Victims and Youth Justice

Activity

Read the story and answer the questions below each story.

Vinh’s Work
Vinh, 15, has been in trouble with the law several times for minor offences, mostly shoplifting and possession of drugs. A friend of his father's had agreed to give Vinh a job at a hardware store working on Thursday and Friday nights and on Saturdays. The first month went well. Then the owner began to notice that the sales registered on the detail tape of the cash register were not equal to the cash in the drawer. The till was often short of money at the end of Vinh’s shifts - sometimes only $25 but sometimes as much as $60. It was not normal for the store to be out more that $10 at the end of a day. The owner confronted Vinh and there was a heated argument.

Vinh eventually admitted that he has stolen the money. He shouted at the owner, "What did you expect? You knew I was a bad kid!"

  1. How would the victim feel after the crime was committed?
  2. What could the offender do to right the wrong?

Nelson in Trouble Again
Nelson is 17 years old. He has often been in trouble with the law. Once he stole a car. While he was driving, he had an accident. The car hit a tree. Nelson ran away but the police caught him. Another time he broke into some houses. Nelson does not live at home. He usually lives on the street. He takes drugs. For a short time he lived in a special home for youth. While he was there, he used drugs. He had to leave the home.

Nelson was supposed to go to court but he didn’t. The court ordered him to do volunteer work in the community but Nelson didn’t do it. A month ago he broke into a store. He smashed the large front window of the store and ran off with several TVs, which were damaged when the police finally managed to stop the pickup truck that he used to leave the scene of the crime. Nelson was charged with and convicted of break and enter and theft over $5000.00.

  1. What do you think the impact of this crime was on the owner of the store? Think about the store owner’s feelings, the effect on his family or customers and the financial loss suffered.
  2. What type of consideration would you give to the victim impact statement of the owner in this case? How would it affect your sentence if you were the judge?