Police cautioning in Queensland: the impact on juvenile offending pathways

Australia Queensland
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Police cautions may be a way of stopping a young person from taking the first steps in a criminal career, both by serving as a warning to first-time offenders and to avoid the stigma of a court appearance. In this study of all persons born in Queensland in 1984, Susan Dennison, Anna Stewart and Emily Hurren found that the majority of young offenders who are cautioned for their first offence are less likely to have further contact with the juvenile justice system before the age of 17 years than those who are brought before a court. Importantly children who have been maltreated and cautioned are more likely to reoffend than those who have not been maltreated highlighting the importance of programs that target risk factors associated with maltreatment early in a child’s life.

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