1st Edition

Persistent Young Offenders An Evaluation of Two Projects

By David Lobley, David Smith Copyright 2007

    Based on some of the most interesting research of the last ten years, this book discusses effective practice in work with persistent young offenders. It contrasts two major evaluations of projects for juvenile offenders, one of which was successful and the other less so. The projects, Freagarrach and CueTen, were funded by The Scottish Office and the Scottish Executive. Freagarrach was evaluated over five years from 1995 and CueTen over three years (its entire lifespan) from 1996. This book makes the findings of these projects available to a wider readership, setting them in a wider discursive framework than is appropriate in a government report. The authors identify the factors that made Freagarrach a more successful project than CueTen, arguing that an understanding of these factors is important in drawing general conclusions from the experience of the two projects, and that this is particularly the case because some of these factors have received little attention in recent discussions of 'what works' in community-based programmes for offenders. This is a detailed and thorough study of work with juvenile offenders, which will be of particular value to those interested in less punitive approaches. It will be of interest both to practitioners and to academics in criminology, social policy and social work.

    Introduction; Chapter 1 The Establishment of the Projects; Chapter 2 CueTen at Work; Chapter 3 Freagarrach at Work; Chapter 4 The Young People at the Projects; Chapter 5 Perceptions and Expectations of the Projects; Chapter 6 The Effectiveness of the Projects; Chapter 7 Costs and Benefits; Chapter 8 An Overall Evaluation of the Projects;


    David Lobley was former Research Officer in the Department of Applied Social Science, Lancaster University, UK. He was the researcher for the entire period of the CueTen evaluation and for the second half of the Freagarrach evaluation. He has also been the researcher on Scottish Office-funded projects on pilot witness support schemes and electronic monitoring of offenders, and is currently researching witness support services for the Scottish Executive. He was co-author of the published reports from all these projects. David Smith is Professor of Criminology at Lancaster University, UK, having been Professor of Social Work from 1993-2002. He directed all the research projects on which David Lobley worked, and has also recently researched and published on racist violence. He was recently a member of a Home Office-funded team researching the experiences black and Asian men have of the probation service and the criminal justice system.

    'The book exposes the vacuity of the populist, punitive obsessions of both media and politicians that currently drive criminal justice policy in England and Wales. In Recommending this book, I urge academics to place it high up on their reading lists, and policy makers to study it and learn from Scotland.' The Howard Journal 'This excellent book’s fine-grained and insightful account of the trials and tribulations of two pioneering Scottish youth justice projects deserves to be widely read by scholars, students, policy-makers and practitioners in the UK and far beyond. A fine example of the practical value of realistic evaluation, the book’s robustly evidenced central message - that successful youth justice requires much more than the clockwork administration of correctional programmes because the contexts of interventions and the relational style in which they are enacted matter at least as much as their content - simply cannot be repeated often enough at present.' Fergus McNeill, Glasgow University, UK 'David Lobley and David Smith present a thoroughly researched and scholarly - yet accessible and fluent - evaluative account of two projects engaging young people heavily enmeshed in youth justice processes. The core messages are clearly presented and persuasive and they make an important case for developing responsive and respectful relationships with young people. Persistent Young Offenders should be read by all students of criminology and criminal justice together with policy-makers, managers and practitioners working in the youth justice sphere in the UK and beyond.' Barry Goldson, University of Liverpool, UK '... contributes to the understanding of what is needed to work successfully with young offenders.' The Criminal Lawyer 'Persistent Young Offenders strengthens the calls for children's welfare to remain a paramount consideration when considering responses to youth crime. It should be essential reading for academics, students and practitione