Youth Justice: The Impact of Policy on Current Practice
This chapter will give a brief history of youth justice in England and how the approaches to dealing with children and young people are influenced by the punitive foundations underpinning the youth justice system. By highlighting historical development in youth justice, this chapter explores how the dominance of punishment and justice approaches, combined with perceptions of children and young people as ‘threatening’, has provided the building blocks and foundations for contemporary policy. Furthermore, we will explore the impacts of contemporary policy (founded on punitive principles) on current practice. The highlighting of this societal driven punitive approach is central to the arguments presented in the book, as it demonstrates how current policy and practice in the youth justice field is not focused on the young person, but on the perceived needs of wider society. This approach severely limits positive outcomes for young people both in terms of recidivism and wider life chances.
KeywordsYouth justice Secure Training Centre Recidivism Justice Welfare
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