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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229633 
Title: Young People's 'Voices' as Evidence (From Youth Justice Handbook: Theory, Policy and Practice, P 168-178, 2010, Wayne Taylor, Rod Earle, and Richard Hester, eds. - See NCJ-229620)
Author(s): Jean Hine
Date Published: 2010
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: After reviewing assumptions, supposedly "evidence-based," underlying British policies for responding to the criminal and antisocial behavior of children and youth, this chapter presents challenges to these assumptions based on research into how youths themselves view their lives and behaviors.
Abstract: Under current policy for responding to the criminal and antisocial behavior of children and youth, there is an assumption that most "normal" youth undergo a smooth transition from childhood through adolescence guided by prosocial values internalized by individual choice. Criminal and antisocial behaviors, on the other hand, are assumed to be individual character flaws that depart from the norm and require official intervention in order to prevent such behaviors from becoming habitual and more severe. Predictive tools are used to identify "risk factors" that impede "normal" development and portend continued offending. These "risk factors" are targeted for intervention. Under New Labour's governance in Great Britain, the concern to rehabilitate has merged with the intent to punish youth for their offending. The new sociology of childhood presents challenges to many commonly held views about the nature of childhood (James et al., 1998), and a range of research is providing new insight into the nature of transitions through adolescence into adulthood. At the same time, research on risk factors is raising doubts about their efficacy as either predictors or identifiers for appropriate intervention. Increasingly, research with youth is challenging the view that youthful misconduct and deviancy are "irrational" or the result of cognitive dysfunction linked with "abnormal" development. This chapter argues that contrary to the assumptions in the current risk-factor model, young offenders do not always want to be involved with crime and often find ways to avoid being drawn into offending. In fact, risk factors, perceived as criminogenic can, in some instances, perform a protective function for youth. 54 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Children at risk; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile delinquency factors; Problem behavior
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