YOUTH VOICE JOURNAL

Youth Voice Journal (YVJ) is an international, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes theoretical contributions and empirical studies on international issues affecting young people. YVJ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and ranked by Scopus. (c) IARS Publications ISSN 2056-2969

Dunnette, M. and Winterdyk, J. (2012) Tough on Crime: A Step Backwards in Contemporary Social Justice for Canada

In this paper, the “tough on crime” ideology is analysed by evaluating statistical evidence and research on the effects of custodial sentences, and the associated costs. The aim is to provide an informative review of empirical evidence, and explore an alternative to the new Canadian Omnibus Crime Bill. Included in this paper is a discussion concerning the research data on offenders, and whether or not custodial sentences support the examined research. The findings have generally shown that both crime rates and crime severity have been on the decline in Canada. Furthermore, custodial sentences tend to escalate the recidivism on offenders, and rehabilitative treatment has shown to lower recidivism. In terms of young offenders, it is suggested that custodial sentences may cause more harm to the youth, and an increased risk of reoffending. Additionally, the “tough on crime” philosophy has been presented to be problematic, as presented by a case study in Texas, which, in recent years, has found more success in utilising funds in both diversion and treatment programmes instead of longer sentences and additional prisons.

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About Youth Voice Journal

Youth Voice Journal is an international, multidisciplinary, refereed journal that publishes theoretical contributions and empirical studies on international issues affecting young people. In particular, the Journal aims to: - provide a medium, especially for young researchers and young academics, to inform debates around social policy through high quality research; - provide a platform for the intellectual exchange of ideas around the globe with the aim of influencing policies and practices; - actively encourage and aide those young people whose voice is rarely heard by policy makers to contribute to the journal. Youth Voice Journal is published by IARS Publications and edited by Dr. Theo Gavrielides.

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Youth Voice Journal is published by IARS Publications, an independent small publisher specialising in social and political sciences 14 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 7PL, UK. (c) IARS Publications.

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