Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Female teen sentenced to 4 years prison for role in attack

A Winnipeg teen has been sentenced to four years in prison after a complaint about noise ended in the vicious assault of a 38-year-old woman.
Ashley Clissold, 19, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in connection with the May 2, 2009 attack.
Court heard Clissold and others were causing a commotion outside a Ross Avenue house when the victim’s daughter — concerned the noise would awaken her baby daughter — exited the house and yelled at them to be quiet. Clissold responded with a gang threat and ran to a Pacific Avenue home where she enlisted the aid of a male accused and two male youths.
The mob ran back to the house where the adult male smashed a window and yelled “Central,” identifying himself as a member of the inner-city street gang.
The victim, who knew where the man lived, exited the house with the intention of speaking to his parents but was immediately set upon by the mob and knocked to the ground, said Crown attorney Mark Lafreniere.
Clissold continued to kick and punch the victim about the head and body as she lay on the ground, Lafreniere said.
The woman was taken to the hospital suffering a broken jaw, fractured cheekbone and two broken fingers.
Defence lawyer Kathy Bueti blamed her client’s actions on her “out of control” drinking.
“Everything is tied to substance-abuse issues,” Bueti said.
At the time of the attack, Clissold was out on bail on a robbery charge. Clissold and a female youth kicked and punched a young woman as she walked along Bannatyne Avenue and tried to rob her of her purse. Clissold was sentenced Tuesday to an additional six months in custody for that offence.
Judge Ray Wyant credited Clissold the double-time equivalent of 15 months time served, reducing her remaining sentence to 39 months.

This article is very vague. I would have liked to have known more about the teen's background life and more about her substance abuse issues. The article is very biased towards the Crown and did not mention any mitigating factors for the accused.

I definitely do not agree with this sentence. I feel that female and teen offenders, can best be served through rehabilitation as opposed to punishment. Yes, this was a violent offence, but who knows what this teen's childhood life, social or economic conditions may have been like. I feel that she could be best served through substance abuse treatment, counseling to uncover the root causes of her behaviour and anger management programs. 

If I were the Judge, I would have sentenced her to a 2 year conditional sentence. I would have ordered her to have take part in gang desistance programs, employment training and assistance, anger management programs, counseling and substance abuse treatment, in order for her to get her life turned around and improve herself for the better, to live a productive life once again.   

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