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The processing of juveniles in victoria

posted on 2023-01-30, 02:25 authored by A E Hiller, Linda HancockLinda Hancock
The overriding welfare orientation of legislation dealing with juveniles at this time had a number of implications worth noting, since this general philosophy has persisted to the present day. Theoretically, a rehabilitation or treatment philosophy assumes the presence of –disease— or maladjustment (by contrast with the classical notion of mens rea), crime or misconduct are seen as a problem deriving from the psychology and/or immediate environment of the individual, indicating the presence of some –pathology—. Hence the remedy is seen as lying in supervision, character retraining, removal from contaminating influences and exposure to a superior moral and social climate, and the inculcation of a practical work ethic involving manual trades for boys and domestic skills for girls. –The essence of rehabilitation is that punishments should fit the criminal not the crime. –2 This seems to carry the indisputable corollaries that within certain age or time limits sentences to reformatories must be of a reasonable and preferably indefinite length, given the nature of the human material to be worked on and the reformative process being attempted, and that the sooner any symptoms are identified, the better the prognosis. Thus indeterminate sentences and the idea of pre-or potential delinquency or of –delinquent tendencies— became part of the apparatus for controlling troublesome juveniles (Balch, 1975), consistent with this basically medical model of delinquency.



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