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Youth Offending Essay - Literature review Example

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Social exclusion and socioeconomic statuses have been central to the study of the over-representation of ethnic and racial minorities in criminal justice systems of many a country (Hills, 2002)…
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Youth Offending Essay

Download file to see previous pages... Social exclusion refers to the lack of acceptance, belonging and recognition of an individual or a community by others despite the fact that they may be neighbours in a city or a country (Friedman, 1993). Studies have shown that Black and Ethnic Minority (BEM) youths are the most affected by social exclusion in Wales and England. Interestingly, socially exclude youth are often found to be socially and economically vulnerable and have higher risks of living diminished lives in the eyes of the advantaged as well as in their own eyes (Applebaum et al., 2010). The social and economic changes in the free-market economies have been cited as the main causes of social exclusion of minority youths, more so in the Western countries. In addition, weaknesses and inequalities in government service provision have made socially excluded people rather vulnerable in many ways (Coker, 2003). For instance, in England and Wales, the socioeconomically deprived and socially exclude ethnic minority youths have been found to be at higher risks of being crime victims or offenders given their propensity towards committing crimes (CRC, 2008a). This paper thus explores the reasons youths from ethnic minority groups are over-represented in the criminal justice system of Wales and England and the possible approaches with which this trend may be addressed. The Criminal Justice System and Black Minority Youths Perhaps one of the most regrettable and enduring characteristic of the criminal justice systems is racial profiling and stereotyping of youths from minority ethnic groups (CRC, 2008b). Fortunately, there has been a considerable increase in the galvanisation of the link between minority ethnic groups and crime (University of Georgia, 2006). In worse cases, there have been so much racial stereotyping and crime profiling that black youths are referred to as ‘criminal predators’ (Silver, 1994). According to the Youth Justice Board (YJB), which reported that 1,822 young offenders were in custody in the 2010/2011 period, it is this profiling of minority youths that has subtly justified the over-representation of youths from minority ethnic groups and races in the criminal justice systems (BBC, 2011). Out of this population, minority ethnic youths constituted 39%, a 6% increase over the 2009/2010 period. However, the general figures of youth offenders dropped from 1977 of the 2009/2010 period (BBC, 2011). The Guardian also reported similar trends in both Wales and England, reporting that young black men accounted for nearly 40% of the population of youth jails in the two countries. Comparing the 2006 and the 2009/2010 period, the joint report with the Youth Justice Board (YJB) indicated an increase from 23% to 39% by young black youth composition (The Guardian, 2011). This over-representation is not only evident at the trial stages/courts but also in the correctional facilities such as prisons. Although, an unofficial policy, the tendency to racially and ethnically profile minority youths is so rampant that criminal justice practitioners openly practice it. Certain elements have been identified to be core to the culture of racial profiling and the emergence and practice of minority youth typification in the criminal justice system (Walker, 1977). While the number of minority youths incarcerated in the UK and Wales in the last three decades increased, the number of incarcerated white/majority has considerably gone down. Since historical times, youths from minority groups have consistently been over-represented at all the stages in the criminal justice system in the UK and Wales, the senior and the juvenile justice systems (Walker, 1992). In fact, this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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