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NCJ Number: 148695 Find in a Library
Title: Aboriginal Youth, Police and the Juvenile Justice System in Western Australia (From Conference on Juvenile Justice, P 269-278, 1993, Lynn Atkinson and Sally-Anne Gerull, eds. -- See NCJ-148673)
Author(s): L Atkinson
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Australia
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: After discussing juveniles, crime, police, and the vulnerability of Aboriginal youth who come to the attention of the police, this paper examines the nexus between the pretrial conference, police prosecutors, and Aboriginal youth.
Abstract: The juvenile justice system is based in the concept that most youth mature out of crime, and that, while still being responsible for their actions, their responsibility as minors under the law is mitigated by age. Accordingly, more lenient penalties apply for juvenile offenders. Currently, police prosecutors compare the juvenile scale of penalties with those applicable in the adult court and find them to be inadequate. Hence, the children's court becomes a fertile ground for complaints and the perpetuation of negative and racist stereotypes. A special juvenile prosecuting unit, with prosecutors trained in juvenile and Aboriginal affairs, as well as the philosophy and practice of the juvenile justice system, might be a countervailing force to the present law-and-order focus of the police in the children's court. The pretrial conference, as a court-based procedure, is used in the second half of a juvenile's journey through the system. Having been dealt with by police, been found unsuitable for pre-court diversion, and made at least one appearance in court on the matter at hand, only arbitration and sentencing remain. The over-representation of Aboriginal youth in the juvenile justice system increases as their penetration into the system deepens. Because of this, the pretrial conference could further entrench the over- representation of Aboriginal youth; however, in practice, its lack of appeal to Aboriginal youth is offset by the flexibility that creates second chances for Aboriginal youth. A change in police attitudes, structures, and practices could further reduce the conflict between police and youth, particularly Aboriginal youth, and create an environment that encourages equity. 20 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Foreign police; Police; Police juvenile relations; Police-minority relations
Note: From proceedings of the National Conference on Juvenile Justice, held in Adelaide, Australia, September 22-24, 1992.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=148695

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