By Robert D. Hoge
Our society's preoccupation with crime and worry of crime seems to have shifted its concentration to the juvenile criminal. either digital and print media constantly warn us that juvenile offenders are more and more more youthful and extra virulent. The demographics of our inhabitants recommend that there'll simply be extra juvenile offenders to worry within the close to destiny. All of those issues come up in a social weather that's characterised through an ever expanding call for for more advantageous retributive measures opposed to the criminal. the assumption that in simple terms harsh justice will defend us from the ravages of juveniles has develop into dominant. more and more, perceptions and politics, instead of clinical facts, dominate coverage making in regards to younger offenders. In Assessing the younger criminal: concerns and strategies, Robert D. Hoge and D. A. Andrews make a limited, rational, and finally persuasive argu ment for using standardized mental tests within the potent administration of adlescent inside of juvenile justice structures. They make clear how what we already learn about the reason and administration of younger criminality could be integrated into standardized checking out and that the data acquired from trying out can enhance the management of felony justice. additionally, this informa tion turns out to be useful regardless of the theoretical biases of these who administer the justice process. The potency of regulations of both retribution, deterrence, or rehabilitation is barely greater via reliance on data.
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Extra resources for Assessing the Youthful Offender: Issues and Techniques
The results of the study indicated substantial variability among these youth court judges regarding the nature of the disposition considered appropriate for a case, the weighting of various case factors, and the weighting of the alternative goals of sentencing. Doob and Beaulieu (1993) are careful to point out that some of the variability in judgments can be explained by ambiguities in the Young Offenders Act of Canada, within which these youth court judges were operating. Furthermore, and as we noted earlier, some flexibility (and, hence, variability in decisions) is required in any system dealing with human clients.
Because each of these theories focuses on a narrow range of causal factors, they also identify a narrow range of need factors. We saw, however, that a number of more integrative theories of youth crime have appeared and that these incorporate a broader range of factors in their analyses of the causes of youthful criminal activity. We feel that these theories provide a better guide to the identification of criminogenic need factors. , 1990), which we discussed earlier, attempts to incorporate the full range of causal factors linked to criminal activity that have been identified in the research literature.
If, for example, a decision about incarceration depends on an assessment of the youth's risk of reoffending, then the validity of the inference about risk level becomes of critical importance. Similarly, the effectiveness of a decision about providing the youth with a program of therapy depends very directly on the validity of the judgment about the youth's need for treatment. It is our position, then, that the common dependence on unsystematic assessment procedures in juvenile justice systems contributes to invalid inferences about clients, which in tum contributes to inappropriate decisions about youths.