Youth justice is a creature of historical development. The structure of the industry is full of dominant philosophies which have seeped into the foundations, which still monopolise and govern contemporary practice and although new perspectives have emerged over the recent history, it is necessary to trace the evolution over the last century to understand the logic behind the practice.
The strategies of youth justice, as identified by Muncie (2009), will now be discussed throughout the emergence of the youth justice system and how the arrangements and certain relationships between them, present contradictory views over how youth offenders should be dealt with.
First we refer to the two polemic philosophies, the welfare and the justice perspectives and the conflicts that these divergent natures render any attempt at fusion unsuccessful, and then we examine the philosophies of risk-management and authoritarianism. The historical development of youth justice legislation and political positions will accompany this.
Welfare vs Justice
Since the early nineteenth century most young offender legislation has protected young people from the full weight of criminal law and the recognition of this was embodied in the 1908 Children Act creating a distinct system of youth justice, differentiating in terms of responsibility and culpability between adults and young people. Before this, child criminals were punished...
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Goldson, B and Muncie, J (2006). Youth Crime and Justice: Critical Issues, London, Sage.
Pickford, J (2006). The development of youth justice philosophies, laws and policies. [Online] Learning Matters. Available at http://www.learningmatters.co.uk/sampleChapters/pdfs/9781844450664-2.pdf [Accessed 11 November 2011].
Nelken, D (1994). The Futures of Criminology. London, Sage.
Newburn, T (2007), Criminology, London, Willan Publishing.
Muncie, J (1984), The Trouble with Kids Today: Youth and Crime in Post-War Britain, London, Hutchinson.
Muncie, J (2009), Youth & Crime, 3rd ed., London, Sage.
Muncie, J, Hughes, G and McLaughlin, E (2002) Youth justice: Critical readings. London: Sage.
Springhall, J (1986) Coming of Age: Adolescence in Britain 1860-1960, London, Gill & Macmillan.
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