International and comparative juvenile justice

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International and comparative juvenile justice

  1. 1. Law and Justice Around the World CRIM 405.003 Prof. Andrew Novak
  2. 2. Agenda Short video  The challenge of juvenile delinquency  International minimum standards  Global perspectives on youth and crime  Brief introduction to model countries  Examples from Japan and China  Discussion questions 
  3. 3. Video  http://www.ted.com/talks/david_r_dow_l essons_from_death_row_inmates.html David Dow is a law professor at the University of Houston and a death penalty defense lawyer.  What is the link with juvenile justice? 
  4. 4. The challenge of delinquency Delinquency: Crime committed by a juvenile. The tension that exists in the adult criminal justice system between rehabilitation and punishment exists in the juvenile justice system as well.  Parens patriae: State obliged to serve as guardian over delinquent youth    In the United States today, punishment is the predominant rationale, and youth may be incarcerated (even life imprisonment) and tried in adult courts.  The world’s juvenile justice systems exist on a spectrum between a purely welfare-based model and a purelyjustice based model.  These differ as to formality of the procedure, the role of lawyers and prosecutors, incarceration, etc.  Finland and New Zealand are more “welfare” models, while the U.S. and U.K. are more “justice” models.
  5. 5. International minimum standards  Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990): Most ratified human rights treaty      Due process required in juvenile proceedings Prohibition on corporal and capital punishment Legal aid required for juveniles Minimal protections in detention Non-binding international guidelines  Beijing Rules (1985): Guidance for countries with separate juvenile justice systems.  Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (1990): Standards for detention  Riyadh Guidelines (1990): Focus on communitybased prevention of juvenile delinquency.
  6. 6. Global perspectives on youth and crime Child-rearing, supervision, and education is a highly culturally-contingent phenomenon that varies widely around the world  In societies that are conservative, strongly communitarian, and have a high rate of compliance with social norms generally have lower youth crime rates.   Egypt: Low rates of alcohol use, firearm possession, drug use. Conservative, familycentered society create some social control. Today, however juvenile crime is highly politicized, and youth have taken part in Arab Spring-related crime and terrorism.
  7. 7. Brief introduction to the model countries  United Kingdom  System most similar to the United States  Ages 14 to 18, and serious crimes by children between 10 and 14 are prosecuted in juvenile court  Homicide and serious crimes tried in adult courts  Anti-social behavior order can “punish” youth for non-criminal behaviors  France  Like the UK, formal justice-based process  Procurator involved in prosecution before a juvenile judge; parents required to attend hearings  Some alternatives to incarceration, such as community service
  8. 8. Model countries (Continued)  Germany  Unlike UK and France, falls clearly on the side of rehabilitation/welfare-based system  Older age of criminal responsibility (14) and of involvement in juvenile justice system (20)  Virtually all juvenile offenders are tried in juvenile court rather than adult court  Saudi Arabia  No separate juvenile justice system  Corporal punishment commonly used; judges have wide discretion  Placed in separate juvenile prisons, where they undergo religious-based rehabilitation
  9. 9. Japan  Cultural context  Society that places emphasis on subtle social relationships, shame, politeness  Low crime rates, including low youth crime  Education is academically rigorous, which leaves behind students who do poorly in school and makes them susceptible to delinquency  Policing is personal and community-based, and police play the role of juvenile counselor  Parameters of youth crime  Juvenile justice system reaches “pre-delinquents” who have not yet committed a crime, for truancy, disobedience  Youth may be funneled into the system for control  Because of cultural context (value on relationships), even petty youth crime gives a sense of social dislocation
  10. 10. China  Cultural context  Follows the “justice” model more than Japan does  Political nature of justice: combination of education, discipline, and labor used to treat youth crime  Parameters of juvenile justice  Chinese state punishes misbehavior by youth as well as crime, such as running away, truancy  Youth may be sent to centers where they face rigid discipline and education  Rehabilitation with mandatory labor is typical punishment, but traditional incarceration also used
  11. 11. Discussion Questions Are there any ways to organize juvenile justice systems other than age?  Why is rehabilitation predominant in juvenile justice, moreso than adult justice?  In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court found life imprisonment without parole for juveniles to be unconstitutional. Why do you think this was?  What are the risks of underpunishing or overpunishing youth delinquency? 

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