Changes in diversionary strategies within the youth justice system of England & Wales (1908-2010)
AuthorsRandall, Vicki Louise
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractYouth justice in England and Wales is a highly politicised area of government policy and youth justice provision has always been a highly contested issue. The discourse of diversion stems from debates about the purpose and effectiveness of various types of penal regimes, and particularly their effect on children and young people in trouble with the law. The process of diversion aims to remove children and young people from the formal sanctions of the criminal justice system or minimize their penetration into it, and failing that it aims to avoid incarceration. Over the years diversion has taken many forms and the extent to which children have been diverted has varied. This thesis explores the various types of diversionary practice and how they have changed over time. It explores the political, administrative and professional conditions under which diversion has been a priority and those under which it has been effective. Bernard (1992) has argued that there is a ‘cycle of youth justice’ in which responses to youth crime move from the harsh to the more lenient before swinging back again. The thesis suggests that there is a ‘spiral’ of youth justice in which different paradigms are sometimes entangled together leading to the often contradictory and complex realities of youth justice and diversion without necessarily returning to the place of origin. It concludes that, given the current fiscal climate, there is a distinct likelihood that diversion policies will gain ascendancy. However, any developments will be fragile and susceptible to unintended consequences if the ‘real’ outcomes for children and young people are not part of the motivation for reform.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Philosophy of the University of Bedfordshire
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