You Adults In The Criminal Justice System

What should we do with young adults who come in contact with the criminal justice system. should we treat them differently? Stephen Woodwark and Nessa Lynch (affiliation not provided to SSRN and Victoria University of Wellington – Faculty of Law) have posted ‘Decidedly but Differently Accountable’? – Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System (Stephen Woodwark and Nessa Lynch “’Decidedly but Differently Accountable’? – Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System” NZ L Rev, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Young adults are increasingly recognized as a distinct group, both in society and in the context of the criminal justice system. This article explores the evidence which highlights the distinct characteristics of young adults, and the principle supporting differential treatment of this age cohort. Consideration is given to the existing provisions that cater for young adults, including the newly established Young Adult List Court. Particular focus is given to assessing the efficacy of discounts provided for age under the Sentencing Act 2002. Two potential conceptual models for reform are canvassed. Processes and responses available under the current youth justice system may be extended where appropriate; such an approach has been adopted by several overseas jurisdictions. Alternatively, a distinct ‘third system’ may be established with procedures and outcomes developed specifically for young adults.

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