Antisocial and criminal behaviour involving children and young people have been a cause of heightened public concern in England and Wales for more than a quarter of a century. It has been the subject of numerous policy papers, research studies and academic assessments as well as extensive newspaper, radio and television coverage. This has set the context for an ever expanding volume of legislation seeking to amend and improve society's official response.
Yet despite a massive injection of resources into the youth justice system the results achieved have been unimpressive, reoffending remains a persistent problem and the general public appears to have little confidence in the youth justice system. The time is ripe therefore for a new look at the problem of youth offending and government and society's response to this.
This book accompanies the Report of the Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour, published 2010. In it leading authorities in the field, from a variety of different disciplines, review youth crime and different responses to it, focussing particularly on England and Wales but also analysing for comparative purposes the nature of responses in other parts of the world, especially Canada. It will be essential reading for practitioners, policy makers, students and others with an interest in addressing one of today's most intractable social problems.
Table of Contents
1. The Need for a Fresh Start, David J. Smith 2. Changing Patterns of Youth, David J. Smith 3. Time Trends in Youth Crime and in Justice System Responses, Larissa Pople and David J. Smith 4. Responses to Youth Crime, John Graham 5. Responses to Anti-social Behaviour, Larissa Pople 6. Causes of Offending and Anti-social Behaviour, Michael Rutter 7. Preventing Youth Crime: evidence and opportunities, J. David Hawkins, Brandon Welsh and David Utting 8. Families and Parenting, Barbara Maughan and Frances Gardner 9. Models of Youth Justice, Lesley McAra 10. Youth Justice Reform in Canada: reducing use of courts and custody without increasing youth crime, Nicholas Bala, Peter J. Carrington and Julian Roberts 11. Public Opinion, Politics, and the Response to Youth Crime, Trevor Jones 12. Key reforms: principles, costs, benefits, politics, David J. Smith
David Smith is an Honorary Professor in the School of Law at Edinburgh University, and Visiting Professor at the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics.
'This volume constitutes a source of reference material on a wide range of concerns about the youth justice system. It makes a powerful case for the need for reform and aims to provide readers with the evidence and analysis to inform the design of a new, more just and constructive system of youth justice, particularly in England and Wales.'
'...this book is wide ranging, and likely to be of interest to many different readers as a source of debate and as a signpost to a wealth of research and theory. It reinforces the message that we all have much to learn from experiences outside our own national boundaries.'
-Bernadette Wilkinson, KWP, Independent Trainer and Consultant in Criminal Justice, in EuroVista Journal vol 2 issue 1 2012