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Understand a Little More, Condemn a Little Less : The beginning of a new era for youth justice in the UK ?

Abstract : Since approximately 1993, youth justice policy in the UK has been characterised by a significant degree of punitiveness, symbolised most dramatically by the number of children and young people sentenced to custody. Whilst New Labour sought to introduce a new ‘third way’ approach to criminal justice, combining punitive and welfarist measures, in practice it only succeeded in exacerbating punitive trends. Rather than acting as alternatives to traditional penal sanctions, welfarist measures came to form an additional layer of the punitive apparatus of the state. This chapter seeks to determine to what extent the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government may succeed in reversing punitive trends with regard to youth justice. Despite adopting less punitive rhetoric, it is argued that coalition policy in this respect is likely to demonstrate a considerable degree of continuity with that of the recent past. Any departure from the status quo will indeed be extremely difficult given the economic crisis and the ideological context in which policy is developed.
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Contributor : Catherine Poli <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 3:07:22 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 12, 2021 - 3:40:03 PM

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Emma Bell. Understand a Little More, Condemn a Little Less : The beginning of a new era for youth justice in the UK ?. Sarah Pickard (dir.); Corinne Nativel (dir.); Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq (dir.). Les politiques de jeunesse au Royaume-Uni et en France : désaffection, répression et accompagnement à la citoyenneté, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, pp.111-125, 2012, 978-2-87854-547-0. ⟨hal-02552347⟩

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