Legal Rights of Youth

Special Assignment

These ideas will help you explore the YCJA in depth. You can complete the activities for a classroom assignment.

1. Work with a partner and another team to prepare a debate on the following topic:

BE IT RESOLVED that when giving statements to police, youth should not have more protections of their rights than adults have.

Present the debate to the rest of the class and have them decide who has argued the topic more effectively.

2. What advice would you give to a parent who has just been told that his or her son or daughter has been charged with breaking and entering into a house? Give your advice from the moment of arrest, during the trial, and following the trial. Consider the youth’s legal rights and how the parent should ensure that he or she understands them and exercises them.

3. What does the following statement mean? Explain it in your own words.
"Young persons, particularly those who are inexperienced with the law, often do not understand their rights or are too intimidated by the process to use them."

4. Under the YCJA, a youth can waive (give up) his or her rights. Can you think of any situation in which the youth might want to do so? Explain. Do you think this is a good provision? Why or why not?