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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice (2nd edn)

Anthea Hucklesby and Azrini Wahidin
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date: 24 May 2024

11. Youth justicelocked

11. Youth justicelocked

  • Anna Souhami


This chapter examines how youth justice systems are shaped by different ways of thinking about youth, crime, and justice. It first discusses the emergence of the youth justice system in the nineteenth century, and shows how contemporary ideas about the problems of youth and youth offending are both relatively recent constructions and intrinsically connected to broader anxieties about social disorder. It then sets out some of the principles that have dominated the youth justice system at particular moments (welfare, justice, actuarialism, and restoration) and the implications of each for how problems of youth offending and appropriate responses to it are understood. The final sections describe contemporary youth justice in the UK. They focus on the various systems that have emerged in England and Wales, and Scotland; the different contexts which have allowed these approaches to develop; and the pressures now faced by both.

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