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How do YOU attempt to balance their responsibilities for child welfare and crime control To what extent are they successful - Essay Example

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A child is not born as a criminal or an offender; circumstances force him to become one (Weiner 242). Quoting Morrison, Weiner (242) further explains that that the surroundings in which a man is born and forced to live, shape him. …
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How do YOU attempt to balance their responsibilities for child welfare and crime control To what extent are they successful
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Download file to see previous pages Youth crime has become a significant problem in England especially in the socio-economically backward areas. A large number of youth come across some form of offending behavior in their lives whether as a perpetrator or as a victim. Most youth commit offence though the nature of the offences may not be serious. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the minimum age of criminal responsibility is set at 10 years while the boys and girls aged between 14 and 18 years are considered young adults. (Hollin et al 2). Sufficient evidence is available to prove that among children frequency in offending starts from the age of 8 and reaches the peak during the adolescent years at around the age of 16-17 years. Excessive levels of bullying and fighting, shoplifting, destruction to property, absence from school, defiant and provocative behavior, setting fires, physical attacks, graffiti and sexual assaults are some types of offending (Liabo and Richardson 14). The frequency in offending drops sharply at the age of 18 years and there is a strong possibility that the young offenders actually emerge as law-abiding citizens. Siegel and Welsh (282) have observed that the participation and the frequency of offences by young offenders decrease as they age. However offending does not totally vanish; it exists in the form of underage driving and consumption of alcohol (Hollin et al 2). A report conducted by Civitas (The Institute for the Study of Civil Society) showed that every year around 70,000 school aged children entered Youth Justice System with half of these first time offenders being young adults. The report also stated that both male and female were proven guilty of offence; however the number of male offenders was greater with theft and physical attacks on people being the greatest number of offences committed by the youth (Natale 2010). In England the offending youth have a love-hate relationship with the public. The public strongly condemns the offending actions of the young adults and considers them a threat to the lives and property of the public. On the other hand, the public also raises a hue and cry over the treatment meted out to the young offenders on the hands of law enforcement agencies. In early England, the young offenders were awarded the same punishment for petty offences as an adult. A child forced to steal a piece of bread out of hunger was a thief as was a grown up person who stole a valuable object. The outlook of the English Justice System has changed significantly and now young adults who offend are not treated as hardcore criminals. The Youth Justice System was established to deal with offending children and young adults and is very different from the adult justice system. According to the Youth Justice System, the young offenders should not be isolated from the society rather the whole community should work together to make them law abiding citizens. It believes that arrests and jail sentences do not stop the young offenders from re-offending rather it has been observed that often young adults turn into criminals when sent to prison. If offending is traumatizing for the victims, it also deeply affects the young perpetrator who often is not aware of the severity of his actions until it is too late. The children and young adults who offend need the support and help from all corners so that they do not re-offend and emerge as responsible citizens of the future. Why do Youth Commit Offence There are a number of reasons for which the young offenders commit crimes some of them being peer pressure (bullying), problems at home such as lack of discipline at home, violence at home, financial problems, poor housing, lack of communication between parents ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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