This book provides a comprehensive, student-friendly and critical introduction to youth justice in England and Wales, offering a balanced evaluation of its development, rationale, nature and evidence base. It explores the evolution of definitions and explanations of youth offending and examines the responses to it that constitute youth justice.
Bringing together theory and practice, this book provides a balanced exposition of contemporary youth justice debates, including detailed discussions of governmental rationales and practical issues and an extensive evaluation of critical academic positions. It includes a range of features designed to engage and inspire students:
- ‘Stop and think’: Activities challenging students to reflect on important issues.
- ‘Conversations’: Discussions of key themes and issues from the perspectives and experiences of relevant stakeholders, including policy makers and activists.
- ‘Telling it like it is’: Testimonies giving voice to the personalised, subjective and contentious viewpoints of youth justice influencers.
- ‘Controversies and debates’: Prompts to stimulate students to question and critique established knowledge and understanding by considering alternative angles.
- ‘Recurring theme alerts’: Boxes flagging up recurring themes in the developing construction of youth offending and youth justice.
This book is essential reading for students taking courses in youth justice, youth offending, youth crime, youth work and social policy.
Table of Contents
1. Defining youth offending: The social construction of ‘youth offending’
2. Explaining youth offending: Individual, socio-structural and systemic causes
3. Explaining youth offending: Risk factor theories
4. Responding to youth offending: The social construction of youth justice
5. Responding to youth offending: New Labour and the ‘new youth justice’
6. Responding to youth offending: A newer ‘new youth justice’
Stephen Case is a Professor of Criminology and Director of Studies in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. He has conducted large-scale funded research projects for the Home Office, the Leverhulme Trust, the Youth Justice Board, the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, the ESRC and the Welsh Government.
"Case has developed a genuinely authoritative and comprehensive text on youth justice. He accomplishes the challenging feat of bringing together history, theory, policy and practice in a highly engaging and readable format. Well-structured throughout, this book marks an important text for students of youth justice, and one which I predict will be very popular."
- Dr Daniel McCarthy, Reader in Criminology, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey
"Essential reading for students at all levels. In order to understand youth offending and youth justice, you must be aware of the aims and the contextual development of how we respond to youth crime. This book sharply deconstructs the relevant theories and looks to explain some of the reasons behind youth offending. It addresses some of the controversial areas of contemporary debate – including a firm belief that we should put children first!"
- Dr Richard Peake (FHEA), Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, University of Leeds
"Stephen Case has brought the genre of youth justice completely up to date with this comprehensive, accessible, stimulating and intelligent textbook. Its unique narrative and presentation ensures that the reader views the discipline from a decisively critical perspective, rendering it an invaluable tool for academics and students alike in the dissemination of the subject at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The textbook will doubtless be of additional interest to the related disciplines of criminology, sociology, social work and social policy; assisting to revise and refresh curricula content relating to ‘youth’."
- Dr Vicky Palmer, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Youth Justice and BA (Hons) Youth Studies, Nottingham Trent University
"Informed by the latest research and thinking, Professor Case’s text on youth justice provides a substantial, welcomed addition to the field. The features within the text will allow for students to consolidate their reading and learn in a way that has not been present in others before. It is a book that solidly brings together, theory, research, policy and practice making it relevant reading for those teaching, studying or researching in this area."
- Dr Rachel Morris, Lecturer in Social Policy and Crime, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York
"Professor Case has written a book that is both accessible and academically rigorous. Lucid, clearly structured and erudite, this critical introduction invites the reader to engage with the key debates in contemporary youth justice."
- Dr Jonathan Evans, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Criminology, University of South Wales
"In this highly engaging and extremely accessible book, Steve Case uses an imaginative, critical and reflexive approach to unpack the messy and complex debates surrounding youth offending and justice. Youth Justice will be an invaluable introduction for those new to the topics, and a cornerstone of reference for lecturers and practitioners."
- Dr Jo Deakin, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester
"A youth justice textbook which navigates between critical academic and professional practice accounts, in a student friendly format, which promotes critical thinking? This is long overdue and I can't wait to start using it with my undergraduates."
- Sue Bond-Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Lincoln