Sample Law Paper on Police Reforms

Rehabilitative approach as a way of resolving criminal attitudes and behavior

among the youth in order to control youth related crime

2 Background and Context
Crime committed by young offenders is referred to as a delinquency rather than criminal.
In Hong Kong youngsters who commit crime are divide into two categories; juvenile offenders
(convicts of between 10 and 15 years of age) and young offenders (convicts of between 16 and
18 years of age) (Lee, 2011) . Among the leading offences by young people in Hong Kong are
theft often in form of shoplifting and violence.
In hindsight, the confusion that young people face in transition from childhood to
adulthood may play a huge role in fueling delinquencies. According to (World Youth, 2003) , the
changing dynamics in lifestyles especially in familial elements like relationships, dependency
periods and the collapse of the family unit are among the factors causing discord among the
young. According to (Cheng, 2017) , peer pressure and school performance and achievements are
also significant to delinquencies. In addition, administrative factors such as police reaction to
crime and schools response to offences by youngsters can influence attitudes towards authorities
and legal systems (Wong, 2000) .
All these factors affect young people’s attitudes and often lead them to criminal
tendencies. This is further compounded by the legal and moral constraints that police have to
contend with while handling issues surrounding juvenile crime. Specifically, the Juvenile
Offenders Ordinance has stipulations about how juvenile offenders should be handled and this
sometimes puts a strain in crime control. For this reason, it is important for the police to adopt
reforms that can enable them to effectively control juvenile crime while still observing these
legal and moral lines.

POLICE REFORMS 4

Police reforms that will allow for rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents rather than
punishment seem to be the way to go. Rehabilitation that can provide psychotic counselling,
vocational training and empower the young both socially and economically can help keep away
criminal attitudes and reduce occurrence of crime.
2.1 Statement of the problem
In Hong Kong, the police face a great challenge in the control of juvenile delinquencies
due to a number of factors that influence juvenile criminal behavior. The attitudes of many
young people towards authorities and legal systems make enforcement of the law quite difficult.
Young people have a tendency for criminal attitudes and behavior often caused by socio-
psychological factors. Similarly, relations between youth and the police remain precarious due to
many underlying factors such as lack of trust borne out of brutal response to crime by police,
whether real or perceived.
For police enforcements to efforts to cub juvenile crime to be successful, there is need to
put in place, well thought out police reforms that will address delinquency among young people
while putting into consideration the many factors that influence such behavior.
2.2 Research Question
1. How do family dynamics; parents’ divorce, parent/teen relationship and dependency
period influence criminal behavior of the youth?
2. How do economic dynamics; poverty and lack of opportunities in the labor market
influence criminal behavior of the youth?
3. How do administrative dynamics; custodial measures, arrests, punishments, criminal
records influence criminal behavior of the youth?

POLICE REFORMS 5

4. Which legal and moral constraints do police face in enforcing the law against juvenile
offenders?
5. Which alternative reforms can the police adopt to effectively control juvenile crime?
2.2.1 Goal
Implement police reforms to empower police for effective control of youth-related crime.
2.3 Objectives
1. To identify the areas of police performance in relation to juvenile crime control that
require reforms
2. To identify the legal and moral constraints against police affecting effective control of
juvenile crime
3. To establish and recommend rehabilitation techniques that can effectively cub repeat
offence by juvenile delinquents.
4. To identify effective techniques that can be applied in building strong trust and credibility
for the legal system by the youth.

3 Summary of relevant theory
In this study, two concepts; juvenile crime and police reforms towards effective control
of juvenile crime are central. Consequently, this study will be pegged on the theory of reasoned
action. The theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), postulates that that a person’s
behavior is determined by their intention to perform the behavior and that this intention is, in
turn, a function of their attitude toward the behavior and subjective norms. This theory will play
a significant role in this study to inform the understanding of how juvenile delinquents think and
how this can be effectively addressed in order to correct their behavior.

POLICE REFORMS 6

4 Methodology
This study investigates juvenile crime and the factors that drive it. Further, the study
looks into the areas in police activities concerning juvenile crime control that require reforms to
enable the police to effectively cub such crimes in Hong Kong. To provide insights into these
research questions, this study will employ qualitative methods. This is because of the nature of
the questions that the study seeks to interrogate.

4.1 Research Methods
The study will investigate issues surrounding juvenile criminal attitudes and behavior by
using ethnographic methods and will employ the use of focus groups. The groups to be studied
will be composed of young Hong Kong residents of between 10 to 18 years who have been have
criminal tendencies and who may have been convicted of minor offences and rehabilitated. Or
have undergone psychological counselling in school.
The second concept of the study aims to initiate reforms (changes) in the police, observe
the effect of those changes and make recommendation for furthering the effectiveness of those
reforms. This will necessitate action research approach. This will be done through case study,
interviews and observation to establish the effects of the reforms under investigation.

4.2 Data Analysis
The data analysis will follow two steps. First will be the organization of the data in line
with the research questions. The data will be placed in their relevant themes in order to aid in
interpretation.
The second stage will involve interpretation of the data in order to make the necessary
recommendations.

POLICE REFORMS 7

5 Timeframe
Time (Month) Activity
October 2020 (2 nd
half)

Submit a proposal for approval.

November 2020 (2 nd
half)- January 2021

Carryout Literature Review.

February 2021(1 st
half)

Prepare legal and ethical consideration documents.

February (2 nd half) Contact participants, communicate terms and administer documents

for consent.

March 2021- April
2021

Carry out the case study.

May 2021 Carry out data analysis and write down the results section.
June 2021 Write the discussion and make recommendations.

POLICE REFORMS 8

6 References

Cheng, W. H.-Y. (2017). Criminal sentiments and. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 57-67.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2013.875479
Lee, F. W.-l. (2011). Nurturing Pillars of Society: Understanding and Working with the Young Generation
in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Scholarship Online.
Wong, D. S. (2000). Juvenile Crime and Responses to Delinquency in Hong Kong. International Journal of
Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 279-292. doi: 10.1177/0306624X00443003
World Youth. (2003). Juvenile Delinquency. United Nations.