Youth Sentencing in Queensland, Audtralia

Essay by rustyoneHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2005

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1 Introduction

The Queensland population are all treated differently in the eyes of the law today. Some age groups have are restricted in their sentencing only by the law that corresponds to their crime, however other groups are have a different system of sentencing all together. Juveniles are treated with a policy that where possible attempts to keep them out of jails and detention centres and give them a second chance in society.

1.1 Explanation of key terms

The state identifies a child to be under the age of 17. This means that the term 'young offenders' relates to anyone that is under the age of 17 at the time that he/she commits an offence against the law. Further, under s29 of the Queensland Criminal Code (refer Appendix One), anyone under the age of ten cannot be held criminally responsible for his/her actions and it is presumed that anyone under the age of 14 is not criminally responsible.

2 The current law regarding the sentencing of youth.

The official Act that concerns the sentencing of juveniles is outlined in the Juvenile Justice Act of 1992, (QLD). Amendments have since been made to this Act in the years of 1998 and 2002. It states that diversionary measures should be used on those young offenders after their guilt has been admitted. These diversionary measures may be used at the discretion of police under different circumstances or referred to be used by the court system. In considering the diversionary method of sentencing, police must bear in mind the circumstances of the offence, the child's previous history and previous cautions issued to the offender.

2.1 The different principles of statue law applying to youth sentencing.

2.1.1 Take no action.

Taking no action is a form of diversionary sentencing that can be used...