Activity Sheet Explore the Youth Justice System Young people

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					1                  Activity Sheet 1
                   Explore the Youth Justice System

Young people up to the age of 18 who commit criminal offences are managed through
the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. Every local authority has a Youth Offending
Team made up of representatives from the police, the probation, education and social
services and advisers on health, drugs and alcohol misuse.

When young people first get into trouble, by behaving anti-socially or by committing
minor offences, they can be dealt with outside the court system. The main objective of
the Youth Justice System is to prevent young people becoming involved in a life of crime.

You are going to see how much you know about the                    Now you have the correct answers
Youth Justice System by deciding which of the following             to the statements, do any of them
statements true or false. After discussion in your group,           differ from yours? Do any surprise you?
tick the answer you think is correct.                               Make notes below.

                                                    True    False

    1 Young people are recognised by law as                          1
      being responsible for their actions
      from the age of 12.

    2 Young offenders are dealt with in                              2
      Youth Courts.

    3 Cases involving young offenders will be                        3
      heard by specialist judges.

    4 The sentencing of young offenders is                           4
      aimed at preventing re-offending.

    5 Young offenders (age 10-17) cannot                             5
      be sent to prison.

    6 Young offenders will often be required                         6
      to make contact with, and reparation
      to, the victim of their crime.

    7 Parents can be ordered to attend training                      7
      courses if a child or young person has
      been convicted of an offence.

    8 78% of youth crime occurs in the late                          8
      afternoon and evening.

    9 The peak age for youth offending is                            9
      17 years old.
4                  Activity Sheet 4
                   Passing sentence

You need to read and study the following case carefully. You are going to take
the role of the judge in this Crown Court case.

                                           Guilty of robbery
              The complainant was walking through a housing estate when a group of
                   youths walked over to him and started to kick and punch him.
                                The complainant fell to the floor.
              One of the youths said ‘What have you got in your pockets?’, searched
                             his pockets and took a mobile phone.
             The complainant suffered a number of minor injuries. He recognised one
               of the youths, the defendant, as a local youth who he previously had
                                   a number of altercations with.

            The defendant, aged 20, had a number of previous convictions, including
          two for theft and one for obtaining property by deception. The first conviction
                                  for theft was when he was 15.
                The defendant pleaded guilty to the offence but would not give the
               names of the other youths involved. The defendant apologised to the
                    court for his behaviour and said it wouldn’t happen again.

Having discussed your opinions about the case study, now decide what you think would be an
appropriate sentence.

Anyone can look at the evidence of a case and draw their own conclusions - that is the basis of our
jury system. A judge's role is to use their specialist knowledge and experience of the law to ensure cases
and verdicts are carried out within the limits of the law. They then hand down a judgment or sentence that
takes all these considerations into account.
The independence of judges is an important part of our democracy. All judges are free from political
interference, and they sum up a case based on an unbiased assessment of the evidence.