Patrick Orr Case Study: Criminalization Of Young People

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Patrick (Pat) Orr Case Study

Every childhood is worth fighting for

There are too many children whose rights are neglected by laws and institutions, who endure harsh and retributive punishments that stigmatise and marginalize them further. The lack of appropriate crime prevention efforts, support to parents to ensure a safe family environment, and education and employment opportunities for young people who are old enough to access employment, can lead to imprisonment and recidivism becoming a pattern for young people who are left with few opportunities to re-shape their future (The International NGO Council on Violence Against Children, 2013).
Criminalization of young people is discretionary as there are no pre-determined imperatives for governments and state agencies to process particular types of young people’s behaviour as crimes and react by treating the perpetrators as criminals. Yet, those in power chose to criminalize young people and apply the processes of formal intervention, regulation, control and punishment, and govern them in an uneven and inconsistent manner within and between youth justice systems (Goldson, 2013).
Crime is a cause and consequence of the breakdown of relationships. Research from the Prison Reform Trust (2013) illustrates how the absence of a family environment and wide-ranging social relationships can contribute to offending behaviour; in fact, that research has found that 76% of children in custody have an absent father. Nonetheless, the

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