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By Pickford

This cutting edge textual content examines modern concerns in early life justice within the mild of the sweeping reforms brought through the Crime and disease Act 1998 and the early life Justice and legal facts invoice 1999. It brings jointly present debates in either the perform and idea of stripling justice intervention and, within the gentle of the governments inter-agency method of the matter of youngster criminal activity, offers an inter-disciplinary exam of those discussions. together with contributions from either lecturers, magistrates and social paintings practitioners, it's a priceless textual content for college kids of criminology, legislations and social paintings, in addition to a worthwhile source for adolescence justice practitioners.

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Sample text

It also places a duty on all personnel working within the youth justice arena to have regard to this paramount aim whilst carrying out their duties. In a Home Office paper published in September 1998, Jack Straw referred to this primary focus of preventing offending and recidivist behaviour: The Government wants to see the youth justice system make a real difference to the lives of the children and young people with whom it deals by preventing those children and young people from offending. Too many young people begin offending at a very young age.

If the new legislation is creating a new framework for discretionary intervention, then the net widening effect of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 could be repeated. Civil liberties, including personal and family rights and autonomy, should be respected by professionals who are being encouraged by the Government to take a more proactive approach. If caution is not exercised, it is possible that this new proactivity will result in even greater State intervention in, and control of, the lives of marginalised communities lacking social or economic power and who are most at danger of being labelled as ‘problem families’.

Nevertheless, behind the rhetoric, the re-orientation of the duality of approach towards young law breakers which had developed was to take on a new guise. A policy of bifurcation was pursued by successive Conservative governments. The policy, which represents a further form of compromise implemented to resolve the inevitable conflict between principles of justice and welfare, arguably continued until the post-Bulger panic in the early 1990s. This practice involved ‘getting tough’ on those deemed to be serious and persistent young offenders, whilst endeavouring to divert first time and non-serious juvenile offenders away from the more stigmatising effects of the criminal justice system, thus indicating a recognition of the effects of criminalisation as a possible causative factor of further criminal behaviour.

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