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Movie Analysis ""Sleepers"" - Type of Offender and Symptoms of Abuse

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According to this film, the juvenile justice system is inconsequential in the realms of justice. Justice systems are meant to correct individuals to make them better citizens who can abide to the law, not to harden them making them hardcore criminals. However, Sleepers paint the juvenile justice system as a faulty system

This is evidenced by the bestial events that occur to Lorenzo, Thomas, Michael, and John. After these juveniles kill King Benny, they are taken to Wilkinson Home, a correctional center for reformation.

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The movie, Sleepers, follows the friendship of four boys : Shakes, Michael, John, and Tommy. On a hot a slow afternoon, the boys play a prank on a street vendor that results in very serious consequences. The boys are sentences to The Wilkinson's Home For Boys. The time spent in the detention center alters the boys utterly and completely, destroys their innocence, and scars them physically and emotionally. Their friendship is just as strong, but that too, is changed. As adults, two boys have gone a legitimate working route: Shakes is a writer for the local paper, and Michael is an assistant district attorney. They are both hardened criminals and don't think twice about taking a life. They don't think twice about killing the guard either. They operate by their own sense of street justice and rules. This starts the wheels of final justice for the rest of guards and the boys as well

The movie comes full circle when the justice system that sentenced the boys to the Wilkinson's Home For Boys, finds Tommy and John not guilty for the murder of the Wilkinson's guard.

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Restorative justice system is a justice system of dealing with crime and its effects using the community based approach. This system can be used to prevent crime in the community as it operates on problem solving and healing rather than punishment and isolation (Cragg, 2002)

Restorative justice system can be applied in the case of Shakes, Michael, John, and Tommy. When a restorative system is applied in this case, the crime committed by the four boys can be solved at the community level since it is considered as a crime against another person not the state like the retributive system. There will be a direct participation of the offenders and the victim in resolving the crime and bringing peace between them. The four boys will have to accept their mistake by being accountable for their actions, apologize and try repairing the harm done by maybe working in order to pay the hot dog vendor the money he lost during the incident and paying up the hospital bills for the man hit by the cart.

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Summing up, consider the priest. Nothing in the film indicates he is anything other than absolutely truthful, upright and moral. When he's asked to perjure himself, there is an effective shot: The camera remains on De Niro in closeup, while he thinks, and thinks

The next time we see him is on the witness stand. In a movie flowing with dialogue, he is not given a single word to explain his decision, possibly because the filmmakers know it cannot be explained--anything he says would expose the shallow morality.

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Tustin, L and Lutes, R. E. (2013). A Guide to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, 2014 Edition. Canada: LexisNexis Canada.

Allen, M. (2005). Textbook on Criminal Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grossman, M. G. and Roberts, J., V. (2011). Criminal Justice in Canada: A Reader. London.Cengage Learning.

Murphy, J., G. (1992).Retribution Reconsidered. Norwell, Massachusetts: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Cragg, W. (2002). The Practice of Punishment: Towards a Theory of Restorative Justice. New York, Routledge, 1992.

Braithwaite, J. (2004). "Restorative Justice and De-Professionalization". The Good Society 13 (1): 28–31.

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