Doing Justice to Young People: Youth Crime and Social Justice

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Routledge, 2011 - Social Science - 227 pages
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There is an impasse in current thinking about youth crime and justice, represented by punitive and harmful practices, and liberal objections to these processes on the other, based predominantly on arguments for 'rehabilitation'. This book aims to arrive at an alternative strategy for resolving the tensions between young people -  especially those on and beyond the margins - and the social world which frames their lives.

The book is split into three sections:

  • Part 1 focuses on young people, their attitudes and behaviour;
  • Part 2 considers the way in which their behaviour is constructed as criminal and then addressed;
  • Part 3 considers the limitations of current practices and potential alternatives.

Within this broad framework, the differentiated and contested nature of young people's experiences and our (and their) ideas of 'youth' can be counterposed to prevailing one-sided and often discriminatory assumptions about them; in order then to open up questions about the nature and purposes of the youth justice system, and to introduce some possibilities for reconstructing it according to fundamental principles of rights, welfare and social justice.

Doing Justice to Young Peoplewill be essential reading for anybody working in or studying youth crime and youth justice.

 

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Contents

a recurrent problem?
1
1 The production of youth
10
adaptation drift or lifestyle choice?
30
what does the evidence tell us?
50
4 Constructing crime and creating delinquents
71
material practices
91
6 Doing justice?
111
7 Doing injustice
130
liberal reform
150
radical alternatives
170
10 Reframing justice for young people
190
References
203
Index
219
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About the author (2011)

Roger Smith is Professor of Social Work at De Montfort University. He has worked in the youth justice since the early 1980s, as a practitioner, policy maker and researcher. He has published widely and authoritatively in this field.

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