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 People will be essential reading for anybody working in or studying youth crime and youth justice.
Table of Contents
Part: 1 Young people and Crime 1. The production of youth 2. Adaptation and resistance 3. Criminality, culture and choices Part 2: Crime and 'justice' 4. Defining crime and delinquency 5. Lives and crimes 6. Doing 'justice'? Part 3: Towards Social Justice 7. Getting it wrong again 8. Reform and its limits 9. Alternative principles and practices 10. Young people and social justice: cutting out crime
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.