Professional task (Letter)
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Deadline (Pacific Time) 05/01/2017 12:00 am
A2 Assessment: Professional Task (briefing paper) (1,000 words, +/- 10%) Worth: 30%
A2 Due: BEFORE 6:30pm, Monday 01 May, 2017
Earlier this year, the Federal Government established a Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Northern Territory. The NSW Government, however, considers a Royal Commission of this nature unnecessary in NSW, particularly since the state is experiencing a surge in violent crime and gang activity. Instead, the NSW Premier has announced that tough changes to the Young Offenders Act (YOA) 1997(NSW) and the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW) are necessary to curb the growing violence and deter young people from engaging in further crime. The following three amendments to the Young Offenders Act1997 (NSW) and Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW) are considered by the NSW Government as the only way to protect the community. These changes are:
Police are no longer able to apply the YOA to custody of knife offences
The introduction of mandatory sentencing for all violent offenders
The introduction of naming and shaming
The NSW Government has asked the NSW Ombudsman to investigate these proposed changes and report back to Parliament. As a member of the NSW Ombudsman project team, you have been instructed by your project manager to:
Select ONE proposed amendment and write a 1,000 word ( +/-10% leniency) briefing paper advising the NSW Government of the possible consequences of such changes for young people in NSW.
A list of ‘guiding points’ (listed below) is given to you by your project manager to follow. These points will help you provide a succinct and well-balanced briefing paper that will assist the NSW Government in deciding whether to implement the proposed changes.
Overall, you are to produce a document that is clear, concise and clearly articulates the issue.
1. Provide a concise summary of the proposed change. This summary must state your position on the issue (i.e. you either agree or disagree with the proposed change- NOT BOTH).
2. Provide a relevant and brief background to the issue
3. Produce a detailed analysis of the issue that considers the various policy dimensions and implications.
4. Provide a clear conclusion that summarises your paper
5. Provide a suggested course of action (an evidence-based alternative to the proposed change).
A list of required readings for this task will be made available. You are to select two readings from this list that are relevant to your chosen amendment.
Other key points about your final submission
Use a minimum of five scholarly sources (e.g. journal articles, books, book chapters, and respected government research papers and website).
You must acknowledge the ideas of others, reference direct quotes properly using the Harvard referencing system and include a reference list at the end (this is not included in the word count).
Viewpoints need to be substantiated using relevant literature, empirical evidence, and a convincing argument.
The briefing paper must be word-processed, doubled spaced and use a 12pt font.
You must retain an electronic and/or hard copy of your submission as dictated by University Assessment Policy.
Required reading for all briefing paper options:
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016, ‘Youth detention population in Australia 2016’, Bulletin 138, AIHW, Canberra. Click here.
Brown, J & Sutton, J 2007, ‘Protection or attack? Young people carrying knives and dangerous implements’, Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 49-59. Click here.
Chappell D, Lincoln, R 2009, ‘Shhh … we can’t tell you: an update on the naming prohibition of young offenders’, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 476-484. Click here.
Hutchinson, T 2014, ‘Making the fun stop: Youth justice reform in Queensland’, Deakin Law Review, vol. 19, no.2, pp. 243-274. Click here.
Johnson D and Zdenkowski G (2000) Mandatory Injustice: Compulsory Imprisonment in the Northern Territory, Report submitted to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee, Inquiry into the Human Rights (Mandatory Sentencing of Juvenile Offenders) Bill 1999. A hard copy of this item can be found at the library.
Larsen, J J 2014, ‘Restorative justice in the Australian criminal justice system’, Research and Public Policy Series 127, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra. Click here.
NSW Law Reform Commission 2005, Young Offenders, Report No 104, NSW Law Reform Commission, Sydney. Click here.
O’Leary, J 2013, ‘Naming young offenders: Implications of research for reform, Criminal Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 377-389. Click here.
O’Leary, J 2014, ‘Out of step and out of touch: Queensland’s 2014 Youth Justice Amendments’, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 159-175. Click here.
14 A… u A E E E E :: g 11 M
Assessment 2: Briefing Paper Instructions
The introduction should include exactly which proposed change your paper will examine. Do not
refer to the other proposed changes as they are not relevant to your briefing paper. You must
provide a statement of the proposed issue and whether you support or refute it (NOT BOTH) – this is
imperative. Provide an overview of the main arguments you will adopt in your briefing paper. The
introduction should also identify your recommendation. Do not elaborate here, as you will do so in
the recommendation section. Merely, state your course of action that is evidence-based and an
alternative to the proposed change.
The background section should be brief, however, contain some important details. This section must
provide the appropriate context that will guide your analysis of the proposal. You should consider
factors such as historical, socio-cultural, socio-political and economic that may have played a role in
government decision making to adopt a punitive response to juvenile offending.
You must consider the following:
1. Given all three proposed changes are punitive, you must define and explain the concept of
2. Document any political ideologies that may have shaped the proposed changes
3. Identify the relevant rationality of youth governance (welfarism, justice, corporatism) and
corresponding strategy (neo-Iiberalism, nee-conservatism, responsibilisation,
managerialism, remoralisation). You should not discuss all of these but only the one that is
relevant to your chosen proposed change. Also, only incorporate aspects of the
rationality/strategy that are relevant to your proposed change. Do not provide a summary
of, for example, corporatism- only the relevant components.
Research and analysis of the proposed change
This is an integral section of the briefing paper as it contains the relevant research and analysis that
underpins the proposed change. Here, you must consider the effects the proposed change will have
on young people. I have provided some questions below that you should consider in your analysis.
Do not write this section in a question and answer format, but use the questions as a guide.
Importantly, you should consider the patterns of youth offending (Week 3). We detailed in the
lecture the crimes young people commit, and documented the changing patterns of youth offending.
So, does the evidence that we discussed match up with the proposed change? I suggest you also
refer to the set reading for week 3 and the lecture notes to help you gain a good understanding of
1. Are there any groups that will be disproportionately affected by your proposal? Discuss the
negative impact of the proposed change on this/these group/s. Groups may include those
with a physical/cognitive disability, ethnic minority youth, indigenous youth, migrant youth,