain skills that help them to manage their lives, their rehabilitation and their re-integration into society.
This will ensure that the training schools are exploited to yield the best possible results through positive association and committed learning channeled towards character improvement (Hastings, 1973). The ability of these training confinement schools gives misguided youth the opportunity to improve themselves and in short, have a second chance at what they missed out on. Creating a deep curiosity and desire to learn in the delinquents is a key aspect of the rehabilitation process in its entirety. Coming from the principle that every person deserves a second chance, the training school is aimed at specifically doing that. Giving delinquents a second chance to live a life, free of the problems that they ensnare themselves in, is the primary reason the training schools were set up in the first place. The need to restrict the individual in terms of contact and communication with potentially dangerous company is an important part in the rehabilitation of the specific individual.
With this in mind, it is impossible to imagine the absence of a juvenile justice system in any nation. The dependability of the probation workers and the rehabilitation process in general cannot be downplayed. The juvenile justice system has proven itself as one of the most reliable system that the government can accord, young juvenile, offenders.
Juvenile Integration and Re-Integration
The integration of the juvenile justice system as a fully functional part of the legal system is very important (Ward, 2012). The need for the government to fully incorporate the juvenile justice system is rising every day, due to the growing number of young offenders that are in need of rehabilitation services. The fight towards creating equality between the juvenile justice system and the criminal justice system is one that must be fully supported. As important as the criminal justice system is it cannot stand alone and guarantee a secure and just nation. This warrants the need for the juvenile system to be fully integrated in terms of status and funding. Increasing the funding allocated to the juvenile justice system is geared at improving service delivery to young offenders.
The integration of juvenile delinquents into the social frame is also very important. It makes no sense for a government to spend money rehabilitating a misguided individual only for the society to further stigmatize the delinquent (Grigorenko, 2012). Only through integrating adjudicated delinquents into society, can the judicial system fully rehabilitate the societal misfits that delinquents are viewed as. It is necessary to re-integrate the reformed delinquents into society through the establishment of organs and channels that allow for these individuals to blend into society with little or no trouble at all. These channels should provide for the alleviation of the stigma that is very often associated with delinquents, whether reformed or not. Taking steps to ensure that all the work put into the rehabilitation phase does not go to waste insofar as the delinquent’s life is concerned. This only reiterates the importance of the juvenile justice system in all matters judicial.
In the case of Kent v.The United States, the waiver of jurisdiction by the juvenile court was a gross misconduct on the part of the courts. The fact that Kent was only 16 at the time that he was arrested and charged warranted that he is adjudicated in a juvenile court. This adjudication would prove whether Kent was actually guilty and if so, what the consequences were. On the other hand, there was the possibility that Kent was not guilty of the offences he was accused of and this was instrumental in the decision held by the court.
Deciding to waive jurisprudence from the juvenile court to the district court posed a great challenge to the young delinquent, seeing that the decision held by the court of law was arrived at without a consensual meeting or other similar activity.
The fact that the juvenile court that was originally handling the case failed to conduct “full investigations” is grounds for dismissal of the case. The absurd denial of this fact only served to worsen the state of affairs in the case of Kent. Kent was tried as an adult and subsequent appeals only resulted in a cat and mouse affair that involved endless trials. In waiving the jurisdiction of the petitioner, there was no clear procedure that was followed. The trial judge did not confer with counsel and neither did he provide reasons for waiving jurisdiction of the petitioner, in this case Kent.
These are some of the challenges that the juvenile justice system has faced. The absence of a clear structure that aligns this system with the criminal justice system, in its teething stages resulted in many losses to those involved in juvenile cases. However, the development and gradual evolution of the juvenile justice system has seen the system return to its core values that place the welfare of the child above all else (Grigorenko, 2012). The fact that the juvenile justice system as it is today surveys to rehabilitate and reform misguided and lost youth into responsible model citizens cannot be downplayed. The juvenile system is just as important as the criminal system, although all other indications seem to be of dissenting opinion.
If the success rate of both systems were to be compared, it is likely that the juvenile system will emerge victorious. Having a justice system that bases itself on correcting the offender rather than punishing for the offence committed is a blessing in disguise (Hastings, 1973). The ability of the judicial system to make full use of this justice system and approach will prevent plenty of headaches. After all, is it not true that a stitch in time saves nine? It is unquestionable that the juvenile justice system is a vital aspect of the judicial structure that gives young people the opportunity to correct any behavioral and social problems that they may have.
Grigorenko, E. L. (2012). Handbook of juvenile forensic psychology and psychiatry. New York: Springer.
Hastings, J. C. (1973). Juvenile justice: Integration of law and social change.
Junger-Tas, J., & Dünkel, F. (2009). Reforming juvenile justice. Dordrecht [The Netherlands: Springer.
Sherman, F. T. (2011). Juvenile justice: Advancing research, policy, and practice. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Ward, G. K. (2012). The Black Child-Savers: Racial Democracy and Juvenile Justice.
A tort is a private offence that is committed against the private interest of particular individual, cooperation, or government. The main goal of tort law is to compensate victims from an intentional or negligent act caused by another individual. An intentional tort is intentional physical or mental harm inflicted on persons or property whereas a negligent tort examines whether an individual is liable due to failure of acting under reasonable care. A person can be held directly liable or vicariously liable for their actions. Direct liability holds the person directly responsible for their actions and vicarious liability holds a third party responsible for another person’s actions. (Boyd, 2011). The following cases examine the issues of intentional and negligent torts and vicarious liability.
In the case of Hill v. Hamilton-Wentworth a man named Hill was convicted of robbing 10 banks and served 20 months in jail for the crime until he was found not guilty and acquitted. Hill claimed the police acted negligently during the course of their investigation and brought a civil suit against the police under tort law. During the counter appeal the police claimed they were not negligent during their investigation of Hill because the tort of negligent investigation does not exist. The two main issues in this case was there a tort of negligent investigation from the police and if there was are the police guilty of acting negligently?
The majority judgment found that tort of negligence does exist in Canadian law and the police did not act negligently under this tort therefore the police did act accordingly under their duty of care during their investigation of Hill. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of this conclusion using paragraphs 1-106
The minority judgment found that the tort of negligence does not exist in Canadian law explain the strengths and weaknesses of this conclusion (also include whether the minority found the police negligent or non negligent) using paragraphs 107-188
Some notes and helpful information for the Oblates case:
The Oblates case is significant in part not only because it’s still a leading case on when and why employers are to be held vicariously accountable, but because it was one of the first cases to apply the bazley v. curry decision to determining whether the school was vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.
Mention the Bazley case somewhere in the reasoning’s because bazley was a landmark case that established that non-profit organizations can in fact be held liable for sexual misconduct committed by their employees
The Bazley test in summary:
part 1: court determines if there are any precedents which determine whether vicarious liability should be imposed under the circumstances in the case
part 2: court determines whether the wrongful act can be sufficiently connected to the conduct authorized by the employer or principals
there’s many factors you can take into account here, and this is probably where the majority of your strengths/weaknesses arguments should focus
The majority judges found that the court held that a residential school could NOT be held liable for the sexual assaults committed by a support staff member because there was not enough connection between the employee’s position and the risk of harm
(stuff that is taken into account in determining whether there is a connection is
The extent to which the wrong committed may have furthered the employer's/schools/etc enterprise
How vulnerable the victims were to abuse of power
How many opportunities the employer/whatever had to abuse their power, how easy it was for them
Juvenile incarceration has created a lot of uncertainties in the legal justice system. This is because it is often assumed that indeed there are several persons that are underage that at the time of the crime did not have the proper mental reasoning to appreciate that indeed they were committing a crime. For this reason, there have been several problems regarding Juvenile incarceration and it has been argued that there is a need to re-evaluate and ensure that indeed the problems, which affect the system, are given the proper judicial involvement and justice. This paper is going to examine how different it is from adults and the juvenile when it comes to determining competency to stand trial in an adult criminal justice system.
There is a need to assess juveniles differently from adults. This is because adolescence can be described as an important transition into adulthood and it sometimes it is known to be fraught with different complications. It is of the essence to therefore, understand that there is a need to look at the system critically and ensure that each and every sub-sector of the juvenile incarceration is looked at critically and the underlying cause of the present problems looked at.
Therefore, should be assessed differently in regards to their competency to stand trial. This is because, adolescence is an important transition into adulthood, and it is in many cases fraught with complications. There is a need to assess the children as being children. The judicial system has been created for adults and consequently, it often becomes difficult to test the children in a court of adults. Juveniles should be assessed as to whether they were in the proper frame of mind when they were committing the crime. They should also be assessed whether they could appreciate the fact that they were committing a crime and understood the consequences that came with their actions. It is for this reasons that they can be able to stand trial in an adult court that has adult assessment techniques.
Juveniles lack the mental capacity to appreciate court proceedings. Consequently, it becomes extremely difficult for them to understand the consequence of their actions. It is for this reason that they stand different as compared to adults who can appreciate the diverse and sometimes complicated court proceedings and the consequence of their actions. This is one of the issues that the U.S justice has been grappling with since the introduction of the Justice system. Further, the mental state of mind of the juvenile is different from that of the adult, and it is important to appreciate this fact. This will undoubtedly ensure that the two people are different and consequently they should be treated in different courts and assessed differently.
The issue of mental capacity often makes it hard for one to effectively assess juveniles as they are not able to understand several issues in the criminal justice system. Therefore, there is a need to assess the juvenile differently in relation to their mental capacity and ensure that they are able to understand what is happening and the consequence of their actions. The adults should be assessed different as their mental capacities can be described as advanced and they can understand fully what is going on and understand the consequence of their actions.
The Common Law of England informed the development of the juvenile justice system, and one of the proponents of this system was William Blackstone who wrote the Commentaries on the laws of England. This article discusses the development of the juvenile justice system in the United States and examines the stages that were involved in developing the JJS. Similarly, it also explores the achievements that the system has made over the years and concludes by highlighting a raft of recommendations that could make the JJS more effective.
Keywords: juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice system, criminal justice system.
An appropriate beginning to this topic should perhaps proceed by putting into context the meaning of the core terms that will form the basis of this study, id est, juvenile, and juvenile delinquency. According to the Cambridge English dictionary, a juvenile is essentially a young person who is still regarded by societal standards as immature or childish. Juvenile delinquency, thus, refers to criminal acts performed by young people like teenagers and adolescents who are below the legal age of 18. The underlying sentiment on this matter is that these crimes hurt the society as well as the children themselves and that if left unattended to, can exacerbate and cause more pain and suffering in society. A lot of research has been conducted on this subject most of which revolve around the causes of juvenile delinquency and the strategies that have been used to effectively curb its growth.
The need to rein in child offenders and deter other children from engaging in crime brought about the issue of juvenile corrections – the idea that criminal children should be responsible for their actions just as much as adults are also held accountable for their crimes. However, the position held by most psychologists that children are not entirely in control of their mental and intellectual faculties threaten to derail the progress of instituting corrective measures on these children. They argue that if the criminal justice system cannot punish a person who was deemed insane by the time he [or she] was committing a crime, then this standard should inform the development of juvenile correction programs. But before examining the history of juvenile corrections in America, it is instrumental to have some insight on the rise of juvenile delinquency.
The Rise of Juvenile Delinquency
After World War II, the rapid growth and development of knowledge led to scientific inventions and discoveries which made life easier. The 1950s saw an increase in incomes and with these, the need to start families. The advances made in the medical, entertainment, and the media sectors and the increased incomes meant that the new generations had a platform to advertise themselves all over the country. The media played in particular, a critical role in molding and shaping the perceptions of people as they were accessing more information than they needed. Children got exposed to positive as well as negative aspects of society earlier than usual, and in time, they internalized vices such as lying, cheating, murder, etc., and even normalized them and thus the seed of juvenile delinquency was planted (A History of Juvenile Justice, 2010). Some studies have also posited that the addition of lead metal to gasoline during the 1920s through to the 70s might have contributed to the rise of juvenile delinquency because lead is neurologically dangerous to people even in small proportions.
Juvenile Delinquency Demographics
According to a survey conducted in 2013, the united states has approximately 75 million juveniles and the federal interagency on child and family statistics project that the number of minors could hit the 101.6 million mark by 2050. In a hypothetical situation where the juvenile delinquency rates increase proportionally with the growth of teenage population, this would translate into hundreds of thousands of juvenile delinquents. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention offers that Caucasian children constitute 59 percent of the country’s juveniles with their black counterparts forming 10 percent. Hispanics comprise 22%, Asian 5%, and American Indian 1 percent (Juvenile Population Characteristics, 2011). It is, however, instructive to note that these statistics change periodically on a state level.
The crime rate index committed by juveniles has been falling since 1980 from over 800,000 violent crimes reported annually to slightly under 200,000 violent crimes reported in 2015. The period between 1992 and 1994 witnessed some of the highest juvenile crime rates in the country’s history with statistics showing that 1993 was the year the American public experienced the highest juvenile crime rates – over 1.1 million violent crimes (Number of serious violent crimes committed by youth in the U.S. from 1980 to 2015, 2018). The Children Defense Fund predicts that male children are five times more likely to turn into a juvenile delinquent as compared to girls. There is also a glaring gap in how the diverse races in the country perform when it comes to likelihood to engage in criminal acts. 1 in every 3 black boys is likely to be incarcerated as compared to 1in every 6 Latino boys (Juvenile Population Characteristics, 2011).
Boys are more likely to engage in criminal acts due to the male phenomenon – the supposition that they are naturally more aggressive than girls. This notion is complemented by other theorists who posit that boys are likely to commit crimes because of societal pressures. Still, others portend that the way in which male children are brought up by their families is a significant indicator of whether they are predisposed to juvenile delinquency (Juvenile Population Characteristics, 2011). As has been noted in the previous paragraph, juvenile crime rates vary across the ethnic groups in the country. Studies indicate that African American male children are more likely to become delinquents as compared to Latino or white male children. Similarly, Latino boys are more likely to commit criminal acts compared to white boys. These variations across the races are believed to be a function of poverty rates.
Juvenile Corrections - history
Juvenile corrections emerged as the alternative to the criminal justice system which traditionally was developed to punish adult criminal offenders. The early American criminal justice law was influenced to no small extent by the Common Law of England. It defined two people who it deemed incapable of committing criminal offenses and by extension, developed the idea that for a person to be held accountable for his [or her] crimes, two conditions had to be met; that (a) there must be proof of intent to commit the crime, and; (b) the person had to do an unlawful act. If either of these two was missing, then no crime was committed (A History of Juvenile Justice, 2010).
William Blackstone was one of the finest English lawyers of his era, and in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, he opined that infants were not able to commit a crime. The “infants” in Blackstone’s commentaries were not infants in the real sense of the word, but children who were too young to understand the consequences of their actions. According to Blackstone, the fundamental difference between an ‘adult’ and an ‘infant’ lay in the ability to understand the impact of their actions. Thus, Blackstone and Co. described a child under the age of 7 as being incapable of committing a felony. However, children over the age of 14 were treated as adults and were held accountable for their actions.
There was a grey area between the ages of 7 and 14, and it was implied that a child between these ages was also not capable of committing a crime. Nevertheless, if it could be proved that the child comprehended the difference between a right and a wrong, it could be convicted and bear the full force of the law. This meant a child convicted of a capital offense could be sentenced to death. In the renowned Malice supplies the age case, Blackstone demonstrated how the ability of a child to commit a crime could also be determined by the capacity to “contract guilt” or “do ill.” (A History of Juvenile Justice, 2010)
America started developing a new system for juvenile justice in the 19th century when social reformers advocated for the creation of special facilities to house troubled juveniles. In New York, the Society for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency built the New York House of Refuge in 1825 (Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime, 2016). Two years later, the Chicago Reform School was opened, as the reformers felt there was a need to separate juvenile offenders from adult offenders. They also believed that while in these institutions, juvenile offenders could be rehabilitated so that they could desist from embracing criminal tendencies.
The first juvenile court was established in the country in 1899 in Cook County, Illinois. In the following 25 years, the idea of juvenile courts had caught on, and most states had juvenile court systems. The motive of these courts was consistent with the objective of the reformers – to rehabilitate rather than punish child offenders. The legal doctrines that guided these courts were based on the doctrine of parens patriae (“parents of the country”) in which the state assumed the power to act as guardians of children with legal disabilities (Eadie & Morley, 2003). According to this role, the courts emphasized the need for the system to focus on the best interests of the child and an approach that was “informal, nonadversarial, and flexible.” The cases were mostly treated as civil cases with the primary aim being to guide the juvenile offender into adopting a crime-free life. As part of the rehabilitation program, the juvenile courts could order the placement of a child in a juvenile reform institution.
The process of developing due process in juvenile justice
The U.S. Supreme Court made rulings in a number of cases during the 1960s that had a profound impact on the development of juvenile justice. In Kent v. the United States, 3833 U.S. (1966), a 14-year old teenager was charged with several counts of housebreaking and an attempt to snatch a purse. His fingerprints were later found in an apartment where a woman had been raped and robbed. In the police questioning, he admitted to his crimes, but a psychiatric test indicated that Kent had “severe psychopathology,” and his lawyer argued that he needed to be placed in a mental hospital for further observation. The judge hearing the case waived jurisdiction to listen to the case to a criminal court despite Kent’s lawyer opposing the waiver and proposing that if Kent could be treated, he would be a candidate for rehabilitation (A History of Juvenile Justice, 2010).
The underlying concern of the Supreme Court was whether juvenile courts had the wherewithal to adequately administer justice to children charged with criminal offenses. The second case In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967) introduced the concept of ‘due process.’ In this instance, Gerald Gault (15 years old) was charged with making a phone call to a neighbor who promptly reported him to the police. At the time, Gerald was also on 6-month probation for stealing a woman’s purse. When the police came and arrested Gerald, they left no notice to his parents and neither did they supply them with the specific charges on which their son had been arrested. At the trial, the neighbor who had called the police was absent, and the judge went ahead and committed the 15-year old to Arizona’s State Industrial School for 6 years or unless he was released earlier through “due process of the law” (A History of Juvenile Justice, 2010).
Gerald’s parents petitioned for the release of their son arguing that due process had not been followed and that his constitutional rights to a fair trial had similarly, been violated. The Supreme Court ruled in Gerald’s favor stating that “neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Bill of Rights is for adults alone.” Justice Fortas ruled that minors undergoing delinquency hearings were also entitled to the due process which included (A History of Juvenile Justice, 2010):
a.The right to legal representation
b.The right against self-incrimination
c.Notice of charges against them, and;
d.The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses.
This decision was contested by Justice Stewart who in his dissent argued that by requiring many of the due process guarantees applicable in criminal cases to be applied to juvenile cases, the court was missing the distinction between juvenile and criminal cases. He argued that the object of juvenile proceedings was to correct a condition since juvenile courts were more of public social agencies tasked with finding the right solutions to juvenile delinquency. On the other hand, the objective of criminal courts was to convict and punish people who had been found guilty of criminal wrongdoings. Justice Stewart revisited the 19th-century criminal justice system arguing that minors were tried in criminal courts before the development of juvenile courts. Therefore, resorting to criminal law requirements to determine juvenile cases was retrogressive.
Creating the Line between Criminal and Juvenile Justice
In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970), a 12-year old boy charged with stealing $112 from a woman was found guilty by “a preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, this means the boy was found guilty because evidence existed to show that he did commit the crime. In standard practice, courts are required to “prove beyond reasonable doubt” that an accused person has committed a crime. “Beyond reasonable doubt” is viewed as a higher standard compared to “preponderance of evidence” and implies that the evidence adduced in court must convince everyone that the accused committed the crime (Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime, 2016).
The concept of “Beyond reasonable doubt” is widely applied in criminal cases nowadays because if a person is convicted, they can serve prison time. In the case of Winship, the boy was sentenced to 6 years in a juvenile school, and supporters of the “preponderance of evidence” doctrine argued then that the reason for sending the boy to a juvenile school was to rehabilitate him. Interestingly, they also held that it is not “best practice” for troubled juveniles to win cases if it can be established that the juvenile is in need of help in one way or another. However, in rejecting these arguments, the Supreme Court argued that “good intentions do not obviate the need for criminal due process safeguards in juvenile courts.” The Court argued that the time spent by the juvenile in a juvenile school was equitable to the time spent by a convicted adult in prison.
Introducing Jury Trial in Juvenile Justice
In McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 403 U.S. 528 (1971), the Supreme Court determined that children were not entitled to a jury trial in juvenile proceedings. This decision was informed by the opinion that juvenile cases were not equal to criminal cases. The Court held that by introducing jury trial in juvenile proceedings, there would not be a clear distinction between criminal and juvenile proceedings. Nevertheless, dissenting justices argued that when a child is on trial for offenses based on the state’s criminal law and faces imminent confinement in a state institution for children, then there was a need to have a jury (IMNRC, 2001).
The effectiveness of the juvenile justice system
According to Smith (2005), evidence based on substantial research shows that flagship programs tailored to curb juvenile delinquency have had a ‘modest’ impact on average. Comparative analyses indicate that a lenient and passive juvenile justice system might, in fact, produce the same degree of youth offending as a punitive and active system. One of the elements that ought to be used to determine the effectiveness of juvenile justice programs is the impact they have on the future behavior of child offenders (Improving the Effectiveness of the Juvenile Justice Program, 2018).
The effectiveness of a juvenile justice system cannot be evaluated based on behavior change and crime reduction alone but also on other aspects such as dispensation of justice, victim satisfaction, and symbolic values, etc. A new study conducted in 2013 shows that juvenile detention, for instance, does not deter child offenders but instead increases the chances of recidivism and the possibility that they will not graduate from high school (Rempe, 2013). The study acknowledged that children who have been detained are different from those who have never been in contact with the juvenile justice system. Focusing on the juvenile justice system of Chicago, the researchers found out that children who been incarcerated are 13 percent less likely to finish high school and 22 percent more likely to be re-imprisoned compared to those who were given alternative punishments like home monitoring.
In fact, the study found that the recidivism rates for adolescents were actually higher than for adults. The reasons highlighted as contributing to this phenomenon include school disruption which disillusions the child from completing his education. Moreover, it is believed that the time spent behind bars brings them in contact with other offenders who share the ideas and stories with them. In this regard, juvenile facilities act as incubators for adult criminals and a breeding ground for hardened criminals (Richardson, 2014).
Furthermore, the problems that plague the juvenile justice system – overcrowded prisons, high expenditures, and failure to curb recidivism mean that the effectiveness of JJS is mostly compromised. Nevertheless, there are isolated instances of success as stated by Smith (2005) especially in terms of subsequent offending but the impact is small compared to programs designed for adult offenders. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act (1974) was enacted by the U.S. Federal government under the aegis of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to guide the administration of grants and funds to facilitate the implementation of juvenile crime-eradication programs which currently cost approximately $1 million, finance research on youth crime, gather juvenile crime statistics on a national level, and regulate anti-confinement mandates within juvenile custody.
The challenges facing the JJS are multidimensional, and no single solution is going to be able to solve them. Nevertheless, there is a growing opinion that juvenile justice should concentrate on positive youth development by drawing the attention of the youth to their usefulness, competence, influence and belonging instead of the deficit-based model that focuses on wrongdoings and flaws. By implementing programs that focus on positive youth development, troubled children can be induced to embrace optimistic views and develop good characters that promote better lives. Fundamentally, positive youth development initiatives seek to assist children to recognize and be responsible for what they do, offer them chances to correct any harmful effect of their deeds, encourage them to interact with good role models, and provide better decision-making avenues in future (Richardson, 2014).
The realization that most child offenders suffer from mental illnesses has necessitated a need to recognize the significance of mental health screening for children in rehabilitation programs. Over 40 percent of child offenders in rehabilitation do not undergo mental health screening which overly reduces the chances for successful recovery. Thus, most advocacy organizations are now pushing for the provision of mental health care in juvenile justice programs (Eadie & Morley, 2003). Similarly, offering juvenile offenders educational opportunities provides them with a chance to empower themselves and increases their chances of integrating successfully into society once they are released from juvenile institutions. It is noteworthy that only 45% of juvenile offenders in juvenile programs have only 6 hours of schooling in a day. This wastage of valuable time should be avoided and instead, such time used to better the child for a reformed life when they get out of incarceration.
The transformation of the juvenile justice system in the U.S. has brought about a substantial reduction in juvenile criminal offenses. Nevertheless, more still needs to be done to address the issues that still negate the gains that have been made in the juvenile justice system since its development in the early 19th century.
A History of Juvenile Justice. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/features/D...
Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. (2001). Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Eadie, T., & Morley, R. (2003). Crime, Justice and Punishment. In J. Baldock, Social Policy . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Improving the Effectiveness of the Juvenile Justice Program. (2018, April 3). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from Saint Joseph's University: https://online.sju.edu/graduate/masters-criminal-justice/resources/artic...
Juvenile Population Characteristics. (2011, April 22). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/population/qa01203.asp?qaDate=2010
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime. (2016). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR.asp
Number of serious violent crimes committed by youth aged between 12 and 17 years in the U.S. from 1980 to 2015 (in 1,000). (2018). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/477466/number-of-serious-violent-cri...
Rempe, S. (2013, June 25). How Effective Is Juvenile Detention? Retrieved May 9, 2018, from Prison Fellowship: https://www.prisonfellowship.org/2013/06/how-effective-is-juvenile-deten...
Richardson, N. L. (2014). The Juvenile Justice System: An Analysis of the Effectiveness of a Juvenile Delinquency Intervention Program. Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection for Atlanta University & Clark Atlanta University., 20-155.
Smith, D. J. (2005). The effectiveness of the juvenile justice system. Criminal Justice, 5(2), 181–195.
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