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Distributed for Purich Publishing

Justice for Young Offenders

Their Needs, Our Responses

Canada has a long history of using the criminal justice system to address social problems of youth in society. Yet, according to clinical psychologist Mary Vandergoot, this approach has ignored that many so-called juvenile delinquents may have developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or have been victims of violence or neglect. Set against the backdrop of the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act, this is an interdisciplinary approach with clinical examples and sample evaluations, examining options for dealing with troubled youth, social and emotional issues, and the role of the various actors in youth justice, including the psychologist.

224 pages

Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward A Disability Paradigm

1. The Tip of the Iceberg
The Code According to the YCJA
Mental Disorder Provisions
Key Aspects of Youth Justice Legislation
Court Ordered Reports
Adult Sentences for Young Offenders
Constitutionality of the YCJA

2. Good Reasons for a Separate System
A Period of Change and Risk
Competencies in Youth
Adolescence and Stress
Mood Disorders
Planning, Judging, and Decision-Making
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Implications of a Developmental Perspective
The Truth about Consequences

3. Even More Reasons for a Separate System
Conceptualizing Mental Disabilities
Multiple Pathways Leading to Mental Disabilities
At Risk for Secondary Disabilities
Mental Disabilities and Delinquency
Victimization and Violent Offending
Victimization and Youth Justice
Stereotypes Associated with Mental Disabilities
Mental Disabilities and Education
Disability Rights

4. The Snowball Effect
Out-of-Court Measures
Conditions of Release and Probation
The Adverse Impact of Custody

5. Examples and Strategies
    Intellectual Disabilities
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
    Disruptive Behaviour Disorders
    Chronic Misunderstanding
    Reduced Remembering
    Impulsivity and Planning Difficulties

6. Waiving Their Rights
Competencies Required to Waive Rights
Admissible Statements and Waivers

7. Competency Assessments in Youth Court
Defining Roles and Preparing Clients
The Assessment Process
Maturity and Competence to Consent
Legal Competencies in Youth Court
Assessing Criminal Responsibility in Youth

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