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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Sue Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to examine a number of the problems young people face in respect of their living arrangements and how these difficulties can impact on them…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a number of the problems young people face in respect of their living arrangements and how these difficulties can impact on them and the decisions that are made when they are involved in the criminal justice system. It discusses some of the problems that have to be overcome, the role of youth offending teams and some of the initiatives that have been developed to address young people's needs.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a literature review based on research the author has undertaken over the last decade that incorporates the findings of other research, obtained from research reports, project evaluations, thematic inspections and contributions from the voluntary sector. It also refers to findings from analysis of Asset data. Asset is a standardised assessment tool used by youth justice practitioners in youth offending teams to identify risk factors that will be addressed in supervision of young people subject to statutory orders.

Findings

The paper summarizes information from a range of sources about the problems young people in the criminal justice system face when there are difficulties with their living arrangements. There can be additional difficulties (when compared to other vulnerable young people) because of criminal justice involvement. The paper analyses what some of these difficulties can be by describing the implications at some of the key decision‐making points of the system and explores the role of youth offending teams which do not have statutory responsibilities for providing accommodation for young people and advises that this remains a responsibility of statutory agencies, although one that is not always properly fulfilled by children's services or local authority housing departments. Legislative responsibility is clarified with reference to recent case law. The paper concludes with mention of some of some relatively recent initiatives that have been taken in relation to resettlement in particular and their findings. The article concludes that addressing housing need requires a co‐ordinated approach from youth offending teams (as brokers and advocates) and that statutory services need to fulfil their obligations or prevent offending and assist young people to lead settled lifestyles.Research limitations/implications – The paper has largely reviewed existing materials, however it adds to existing material by providing an update on more recent developments and provided a discussion of the issues as they affect young people. Some of the information obtained from examination of Assets (by the author in the conduct of research) has not previously been published and the author attributes this to Asset review. Also whilst many young people in the justice system are experiencing problems which are not within the scope of youth offending teams’ responsibilities to fully resolve – there are therefore limitations to how far discussion around this particular aspect of the analysis can be taken.

Practical implications

The paper is important as it reinforces the need for statutory services to fulfil their obligation to young people in housing need. It is important for those engaging with young people who have housing difficulties to be aware of their problems and vulnerabilities – which can often be forgotten as statutory agencies can have a tendency to see view them primarily as offenders and not young people in need.

Social implications

The social implications of not addressing this problem are that young people with housing difficulty grow up into adults who also have housing needs and there is a greater risk of homelessness. Criminal activity contributes to homelessness and can occur as a result of homelessness. Also those with housing difficulty can potentially face more punitive sanctions from the criminal justice system because of their problems and not their actions, the biggest one being that they can lose their liberty. It is in the best interests of young people to ensure that they are living settled and law‐abiding lifestyles. Addressing housing need is an important social function in the prevention of offending.

Originality/value

The paper re‐visits a long‐standing problem that continues to require resolution. The paper provides a summary of the problem, indicates how it can impact on criminal justice decision making, the role of youth offending teams and some recent initiatives. It presents this information in one paper and discusses housing difficulties from the youth justice specifically, which discussion of young people and their housing difficulties may touch on but not go into in the level of depth that this article does.

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Safer Communities, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Jo Staines

The purpose of this paper is to provide a response to a recent government-commissioned review of residential care (Narey, 2016), and the subsequent government response…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a response to a recent government-commissioned review of residential care (Narey, 2016), and the subsequent government response (Department of Education (DfE), 2016), which minimises the correlation between the experience of being looked after and becoming involved in the youth justice system. The Narey review emphasises on the role of early adversity in looked after children’s offending behaviour but minimises the significance of experiences during and after care, and downplays the effect of policies and practices that may exacerbate looked after children’s involvement in the youth justice system.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds upon a systematic literature review conducted for the Prison Reform Trust (Staines, 2016) to demonstrate the extent of current knowledge about how risk factors, adverse experiences during and after care and the criminalisation of looked after children combine to increase the likelihood of involvement in criminal proceedings. The paper also highlights gaps in the research evidence, particularly in relation to gender and ethnicity.

Findings

The findings suggest that the Narey review (2016) and the government response (DfE, 2016), are misguided in their attempts to minimise the role of care in looked after children’s disproportionate representation within the youth justice system. The paper cautions against the over-simplification of a complex relationship and emphasises on the importance of recognising the intersection between different factors.

Originality/value

The paper uses secondary sources to develop an original argument to rebut claims within a recently published review.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Judy Renshaw

Resettlement programmes provide support for young offenders during their custodial sentence and for approximately nine months after release. This article describes how the…

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183

Abstract

Resettlement programmes provide support for young offenders during their custodial sentence and for approximately nine months after release. This article describes how the costs and benefits of providing an effective service of this kind were estimated based on the ‘RESET’ programme, published evidence on the costs of crime and the likely reduction in offending due to an intensive support programme. The cost of crime has been estimated at £46,459 per year (after allowing for a reduction due to the time spent in custody), plus prison custody at an average of £30,475 and emergency accommodation at an average of £1,106, making a total of £78,040 for each offender. Using a fairly modest assumption that good support in resettlement could lead to approximately a 35% reduction in frequency and a 10% reduction in seriousness of offending, a saving of £20,407 per offender per year could be achieved. These savings would more than offset the average cost of a good quality resettlement service of £8,074. The scheme would break even if the frequency of offending were reduced by only 20%.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Natalie Kroovand Hipple and Edmund F. McGarrell

The purpose of this paper is to compare family group conferences (FGCs) facilitated by police officers with those facilitated by a civilian along several dimensions…

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1251

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare family group conferences (FGCs) facilitated by police officers with those facilitated by a civilian along several dimensions including process, reparation agreements, recidivism, and time until failure.

Design/methodology/approach

Using observational data and juvenile histories of offending from the Indianapolis Restorative Justice Project, the authors attempted to answer four research questions: Are family group conferences facilitated by police officers procedurally different from family group conferences facilitated by civilians?; Are reparation agreements resulting from police‐officer‐facilitated conferences different from reparation agreements resulting from civilian‐facilitated conferences?; Did youths who participated in police‐facilitated conferences recidivate at different rates compared with youths who participated in civilian‐facilitated conferences?; Did youths who participated in police‐facilitated conferences have a longer time to failure than youths who participated in civilian‐facilitated conferences?

Findings

Generally, there appeared to be no major differences between conferences facilitated by civilians as opposed to police officers. Observations indicated that police officers seemed to lecture offenders more during the FGC and made more suggestions as to what should be in the reparation agreement. Youths who attended police‐officer‐facilitated conferences “survived” somewhat longer before re‐offending than youths who attended civilian‐facilitated conferences, although these differences were not statistically significant.

Research limitations/implications

While subjects in the Indianapolis experiment were randomly assigned to family group conferences or a “control group” diversion program, subjects were not randomly assigned to conferences according to facilitator type. This limits the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

The study suggests tjat both police officers and civilians are capable of facilitating FGCs, consistent with restorative justice principles. For police departments interested in responding proactively to early juvenile offending and in strengthening ties with the community, FGCs provide an opportunity through police officer training and involvement as conference facilitators. In contrast, in communities where the police may be disinclined to commit officers to the role of facilitator, the findings suggest that civilian facilitators can also effectively coordinate FGCs.

Originality/value

The study adds to the restorative justice literature by further examining conference processes and outcomes. Additionally, it offers the first empirical examination of some of the concerns that have been raised about police‐ as opposed to civilian‐facilitated conferences. The finding that there were few differences between police‐ and civilian‐run conferences suggests that the police are at least as capable as civilians in facilitating FGCs. This suggests that FGCs could be implemented as part of a community policing initiative utilizing police officers as facilitators. Similarly, FGCs could be implemented as part of a community justice initiative utilizing civilians as facilitators. The key to successful outcomes is likely to be driven by fidelity to theoretical principles as opposed to the formal role of the facilitator.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2010

Tim Bateman

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show significant progress against New Labour's targets to reduce reoffending by young people within the youth justice system…

Abstract

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show significant progress against New Labour's targets to reduce reoffending by young people within the youth justice system. The outgoing government was, unsurprisingly, quick to infer that such findings constituted corroboration of the improved effectiveness of youth justice practice under their administration. This article considers whether such an inference is warranted and discusses other potential explanations of the data.

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Safer Communities, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Prathiba Chitsabesan, Sue Bailey, Richard Williams, Leo Kroll, Cassandra Kenning and Louise Talbot

This article is based on a study that was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. We report on the learning profiles and education needs of a cohort…

Abstract

This article is based on a study that was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. We report on the learning profiles and education needs of a cohort of young offenders who were recruited for the study. The research was a national cross‐sectional survey of 301 young offenders who were resident in custodial settings or attending youth offending teams in the community. The young people were assessed using the WASI and the WORD measures to obtain psychometric information (IQ scores and reading/reading comprehension ages). One in five (20%) young people met the ICD‐10 criteria for mental retardation (IQ<70), while problems with reading (52%) and reading comprehension (61%) were common. Verbal IQ scores were found to be significantly lower than performance IQ scores, particularly in male offenders. It is clear from these results that a large proportion of juvenile offenders have a learning disability, as characterised by an IQ<70 and significantly low reading and reading comprehension ages. The underlying aetiology of this association is less clear and may be a consequence of both an increased prevalence of neurocognitive deficits and the impact of poor schooling. There is some evidence that developmental pathways may be different for boys compared with girls.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Sean Creaney

The purpose of this paper is to explore young people's experiences of youth justice supervision with particular reference to the efficacy of participatory practices. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore young people's experiences of youth justice supervision with particular reference to the efficacy of participatory practices. This paper is based on findings from a study concerning the extent and nature of children’s participation in decision-making in youth justice. The paper uses Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, as a heuristic/practical device, to investigate children’s ability to express agency and shape or influence the content and format of interventions and approaches in youth justice.

Design/methodology/approach

The researcher’s interest in understanding the perceptions and experiences of youth justice supervision led to the adoption of the qualitative approach and specifically in-depth interviews and participant observations. The researcher interviewed front-line professionals (n = 14), operational managers (n = 6) and children under youth justice supervision (n = 20). This study involved 15 months of fieldwork undertaken between 2016 and 2017 at a youth offending service in England.

Findings

Several young people were seeking to exert minimal energy to achieve a type of passive compliance with court order requirements, adopting a “ready-to-conform” mindset. Professionals were concerned that they were also participating in this type of “game playing”.

Practical implications

A relationship-based practice that is conducive to meaningful participation can help to facilitate positive changes to lifestyles and circumstances. This paper exposes its pivotal role in bolstering children’s involvement in supervision, reducing passive compliance and preventing inauthentic transactional arrangements from forming.

Originality/value

In spite of the significant interest in the work of Pierre Bourdieu, his “thinking tools” have seldom been used to investigate the experiences, attitudes and behaviours of youth justice professionals and those under youth offending team supervision at.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Alex R. Dopp, Charles M. Borduin and Cynthia E. Brown

Effective treatments for juvenile sexual offenders are needed to reduce the societal impact of sexual crimes. The purpose of this paper is to review the empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

Effective treatments for juvenile sexual offenders are needed to reduce the societal impact of sexual crimes. The purpose of this paper is to review the empirical literature on treatments for this clinical population.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors searched PsycInfo and MEDLINE (via PubMed) for studies that evaluated outcomes of treatments with juvenile sexual offenders.

Findings

There are a small but growing number of treatment studies (n=10) with juvenile sexual offenders, and all of these studies evaluated cognitive-behavioral therapy or multisystemic therapy for problem sexual behaviors. The results of these studies are promising, although conclusions about treatment effectiveness have been frequently limited by methodological problems.

Originality/value

The authors provide recommendations for treatment providers and policymakers to consider in their decisions about interventions for juvenile sexual offenders. Furthermore, the authors offer suggestions for researchers who seek to develop effective interventions targeting this clinical population.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Michael T. Baglivio and Kevin T. Wolff

The purpose of this paper is to examine temperament differences, notably effortful control and negative emotionality, and correlates that distinguish between homicide…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine temperament differences, notably effortful control and negative emotionality, and correlates that distinguish between homicide, violent sexual and other violent juvenile offenders. Exploring heterogeneity among violent offenders is relevant to intervention strategies and policy implications.

Design/methodology/approach

Demographic measures, temperament constructs and individual risk factor indicators were assessed across 30,303 violent juvenile offenders (including 397 homicide offenders) in Florida to assess their ability to distinguish among violent juvenile offender subgroups.

Findings

Analyses demonstrated temperament constructs distinguish among classifications of violent juvenile offenders with effortful control differentiating homicide and violent sexual offenders from other violent offenders, and negative emotionality distinguishing violent sexual from other violent offenders, with youth having greater negative emotionality and less effortful control being non-sexual violent offenders. Homicide offenders were more likely to be older, male and had histories of gang membership and weapon/firearm offending than other violent offenders, and evidenced greater negative emotionality than violent sexual offenders.

Originality/value

The differences across violent youthful offender subtypes suggest heterogeneity among violent offenders with distinct correlates more predictive of some subtypes than others. Additionally, the temperament constructs of effortful control and negative emotionality are useful in distinguishing violent offender subtypes, which points toward differing intervention/treatment strategies.

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Sean Creaney

The purpose of the paper is to examine the discourses of risk, prevention and early intervention, with particular reference, to the treatment of girls in the contemporary…

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1168

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine the discourses of risk, prevention and early intervention, with particular reference, to the treatment of girls in the contemporary Youth Justice System.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has two broad objectives: first, the paper reviews the literature on early intervention and youth crime prevention policy. Second, the paper focuses on youth justice practice in relation to girls who are engaged in youth justice processes or “at risk” of criminal involvement.

Findings

The paper argues that: girls are drawn into the system for welfare rather than crime‐related matters; and youth justice policy and practice seems to negate girls' gender‐specific needs. Moreover, the paper highlights research evidence and practice‐based experience, and contends that youth justice policy and practice must be re‐developed in favour of incorporating gender‐specific, child and young person centred practices.

Originality/value

The results presented in this article will be particularly pertinent to policy makers, educators and practitioners in the sphere of youth justice, especially since the contemporary youth justice system, in its rigorous, actuarial pursuance of risk management, fails to distinguish between “genders” within its formulaic assessment documentation.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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