Penal Assemblages: Governing Youth in the Penal Voluntary Sector

  • Abigail Tsionne Salole
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Drawing on governmentality studies and utilizing aspects of institutional ethnography, this chapter examines work in the Penal Voluntary Sector (PVS) in the youth justice system of Ontario, Canada. This chapter explores how those in helping professions working in the PVS navigate the currently preferred risk discourses and cognitive behavioral therapies in their work with youth offenders. The author traces the history of the voluntary sector in shaping the Canadian youth justice system and provides contextual considerations for understanding the current youth justice system and the role of the PVS. The PVS workers who were interviewed do not experience their work as autonomous from the state. Instead, PVS work is conducted in relation and in reference to the traditional criminal justice system. Within these social relations, PVS workers resist, accommodate, subvert, extend, and negotiate state goals and rationalities.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Criminal Justice System Voluntary Sector Probation Officer Juvenile Delinquent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abrams, L. & Anderson-Nathe, B. (2012). Compassionate confinement: A year in the life of unit C. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, D. A., Bonta, J., & Wormith, J. S. (1995). The level of service inventory: Ontario revision. Toronto, ON, Canada: Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services.Google Scholar
  3. Auditor General of Ontario (2014). Youth justice services program follow-up. Retrieved from
  4. Balfour, G. (2000). Feminist therapy with women in prison: Working under hegemony of correctionalism. In K. Hannah-Moffat & M. Shaw (Eds.), An ideal prison? Critical essays on women’s imprisonment in Canada (pp. 94–102). Halifax: Fernwood.Google Scholar
  5. Barron, C. (2011). Governing girls: Rehabilitation in the age of risk. Halifax: Fernwood.Google Scholar
  6. Bevir, M. (2013). A theory of governance. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  7. Boyce, J. (2015). Police-reported crime statistics in Canada. Juristat, 35(1). Ottawa. Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 85-002-x.Google Scholar
  8. Bull, M. (2008). Governing heroin: From treaties to treatment. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Butler, A. C., Chapman, J. E., Forman, E. M., & Beck, A. T. (2006). The empirical status of cognitive behavioural therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Campbell, K. (2005). Introduction: Theoretical overview. In K. Campbell (Ed.), Understanding youth justice in Canada (pp. 1–19). Toronto, ON, Canada: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  11. Chen, X. (2005). Tending the gardens of citizenship: Child saving in Toronto,1880s-1920s. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  12. Chunn, D. (1992). From punishment to doing good: Family courts and socialized justice in Ontario, 1880–1940. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  13. Corcoran, M. (2011). Dilemmas of institutionalization in the penal voluntary sector. Critical Social Policy, 31(30), 30–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cox, A. (2011). Doing the programme or doing me? The pains of youth imprisonment. Punishment & Society, 13(5), 592–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crawford, A. (2003). Contractual governance of deviant behaviour. Journal of Law and Society, 30(4), 479–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dauvergne, M. (2013). Youth court statistics in Canada 2011/2012. Juristat. Ottawa. Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 85-002-x.Google Scholar
  17. Doucet, A. & Mautner, N. (2008). What can be known and how? Narrated subjects and the listening guide. Qualitative Research, 8, 399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ewick, P. & Silby, S. (1995). Subversive stories and hegemonic tales: Toward a sociology of narrative. Law and Society Review, 29, 197–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fenwick, M. & Hayward, K. (2000). Youth crime, excitement and consumer culture: The reconstruction aetiology in contemporary theoretical criminology. In R. Smandych (Ed.), Governable places: Readings on governmentality and crime control (pp. 163–190). Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Finn, J. L. (2001). Text and turbulence: Representing adolescence as pathology in the human services. Childhood, 8, 167–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Foucault, M. (2007). Security, territory, population: Lectures at the collège de France, 1977–1978, Trans. Graham Burchell. New York & Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  22. Franzén, A. G. (2015). Responsibilization and discipline: Subject positioning at a youth detention home. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 44(3), 251–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Franzén, A. G. & Holmqvist, R. (2014). From punishment to rewards? Treatment dilemmas at a youth detention home. Punishment & Society, 16(5), 542–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Garland, D. (1996). The limits of the sovereign state: Strategies of crime control in contemporary society. British Journal of Criminology, 36, 445–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Graham, J. (2005). History of Canadian social welfare. New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
  26. Gray, G. C. & Salole, A. T. (2006). The local culture of punishment: An ethnography of criminal justice worker discourse. British Journal of Criminology, 46(4), 661–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gray, P. (2013). Assemblages of penal governance, social justice and youth justice partnerships. Theoretical Criminology, 7(4), 517–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hannah-Moffat, K., Maurutto, P., & Turnbull, S. (2009). Negotiated risk: Actuarial illusions and discretion in probation. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 24(3), 391–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hogeveen, B. (2005). Toward ‘safer’ and ‘better’ communities: Canada’s youth criminal justice act, aboriginal youth and the process of exclusion. Critical Criminology: An International Journal, 13(30), 307–326.Google Scholar
  30. Maurutto, P. (2003). Governing charities: Church and state in Toronto’s catholic archdiocese, 1850–1950. Montreal, QC, Canada: McGill-Queens University Press.Google Scholar
  31. McGillivray, A. (1997). Therapies of freedom: The colonization of aboriginal childhood. In A. McGillivray (Ed.), Governing Childhood. Dartmouth, England: Dartmouth Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  32. McMurtry, R. & Curling, A. (2008). The review of the roots of youth violence. Toronto, ON, Canada: Queens Printer for Ontario.Google Scholar
  33. Miller, J. R. (1996). Shingwauk’s vision: A history of native residential schools. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto Press [Kindle DX version] Retrieved from Scholar
  34. Ministry of Children and Youth Services. (2014). Three year review: Response to AGO recommendation. Youth Justice Services Division.Google Scholar
  35. Mullaly, B. (2006). The new structural social work: Ideology, theory, practice. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Newman, J. & Clarke, J. (2009). Narrating subversion, assembling citizenship. In M. Barnes & D. Prior (Eds.), Subversive Citizens: Power, agency and resistance in public services (pp. 67–82). Bristol, England: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  37. Phoenix, J. & Kelly, L. (2013). You have to do it for yourself: Responsibilization in youth justice and young people’s situated knowledge of youth justice practice. British Journal of Criminology, 53, 419–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. PVS Organization Annual Report. (2011). Youth justice testimonials, PVS annual report 2010/2011.Google Scholar
  39. Rankin, J., & Winsa, P. (2013, March 1). Unequal justice: Aboriginal and black inmates disproportionately fill Ontario jails. Toronto Star. Retrieved from
  40. Rose, N. (1999). Powers of freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rose, N. & Miller, P. (1992). Political power beyond the state: Problematics of government. British Journal of Sociology, 43(2), 173–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sakamoto, I. & Pitner, R. (2005). Use of critical consciousness in anti-oppressive social work practice. The British Journal of Social Work, 35, 435–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Satka, M. E. & Skehill, C. (2012). Michel Foucault and Dorothy Smith in case file research: Strange bed-fellows or complementary thinkers? Qualitative Social Work, 11(2), 191–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Singh, R. (2012). When punishment and philanthropy mix: Voluntary organizations and the governance of the domestic violence offender. Theoretical Criminology, 6(3), 269–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Smandych, R. & McGillvray, A. (1999). Images of aboriginal childhood: Contested governance in the Canadian west to 1850. In R. Halpern & M. Daunton (Eds.), Empire and others: British encounters with Indigenous peoples, 1600–1850 (pp. 238–259). London: University College, London Press.Google Scholar
  46. Smith, D. E. (1987). The everyday world as problematic: A feminist sociology. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  47. Thomas, N. & Bull, M. (2013). Negotiating the challenges of coerced treatment: An exploratory study of community-based service providers in Queensland, Australia. Contemporary Drug Problems, 40, 569–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Whyte, B. (2009). Youth justice in practice: Making a difference. Bristol, England: The Policy Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abigail Tsionne Salole
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith UniversityMt GravattAustralia

Personalised recommendations