Incarcerating Children

Understanding Youth Imprisonment

By Tim Bateman

© 2013 – Routledge

224 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415697163
pub: 2016-06-30

About the Book

Levels of youth custody in any period are not closely related to the nature and extent of youth crime, but appear instead to be determined, at least in part, by political, social and economic considerations. While David Garland’s account of the development of a new culture of control provides a useful framework for discussing child imprisonment, Bateman argues that the empirical data does not, in any straightforward manner, support the idea of an inexorable rise in youth custody that might be anticipated as a consequence of that analysis.

This book investigates the systemic determinants of youth custodial sentencing in England and Wales and provides a full account of the patterns of youth imprisonment and offers a nuanced explanation of systemic features at different times and in different places.


Tim Bateman’s Incarcerating Children: Understanding Youth Imprisonment combines historical, theoretical, empirical and national and local policy and practice analysis to offer a complex, nuanced and broad ranging account of children incarceration in England and Wales since 1970. It is a welcome addition to the genre and an appealing and accessible text for researchers, academics, youth justice professionals and students alike.

Dr. Janet Jamieson, Head of Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, 2. The rationale for, and consequences of, locking children up, 3. The context for understanding patterns of custody: risk and exclusion, 4. An emerging culture of control?, 5. A history of confounded expectations: youth custody from 1970 to the present, 6. Patterns of incarceration - the rise and fall of youth imprisonment: 1969 – 199, 7. Patterns of incarceration – the rise in youth imprisonment: 1992 -2005, 8. New Labour: reform and legacy, 9. 'Justice by geography’: towards an understanding of local systemic factors, 10. Practitioner culture and custody, 11. Back to the future? The decline in child imprisonment in the late 2000s, 12. Conclusion

About the Author

Tim Bateman is a Reader in Youth Justice at the University of Bedfordshire.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice

Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice offers the very best in research on criminal justice systems around the world, offering fresh insights on a range of topics in criminal procedure, including policing, prisons, courts, youth justice, community measures, rehabilitation, victimology and forensics science.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology