Criminal Justice System Australian Essay

Pages: 4 (1948 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice


The result is that over the last two decades of the "War on Crime" we have witnessed an erosion of the principle that juvenile offenders should be treated more leniently than adults (Sallmann & Willis, 2003). The "get tough" movement has tried to include these juvenile offenders within the ambit of the adult criminal justice system. An example of this "get tough" movement is legislation from California [Proposition 21].

The populist response to crime by juveniles has consisted of an attempt to dismantle the separate system of justice that has been created for juvenile offenders. Populist politicians have used the fact that juveniles receive mitigated punishments (compared to adults) to argue that juvenile sentences are too lenient, as though the adult disposition were the norm and the youth court sentence a lenient aberration. The imposition of milder punishments on juvenile offenders has also been cited as a cause of juvenile offending, the same way that leniency throughout the criminal justice system has been described, by politicians and members of the public, as a cause of crime (Roberts & Stalans, 1997).


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The syllogism that links the severity of punishments to crime rates emerges more clearly at the level of juvenile justice, where it is often argued that tougher penalties will put a stop to rising levels of juvenile violence and prevent juveniles from turning into adult offenders. The source of the frustration may be the widespread perception that young people will not behave unless the punishment for wrongdoing is severe. But as Jackson Toby noted as far back as 1957, the main factors distinguishing delinquents from non-delinquents is whether a young person has a "stake in conformity" (Toby, 1957). Giving a young person a reason not to offend is, therefore, likely to be a much more effective strategy than threatening punishment.

TOPIC: Essay on Criminal Justice System Australian Criminal Assignment

The claim that "a crime is a crime" and should result in the same punishment for adults and juveniles has also developed popular appeal. Thus the current criminal justice system is about as fair and effective as we can reasonably expect.


Bottoms, A.E. (1995). The philosophy and politics of punishment and sentencing. In C. Clarkson and R. Morgan, eds., The politics of sentencing reform. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Hogg, R., and D. Brown (1998). Rethinking law and order. Sydney: Pluto Press.

Toby, J. (1957). Social disorganization and stake in conformity: Complementary factors in the predatory behavior of hoodlums. Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science 48: 12 -- 17.

Sallmann, P., and J. Willis (2003). Criminal justice in Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Schiraldi, V., and M. Soler (2009). Will of the people' The public's opinion of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Criminal Justice System Australian" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Criminal Justice System Australian.  (2012, January 20).  Retrieved July 28, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Criminal Justice System Australian."  20 January 2012.  Web.  28 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Criminal Justice System Australian."  January 20, 2012.  Accessed July 28, 2021.