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ERIC Number: EJ842585
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0951-0605
Childhood, Agency and Youth Justice
Smith, Roger
Children & Society, v23 n4 p252-264 Jul 2009
This article seeks to reframe debates in the sphere of youth justice in order to move away from narrow and one-sided conceptualisations of young people who offend and appropriate forms of intervention with them. Whilst different positions have been adopted within the field of youth justice, largely around "justice" or "welfare" models of practice, the apparent polarisation of this conflict has obscured an underlying consensus, namely that the "problem" is the child or young offender, and he/she needs either to be helped or coerced into becoming a conforming adult citizen. Largely absent from the field of youth justice have been other theoretical influences such as consideration of the nature of "agency" and the construction of childhood. These alternative perspectives could offer us some insight into the limitations of historical debates in youth justice policy and practice, as will as pointing the way towards innovative and progressive alternative forms of practice. The strengths and shortcomings of contemporary developments, such as restorative interventions, will be discussed in this context, and the article will conclude that there is scope for developing positive, young person-centred models of youth justice practice if we base these on a proper understanding of childhood and children's agency.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A