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College of Mount Saint Vincent System of Juvenile Justice Discussion

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Instructions:

This discussion will be completed in two parts and will give you an opportunity to reflect upon this week’s content and to interact with your classmates.

Part 1 – Post your initial response to the discussion questions.

Part 2 – Post substantive feedback to two (2) classmates.

Review and discuss the following case. What is the approach that should be used to deal with the increased violence in the juvenile justice system? Is the current system sufficient to deal with violence or should we use the adult system to deal with violent offenders? Discuss how the philosophy of parents patriae works or doesn’t work with these offenders. Use the text to inform your discussion.  Do not rely solely on your personal opinion.  

  • Boy, 16, who killed his parents after an argument over school suspension to be tried as an adult
  • Moses Kamin allegedly admitted killing his adoptive parents after police found their bodies

He is being tried as an adult due to the seriousness of his crimes

Defence have tried to get trial moved to juvenile court

Teenager pleaded not guilty to the murders

By Sam Adams A 16-year-old boy accused of strangling his adoptive parents and hiding their bodies in the family car is to be tried as an adult, a judge has ruled. Karate black belt Moses Kamin allegedly admitted to killing his parents – Robert Kamin, 55, and Susan Poff , 50, after officers discovered their bodies in Oakland, California. Judge Morris Jacobson of Alameda County Superior Court has ruled their is enough evidence to hold the teenager – who was 15 at the time of his parents’ deaths in January – over for trial. The youngster is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on October 3, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Moses Kamin, of Oakland, California, entered a not guilty plea in Alameda County Superior Court earlier this year. He apparently admitted strangling his mother first with his hands and then some type of ligature during the argument.

  • When Mr Kamin came home later that evening, the teen came up behind him and strangled him as well, prosecutors claim.The couple’s bodies were found hidden under blankets in the back of the family’s car parked outside their house near Lake Merritt, which investigators believe Kamin had tried unsuccessfully to set ablaze.Police went to the Kamin house after their employers reported they did not show up for work. They were both civil servants.Kamin was arrested for their murder after police discovered the couple’s bodies in the car – and held at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro.
  • A videotape of the boy’s statement to police was played during his preliminary hearing,’ reports the Chronicle. His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Drew Steckler, tried unsuccessfully to have the judge throw out the videotaped statement on the grounds that his client did not understand his legal rights, according to the newspaper. Mr Steckler is reported to be planning to appeal that decision and to have the case transferred to Juvenile Court.
  • Following his arrest, colleagues of the couple told the San Francisco Chronicle that the couple had been having problems with their son, who they believed was spending too much time in the Occupy Oakland camp. Occupy Oakland is allied with New York City’s Occupy Wall Street and other protests like Occupy San Francisco and Occupy San Jose.Co-workers mourned the well-known couple after news of their murders became public. Mrs Poff’s boss called her death ‘a terrible loss’. Joshua Bamberger told the Oakland Tribune: ‘I’ve never met anyone who lived with as little ambivalence about making the world a better place.’
  • Mrs Poff, who attended UC Berkley, and Mr Kamin, a graduate of Stanford University, met through friends. The couple adopted in 2002 because they were unable to have their own children, Robert Kamin’s brother Bruce told the Chronicle. They had recently moved to the area and were in the middle of renovating their house.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2206586/Boy-16-killed-parents-argument-school-suspension-tried-adult.html

First peer:

What is the approach that should be used to deal with the increased violence in the juvenile justice system?

EDUCATION

Model programs have provided information to families and children. Certain programs educate parents on how to raise healthy children; others teach youngsters the effects of drugs, gangs, sex and weapons; and others aim at expressing their inherent value to young people and others. All these initiatives make young people aware of the repercussions of their behaviour. This is especially essential in an era when young people are overwhelmed with sexual and violent imagery. The fundamental aim of educational programs is to encourage optimism and to offer up possibilities for young people.

RECREATION

One of the obvious advantages of leisure activities is that they cover uncontrolled post-school hours. The Education Department has stated that adolescents are more prone to commit crimes between 14 and 20 p.m. Recreational activities enable young people in the community to interact with other adults and children. In later years such good connections may help youngsters. Juvenile programs are intended to suit various children’s personalities and abilities, and they may involve athletics, dance, music, climbing, theatre, karate, bowling, painting and other activities.

INVOLVEMENT COMMUNITY

Girl scouts, boy scouts, organizations of religious young people and voluntary organisations all engage kids in a community. Participation in community organizations offers young people the chance to connect in a secure social setting.

Is the current system sufficient to deal with violence or should we use the adult system to deal with violent offenders?

A number of programs that are effective in reducing recurrence, particularly for high-risk offenders, have been found in evaluation of intervention with juvenile offenders and meta-analysis of these studies have demonstrated the program characteristics associated most strongly with positives and, in some case, the best results.

Discuss how the philosophy of parents patriae works or doesn’t work with these offenders. Use the text to inform your discussion.

Parents patriae is Latin for ‘his country’s parent.’ Parents patriae is a concept in the juvenile justice system which enables the state to intervene and act as a custodian for minors, the mentally ill, the incompetent, the old or the incapable to look for oneself. It works thus well with the greatest outcomes among the juveniles.

Second peer:

One approach that can be used to deal with the increased violence in the juvenile justice system are prevention programs to stop the violence altogether. The Support Our Students (SOS) program is a good example. The SOS program targets school aged kids for after school programs. This program operates during the afternoon hours when most of the juvenile delinquency happens. A lot of these kids do not have supervision after school and could participate in criminal activities because of the lack of supervision. The SOS program helps to eliminate this issue.

The adult system should be used when dealing with extremely violent offenders. Treating these juveniles as adults could help stop other minors from committing the same violent crimes. Trying juveniles as adults could prevent other minors from committing any crimes at all.

The parens patriae means that the government, or other authority, is considered the protector of citizens who are unable to protect themselves. When dealing with juvenile justice, this means that the state will intervene and act as a substitute parent to a child whose parents cannot raise them properly. This means more juveniles go into group homes or reform schools, with violent offenders being transferred to the adult court system and facing harsher penalties. As I stated previously, harsher sentences could help prevent these violent crimes from being committed. The example of Moses Kamin being tried as an adult for killing his adoptive parents is appropriate because of the severity of the crime.

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