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Youth justice: challenges in responding to young people convicted of sexual offences

O'Brien, Wendy 2011, Youth justice: challenges in responding to young people convicted of sexual offences, Deakin law review, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 133-154.

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Title Youth justice: challenges in responding to young people convicted of sexual offences
Author(s) O'Brien, Wendy
Journal name Deakin law review
Volume number 16
Issue number 1
Start page 133
End page 154
Total pages 22
Publisher Deakin University
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1321-3660
Keyword(s) adolescents
sexual offences
therapeutic care
specialised counselling
Summary The clinical and criminological literature on adolescents who have committed sexual offences indicates that a pathologisation of young people and a labelling or overly punitive response is likely to be more harmful than rehabilitative. Accordingly, therapeutic counselling and diversionary schemes are seen as preferable to custodial terms in most instances. For adolescents convicted of sex offences, clinicians identify the benefits of comprehensive therapeutic care which involves family and is sensitive to the young person's context and culture. The benefits of this approach are documented and, although data are limited, indications are that recidivism is reduced where adolescents are provided with specialised counselling to encourage positive and non-abusive behaviours. Yet each jurisdiction experiences difficulties in ensuring the provision of equitable and comprehensive therapeutic services, particularly to regionally or remotely located youth. This paper draws on data from a national study of the services to children and adolescents with sexualised or sexual offending behaviours. With attention to the difficulty in providing services to regionally or remotely located adolescents, this paper identifies challenges around lengthy remand terms, the provision of pre-offence diversionary programs, and the provision of specialised services for young people serving community orders. For example, jurisdictions with the largest geographic service areas face enormous difficulties in providing specialised supervision for community-based orders. At present there are several jurisdictions where regionally and remotely located adolescents may serve the duration of a youth justice order without receiving sepcialised counselling to assist them in modifying their behaviours. The paper identifies the risks where specialised counselling cannot be provided, but also identifies specific initiatives designed to fill these gaps in service provision to youth justice clients. 
Language eng
Field of Research 160202 Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
Socio Economic Objective 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Deakin University
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30061430

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Created: Thu, 06 Mar 2014, 14:22:28 EST by Wendy O'brien

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.