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NCJ Number: 151544 Find in a Library
Title: Don't Get Tough, Get Serious
Journal: Canadian Criminal Justice Association Bulletin  Dated:(September 15, 1994)  Pages:12-15
Author(s): R Prashaw
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: In assessing the efficacy of a "get tough" approach to youth crime in Canada, the author concludes that getting tough is a costly and ineffective substitute for taking a harder look at how the justice system should respond to young offenders.
Abstract: The severity of dispositions under the Young Offenders Act (YOA) is debated, but making restitution a consequence of criminal behavior can be part of growing up for young offenders and victims can regain a sense of control in their lives through participating in an approach that makes offenders accountable. Issues of restitution, accountability, reparation, and healing are more important than debates over how tough or lenient to be with young offenders. Society needs to be protected from the most violent offenders, and the YOA contains provisions to deal with these offenders. For the majority of young offenders who have not committed violent offenses, however, alternatives to incarceration may offer more effective deterrence than simply locking them up. In addition, many youths are addicted to alcohol and drugs and need appropriate treatment that jails cannot provide. The best way of protecting society against violent young offenders is to rehabilitate them. Rehabilitation has not failed; rather, it has not been attempted meaningfully due to inadequate resources in an overburdened juvenile justice system.
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile delinquency
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Canada; Corrections effectiveness; Foreign crime prevention; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile drug abusers; Juvenile offenders; Juvenile rehabilitation; Restitution; Victim compensation; Violent juvenile offenders; Youthful offenders
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