The object of the Young Offenders Act 1993 (SA) is to secure for youths who offend against the criminal law the care, correction and guidance necessary for their development into responsible and useful members of the community and the proper realisation of their potential [see s 3]. A 'youth' for the purposes of the Young Offenders Act 1993 (SA) is a child between the ages of 10 and 18 [see s 4].
The Act sets out the importance of the following:
- that the youth be made aware of his or her obligations under the law and of the consequences of a breach of the law; and
- that the community be adequately protected against wrongful acts.
As far as the circumstances allow, in dealing with a youth under the Act:
- victims should be awarded compensation and restitution where appropriate;
- consideration should be given to preserving and strengthening the youth's family relationships;
- there should be no unnecessary interruption of the youth's education or employment; and
- the youth's sense of racial, ethnic or cultural identity should not be impaired.
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