This book aims to provide an understanding of youth offending and policy and practice responses, particularly the risk-focused approaches that have underpinned much recent academic research, youth justice policy and interventions designed to reduce and prevent problem behaviour. There has been growing concern, however, on the part of critical criminologists and others, about the theoretical, epistemological, methodological and ethical bases of risk-focused research with young people. They have pointed particularly to the overly-deterministic and prescriptive nature of the risk factor paradigm.
This book aims to meet the need for an exploration of youth justice and youth offending which takes account of the origins and contemporary manifestations of risk-focused work with young people. It analyses the influence of concepts of risk upon policy development in both England and Wales as well as internationally, highlighting tensions between the proponents of risk factor research and methodological and ethical criticisms of the risk factor paradigm. It will be essential reading for anybody wishing to understand risk factor explanation of crime, contemporary youth justice policy and responses to offending behaviour.
'This text is important reading for researchers and practitioners in the areas of youth offending, risk factorisation and in more general terms of theoretical and methodological perspectives.'
-Bethany Alden, Open University in Youth & Policy, no 107
Introduction: Risk Factor Research 1. Examining the Unresolved Methodological Paradoxes of Risk Factor Research 2. The Origins and Development of Risk Factor Research 3. Longitudinal Risk Factor Research in England and Wales – Achievements, Limitations and Potential 4. Cross-sectional Risk Factor Research in England and Wales – Achievements, limitations and Potential 5. Hunting for the Universal Risk Factor 6. Risk Assessment in the Youth Justice System: Application without Understanding? 7. Re-visiting Risk Factor Research, Policy and Practice