There can be no doubt that youth justice practice must change to adapt to the challenges that now present themselves. Crime in general, and juvenile crime in particular, is a perennial social problem. The extent of public, media and political concern expressed about juvenile offending, however, tends to go in waves. One way of looking at the juvenile justice experience of the 1980s, therefore, is to see it as a low point in cycles of concern about juvenile offending. From an alternative perspective the 1980s represents the heyday of juvenile justice; a remarkable criminal justice success story in an area of social policy where we are far more accustomed to talk of failure.
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