Law for criminal justice professionals Essay Example

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2010CCJ Law for Criminal Justice Professionals: Take Home Exam

PART A — This part consists of 5 questions and is worth 5 marks in total.

Q1. Which sections of the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) outlines the purpose and main principle of the legislation? Briefly summarise the content of the sections in your own words. Type your answer in the space provided:

Part 2 Division 1 at Section 4 of the Child Protection Act 1999 states that the purpose of the Act is to provide for the protection of children.

The paramount principle of the Act under Section 5A is to ensure the safety, well being and the best interest of the child. This means that in any decision that affects the child their safety and well being will be considered in making decisions involving the child. The other principles under section 5B can be considered as the rights of the child such as protection from harm, responsibility of the family in relation to a child, and the responsibility of the state in protecting a child if the child does not have a parent.

Section 5C of the Act recognizes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children; that they must be allowed to develop and maintain their connection with the Childs family culture and tradition and the protection of the identity of the child.

Q2. Which section of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld)contains the sentencing guidelines? Briefly summarise the content of the section in your own words. Type your answer in the space provided:

According to Section 9 of the Penalties and Sentences Act it sets out the sentencing guidelines. The purpose for imposing sentences as highlighted under Section 9(1) (a) — (f) are to punish, rehabilitate, deter, denouncing the conduct of the offender, protect the Queensland community.

Further section 9 (2) (a)-(r) states that a court before sentencing an offender must consider some principles that include; a sentence of imprisonment should only be imposed as a last resort, and that a sentence that allows an offender to remain within the community is more preferable.

The court must also take into account the maximum penalty prescribed by the offence, the seriousness and nature of the offence, the damage, injury and loss suffered, the character of the offender and any aggravating or mitigating factor that concern the offender. The other factors are the time spent in custody, whether the offender helped the investigative law enforcement agencies and time spent in custody.

Among the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders a special consideration is given under section 9 (p). The relevant factors considered are the relationship of the offender with the community, culture and the considerations of programs and services that exist in the community justice group.

The court must also give due consideration while applying the guidelines under section 2(a) since the Act limits the application of the principles under section 9(3). The limitation are that the principle cannot apply in cases where the offence involved use of counselling, procuring or conspiring or the offence resulted in physical harm. In relation to offenders who fall under the limitation, Section 4(a)-(k) applies in determining their sentence. Some other factors are the risks of physical harm to the community, protection, personal circumstances of the victim, remorse of the offender, psychiatric, medical, age and character and any other thing that relates to the safety of the members of the community and sentencing. There is also a limitation for a sexual offender in relation to a child under the age of 16 years.

The court must also give due regard to whether the offender may become or is subject to or may become subject to an order because of dangerous prisoners application. The act also gives consideration of previous convictions of an offender before sentencing and it is dependent on the nature of the previous conviction and the time that has lapsed since the conviction (Section 8). Generally the sentence that is given under section (8) shall not be imposed if it is disproportionate to the gravity of the offence.

Q3. What is the name of the primary Act governing youth justice in South Australia? Which section of the Act deals with recording convictions? Briefly summarise its content in your own words. Type your answer in the space provided:

The Act that governs youth Justice in Australia is the Young Offenders Act No.57 of 1993. Division 2 section 21 deals with the recording of convictions and it states that when a youth is found guilty of a major indictable offence the court would record a conviction of the offence unless the court gives special reasons for not recording is given through a formal record in the Courts judgement.

The Young Offenders Act aims at securing youths who have been found culpable for committing crime both felonies and misdemeanours through correction, guidance and care to ensure that they become responsible members of the community to realise their true potential. The Act also sets the age for culpability as 10 years and any person below that age cannot commit an offence. The Act also stipulates the procedures to be followed when a young offender is arrested, charges and proceedings , examination and trial, sentencing detention and transfer of youths to other states

Q4. List the full name and dates of any Acts that have amended the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 (Qld). Type your answer in the space provided:

Corrective Services Act 2006 No. 29

Criminal Code and Other Legislation Act 2011 No.7

Juvenile Justice and Other Acts Amendment Act 2009 No. 34

Penalties and Sentences and other Amendments Act 2012 No.17

State Penalties Enforcement and Other Legislation Act 2009 No. 48

Q5. What is the name of the department that has responsibility for child protection in Western Australia? Provide the name of the primary legislation that governs child protection in this jurisdiction. Type your answer in the space provided:

The department for Child Protection and Family Support is in charge of child protection in Western Australia.

The legislation that governs child protection in Western Australia is the Children and Community Services Act 2004.

Continue to Part B on the following page

PART B – This part has two sections to complete. The first section is worth 5 marks, and the second section is worth 10 marks.

First, choose one of the following pieces of legislation:

  1. Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld)

  2. Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld)

  1. Mental Health Act 2000 (Qld)

Section One: (5 marks)

For the Act you have chosen (from the list above), (1) provide the URL address (website link) for the following information and (2) briefly explain how you found this information (i.e. describe how you did it). There are 5 questions to complete. Please type your answers into the space provided.

1. The Act as currently enforced

The Act came commenced on the 28th of August 2006

I went to the Australia Legal Information Institute, I chose Queensland Legislation, Clicked on the Queensland Consolidated Acts link, searched alphabetically by choosing letter C and on the preceding page opened the Corrective Services Act.

2. The Original Bill

In the Australian Legal Information Institute Website, I clicked on Queensland legislation, then chose Queensland Bills, then chose the alphabet letter C as the initial for the Bill, and then on the page that appeared i chose Corrective Services Bill.

3. The explanatory notes for the Bill

In the Australian Legal Information Institute, I chose Queensland Legislation, on the preceding page under Qld Legislation I chose Queensland Bills Explanatory Notes 1999, clicked on letter C and on the page that proceeded I chose Corrective Services Bill 2006. On that page There are three options and I chose the first option Explanatory Notes.

  1. The Hansard of the second reading speech and debates. dates/dates/2006/2006-03-29

I opened the Queensland Parliament Hansard Online database. Searched for the Fifty-First Parliament February to August 2006 Proceedings. I downloaded the PDF and found the Dates for which the House held their meetings to Discuss the Bill. The First Date was on the 29th of March 2006.

I clicked on the Sitting Dates and entered the Dates.

The Page opened, giving two options; Daily Agenda (notice paper) and Record of Proceedings (Hansard) Full Transcript-Final.

I clicked on the Full Transcript option and got a PDF titled Weekly Hansard 51st Parliament, Wednesday, 29th March 2006

Subsequent debates dates/dates/2006/2006-05-23 dates/dates/2006 /2006-05-25

5. The government department that administers the Act

The Act is administered by the Queensland Corrective Services on behalf of the Minister

Continue to section 2 on the following page.

Section Two: (10 marks)

For the Act you have chosen (from the list above)

  1. Summarize the explanation given by the Minister for the introduction of this legislation in his/her second reading speech

  1. Look at the second reading debates and summarise the statements made by (a) a member of the opposition and (b) a member of government in relation to the proposed Bill.

(Note: You need to have read the second reading speech and debates to answer this question. Your summary should be about 1 page long (approx 500 words) but should not be longer than 2 pages maximum (1000 words). Summarise the material in your own words, and aim to be accurate but concise).

Type your answer here:

During the second reading after the Bill had been introduced into the Queensland Legislative Assembly the Minister gave his speech of the Corrective Services Bill (CSB) 2006. The second reading session started at 11:30 am.

The Minister stated that the CSB will introduce “truth sentencing’ for corrections in Queensland and if passed it will ensure that prisoners serve their sentences either in custody or under supervision within the community 100%. The Bill will also ensure that sexual offenders and serious violent offenders can only be given supervised release approved by the parole board and abolishing remission. The abolishment of remission was necessary to ensure that the sentence of a prisoner could not be cut short.

The Minister stated highlighted the fact that the Bill does not guarantee prisoners the same rights as those accorded to the law abiding citizens with the community. The Bill strips off the prisoner’s right to engage in meaningful business activities, no right to reproduction and that a prisoner cannot change his identity when he is behind bars. The Minister further stated that a prisoner will not have a right to challenge any decisions that relate to their security, supervision or placement through judicial review.

The Minister gave the history of the Corrective Services Act since 200and its incorporation of the best practice model developed under judicial review. The main areas for review were; containment of prisoners, rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners to the community, safety of staff, prisoners and visitors as well as their statutory roles and responsibilities. Further the overriding policy objective of the Bill as stated by the Minister was to provide safe and humane containment, supervision and the rehabilitation of prisoners.

The Minister also noted the importance of equipping prisoners with skills as a way of ensuring they gain meaningful employment after their release. The Bill also gives consideration to victims of serious crimes like sexual offences a right to give an opinion to a parole board if the prisoner applies for parole. The Minister also stated that the Bill would introduce the best way of classifying , placing and managing the number of prisoners at the same time protecting their safety. The assessment and classification of prisoners would depend on whether they are of high risk or low risk depending on whether they are likely to escape , a risk to the corrective facility and their real likelihood to reoffend. The Bill also requires that privileged mail from lawyers, Minister, Ombudsmen can be searched in the presence of the Prisoner.

Mr Johnson a member of the opposition spoke at 8:22 pm on the 23rd of May. He stated that the opposition would support the legislation. He highlighted the fact that the legislation introduces reforms within the Prison system precipitated by the Kennedy Report of 1988 regarding remission as a flawed concept. The Bill is also precise on what a prisoner is entitled to with specific rights of receiving personal visit every week and also a visit from their legal representative. Mr Johnson however questioned the Minister in relation to the composition of the Parole since 25% of the prisoners are indigenous and therefore the opposition would be keen to watch how the appointments to the parole would be handled.

Mr Johnson also questioned the clause on a prisoner benefiting from a business they own while in prison, because provided they do not participate in the running while in prison. How would the Bill handle a business carried on under the name of a prisoner by a spouse or a partner?

According to Mr Johnson the Bill fails to identify the entitlements and terms of training required for a Corrective Service Officers.

Mr Nuttal a government allied legislator sought to support the Corrective Services Bill 2006. He said that the Bill is a demonstration of the Beattie Labor Government commitment to ensure proper legislation that govern corrective services in Queensland are created to meet the society’s expectations.

An important aspect of the Bill is the recognition of the right of a victim to provide evidence to the Parole Board. This is a way of protecting the victims from further harm and any further commission of crime.

The law is developed in relation to the introduction of provisions that; prisoners should serve their entire sentence, they are not allowed to reproduce through assisted reproductive technology while in custody, name change can only be granted through permission and they cannot engage in meaningful business activated while serving their sentence.