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NCJ Number: 213290 Find in a Library
Title: Young Offenders and Presentencing Reports: A Criminological Perspective
Journal: Acta Criminologica  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:2005  Pages:1-19
Author(s): J. Prinsloo
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 19
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: This paper argues that South African law, pursuant to the requirements of its Constitution and international instruments, should require that a presentence report be prepared for all offenders under 18 years old who go to trial.
Abstract: At a minimum, a court should require that a presentence report be prepared by a probation and/or a correctional officer when a young offender has committed a serious offense; or has previous convictions; or when a sentence of imprisonment, including suspended imprisonment, is about to be imposed. Minor youthful offenders should be diverted from formal court processing and sentencing; however, if such a case should be retained for trial, a presentence investigation should be ordered to ensure that the offender is sentenced in accordance with South Africa's Constitution; international instruments; and the spirit of the Child Justice Bill, which is currently under consideration. Until such time as the Child Justice Bill becomes law, every young offender adjudicated in a court of law must have the benefit of a presentence report and follow up. This is required under the principle that the "best interests of the child" be served in all court deliberations. All relevant facts about the juvenile should be addressed in the presentence report, such as social and family background, school achievement, and health conditions. Assessments of the youth's social and psychological needs should also be conducted. The production of accurate and useful presentence reports requires that those who prepare them be trained in what is involved in preparing a proper presentence report that will assist the court in rendering an appropriate sentence. A 36-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Juvenile sentencing
Index Term(s): Juvenile offenders; Presentence investigations; Presentence studies
Note: To access the full text PDF: 1) select the provided HTML link; 2) from the Acta Criminologica Web site, select “Table of Contents”; 3) select the corresponding Volume and Issue (see the NCJRS abstract record for the exact Volume and Issue); 4) scroll the Table of Contents to the exact article; 5) click on the “full text” icon.
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