Analysis of Juvenile crime Essay Example

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5Juvenile Offences


This paper seeks to analyse issues affecting juvenile justice and crime that usually affects the youth in Australia. Because of the escalation of youth related crimes, debates on the major causes of this scenario have gained momentum worldwide. Different people blame this escalation on varying possible causes; many believe that the laws set do not handle this issue seriously while others blame globalization as the cause of the increased rate of crime. In Australia, there is a developed juvenile justice system that addresses all issues related to child offenders and the youth in general.

This analysis focuses on three issues which are; it compares and contrasts youth justice conferencing considering the conduct orders of youth in order to clarify two issues which are how to address harms of crime and mitigating young persons from committing serious crimes. The other issue is identification of possible factors that may lead a young offender to the Children’s court for behavioural supervision under youth conduct order instead of referral to youth justice conferencing. Lastly, it will critically evaluate possible intended and unintended results of youth conduct orders as compared with what we know about juvenile justice conferencing effectiveness.


The guiding research questions for this analysis are stated below;

  1. Compare and contrast youth justice conferencing with youth conduct orders to clarify how these two interventions address the harms of crime and try to prevent a young person from committing more crimes. “

  2. Identify possible factors that may result in a young offender being referred to the Children’s Court for behavioural supervision under a youth conduct order rather than referral to youth justice conferencing.”

  3. Critically evaluate the possible intended and unintended consequences of youth conduct orders compared with what we know about the effectiveness of juvenile justice conferencing. “

This research sought the guidance of the Youth offenders Act, 1997, the Juvenile Justice’s information and publications on youth conduct orders and the criminal proceedings of children Act. The analysis of these acts and other relevant articles formed the basis of this analysis (Cuneen 2008).


Youth Justice conferencing

Youth Conduct orders

The act imposes minimal restrictions on the wrongdoer

It imposes restrictions on offenders when handing their cases

Conferencing provides support and possible guidance to offenders that aim at rehabilitating their misguided behaviors.

Youth conduct focuses on the offender’s characters and provided guidance.

Conferencing seeks to advice the family of the offender in order to mitigate future misguided behaviors

Youth conduct follows criminal proceedings with an aim of promoting both the welfare of the offender and the entire family.

It also aims at bringing responsibility to the youth without any other option.

In case there is no other options, this rule will seek criminal charges against the offending youth

Similarities between Youth Conferencing and Youth Conduct Orders

  1. Both these cases seek to bring fair trial of the offenders by ensuring that the victims get their deserved corrective measures.

  2. Both cases also consider the rights of the offenders by considering the juvenile justice process.

  3. These cases also seek to be fair by applying principles that considers the offenders cultures (Vignaendra 2008).

  4. In both of these considerations, the court is mandated the task of executing criminal proceedings against the offenders.

With these considerations there is a clear rationale for referring offenders to the children’s courts that deal with behavioural corrections as provided by the youth conduct order instead of using youth justice conferencing (Tonry 2010). It is also seen that there is need to seek other alternatives of handling the matter before opting for a court proceeding in order to promote fairness to the youth offender. It is also important to consider any possible disadvantages of the offender such as disabilities, orphanage and other limitations such as poor cognitive abilities or communication. It is also required that the offender undergo criminal proceedings at least two times before considering another options (Crawford 2009). The investigating officer may opt for youth conduct order if the conferencing option is not feasible. In a case where the offender denies the charges, youth conduct order may be the only appropriate options.

Generally there are misconceptions about the effectiveness of the juvenile justice conferencing considering the possibilities of intended and unintended results of youth conduct behaviour (Trimboli 2000). In youth conduct orders, the officer conducting the investigation may opt to institute criminal proceedings against the offending child or youth if he/she feels that there are no other options of handling the issue. In this case, the intention result is to make sure that the youth conduct behaviour is the last options and while the unintended results is dragging the criminal proceedings. Importantly, the offender has the right of receiving adequate legal representation and being informed of the same. In this case, the intended consequence is to ensure a fair trial of the offender (Crawford 2003, p. 471). On the other hand, the unintended consequence is the offender evading charges because of the legal representation he/she receives.


There are options of administering justice to young offenders according to the offenders Act of 1997 (Chan 2005). They include warning, caution, youth justice conference and criminal proceedings in a court of law. These options follow each other concurrently and the other options are only taken once the preceding option fails to produce significant results. Youth conferencing usually takes juvenile offenders before a conference together with their patents and other support groups in order to establish the extent of the crime impact on the community in order for the offender to face justice. The conference seeks to make the offender admissive of the offence in order for the guidance and support to be provided to the offender. This is done with the inclusions of the family members and support groups. The administrations of justice in youth conferencing and youth conduct differ (Luke 2002).

According to Martin (2011) the administrations of justice in Youth conferencing occurs before the family, and a group and thus important in making the offender take the responsibility of the offence in order to avoid additional humiliation. This aspect also plays a crucial role in ensuring that the family and group bond is created and hence reducing the chances of future crimes. Conferencing takes place when the subsequent options have failed to yield substantial fruits (Brown 2004). A notable limitation of the youth conferencing is the fact that it imposes minimal restrictions on the youth offender and thus causing a possibility of repeat crime. Another limitation of the conferencing options is the fact that it limits the influence of the parents in the justice process. It is thus possible for the justice process to infringe on the rights of the juvenile without their knowledge (Millie 2008). Parental inclusion may play a critical role.


The fundamental role of the Australian justice system is to enhance fair justice administrations process. This analysis has elaborated the three research questions by Comparing and contrasting youth justice conferencing with youth conduct orders. It has also indentified possible reasons for referring offenders to children court for behavioural supervision. In the analysis of the justice process, the intended and unintended consequences have also been shown. This paper has thus highlighted fair trial of offenders which ensures that they get deserved corrective measures and also considering the rights of the offenders in the juvenile justice proceedings. Family inclusion has been recommended for inclusion in the Youth Conferencing because of their significant role in the justice administration process.