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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 166256 Find in a Library
Title: Case for Change (From Children Who Kill, P 9-19, 1996, Paul Cavadino, ed. - See NCJ-166255)
Author(s): P Cavadino
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Waterside Press
Winchester, SO23 9NN, England
Sale Source: Waterside Press
Publications Coordinator
Domum Road
Winchester, SO23 9NN,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines the statistics on the number of children and young persons found guilty of murder and manslaughter in England and Wales between 1979 and 1994; summarizes available evidence on why children kill; describes how England deals with children who commit homicide; and compares the English approach with the approaches of several European countries.
Abstract: The figures presented in this study show no clear trend. The average annual number of people under 18 found guilty of murder or manslaughter 1979-83 was 29; during 1990-94 the average number was 25. Factors which, alone or in combination, can produce the types of disturbance which can lead children to kill include: serious physical abuse; sexual abuse; exposure to or witnessing repetitive or extreme violence; parental mental illness; parental rejection; neurological abnormalities; conduct disorder; substance abuse; and mental illness. The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old. Children accused of murder or manslaughter are tried and sentenced by the Crown Court. When a child or young person under 18 is found guilty of murder, the mandatory sentence is the juvenile equivalent of the adult mandatory life sentence. A minimum is set which the offender must serve to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence. In most European countries, children aged under 14 who commit offenses do not appear before the criminal courts. They are dealt with in civil proceedings by family courts concerned with the need for compulsory measures of care. This can include long-term detention in secure accommodation, but it is arranged under the auspices of a care order rather than as a custodial punishment imposed in criminal proceedings. Endnotes, appendix
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): England; Europe; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile murderers; Juvenile processing; Manslaughter; Murder; Statistics; Wales
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