INTERVIEW WITH INNOVA JUNIOR COLLEGE ON 11 AUGUST 2008
Can you give us a general overview of the current legislation concerning juvenile delinquency?
A general overview of how our courts deal with juvenile offenders can be found here.
Please peruse the above website.
As you will see, our legal system clearly treats young persons differently from adults and our courts have various options to deal with young offenders.
We understand that, through statistics, juvenile delinquency has been on the rise for the past decade. We are proposing that the legislation regarding Juvenile delinquency be made harsher so as to reduce the number of juvenile crimes. Through research, we know that certain countries have adopted this method to reduce the Juvenile Crime Rate. For example, take the case of United States of America, [where juveniles can be tried as adults for certain serious crimes and where laws hold parents either criminally or civilly liable for their children's acts].
Q2. What is your opinion on our proposal that Singapore should also adopt similar methods to reduce her Juvenile Crime Rate?
Q3. What methods or changes to the legislation do you suggest to reduce Juvenile Delinquency?
As you will see from the website link provided in my earlier answer, our courts apply a number of methods to deal with offences involving juveniles. I think our policy-makers will tell you that we should be careful about transplanting the practices of other jurisdictions because what works elsewhere may not necessarily work in Singapore.
What I want to emphasise is different, a comment I made recently in a newspaper. By the time a young person ends up having to face the hammer of the court, it is often too late.
Young persons often display warning signals before they commit crimes. Safeguards should be placed in society to reach out to these young persons early in order to help them. Legislation and the courts cannot do this alone.
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