JOURNAL ISSUE 17

2007/2008

 

 

 

 

POWER, KNOWLEDGE AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN THE TEACHING OF YOUTH JUSTICE PRACTICE

 

Dr. Richard Hester

The Open University

Faculty of Health and Social Care

Walton Hall, UK


 

 

ABSTRACT

In 1997 in the UK, New Labour (the alternative branding of the Labour Party) swept to power and proceeded to make some rather hasty changes to the youth justice system in England and Wales, including the development of Youth Offending Teams and a new non-departmental government body, the Youth Justice Board (YJB), designed to coordinate the new youth justice system. Recently, it has been acknowledged by some that these changes have not resulted in a ‘better’ system. The paper outlines how the training of ‘youth justice practitioners’ reflects the bigger picture of central control, the pursuit of a contested ‘what works’ agenda, and managerialism. It explores the consequent impact of this approach on the rights of children caught up in the youth justice system as seen through the lens of the power–knowledge nexus. This is followed by a broader examination of the necessary theoretical foundations upon which such teaching and learning in the youth justice field might be placed with reference to Nellis’ ‘overarching’ and ‘underpinning’ knowledge developed in the context of the Probation Diploma. Finally, some tentative recommendations are made, concluding with some potential challenges. These include the consequent impact these challenges might have on improving children’s rights and reducing the use of custody for children in the criminal justice system.

 

 

Introduction

 

One of the aims of totalitarianism is not merely to make sure that people will think the right thoughts, but actually to make them less conscious. (Orwell 1946: 383)

 

Much has changed in the last 10 years in the youth justice system of England and Wales, but with questionable benefit (Goldson 2000; Goldson & Muncie 2006; Pitts 2001; 2005a). It is now broadly acknowledged that after 10 years claims regarding the effectiveness of the youth justice system have come under some criticism (Soloman & Garside 2008). However, this broad acknowledgement comes at a time when changes in government structure, along with the influence of key ministers, may herald further moves which, this time, may be in the right direction.

 

For the purposes of this paper, however, I will focus on one of the major changes of the last few years through a lens of the power–knowledge nexus in order to provide a context in which to witness current youth justice practice pedagogy and to speculate as to its future. Furthermore, I hope to focus on the process of ‘managerialism’ and its relationship to power and knowledge:

 

[Individuals] are always in the position of simultaneously undergoing and exercising power. They are not only its inert or consenting target; they are also the elements of its articulation. (Foucault 1980: 98)

 

As Garland (1990) reminds us, the concept of power in the Foucauldian sense is not a property of individuals who have it to use at their will, but rather an asymmetrical relationship of societal forces. Moreover, power is also:

 

to be thought of as productive in effect rather than repressive in so far as power shapes the actions of individuals and harnesses their bodily powers to its ends. (Garland 1990: 138)

 

It is in this sense that I will consider the relationship between the centrist–‘managerialist’ development of youth justice in the last ten years and the consequent experience of practitioners and ultimately the rights of children and young people in the system. As a cautionary note, Foucault also suggests in Discipline and Punish that that an understanding of the ‘knowledge – power- body-nexus’ is at the heart of an understanding of penality, but in a more sinister sense. Thus, knowledge of the ‘subject to be controlled’ (in this case young people and their rights) should to be ‘handled with care’ if that knowledge is not to be corrupted and incorporated into processes of surveillance and oppression. 

 

The relationship between knowledge and power in the context of the probation service has been examined by Robinson (2001: 248), who exposed the risks of ‘over confidence’ in the knowledge base of the so-called ‘what works’ agenda. [1] She describes how there has been a growing disquiet regarding the development of this agenda and warns of the effect of eroding professional judgment by centralising prescribed methods of engagement which may not be as efficacious as its supporters suggest.

 

More recently, Farrant (2006: 317) has discerned an overarching ‘hegemonic masculinist approach to crime control and offender management’ based on the ‘what works’ agenda. Both of these explorations note the effect of a New Labour ‘modernisation’ project and provide us with an alternative framework with which to understand them. So, what does this have to do with the teaching of youth justice?

 

I once asked a group of students to describe the difference between the way in which youth justice was organised before 2000 and the way in which it is organised now. The students’ responses were extreme. For one group, the period before New Labour’s 1998 Crime and Disorder Act marked a time of inefficiency and confusion where the ‘victims of crime’ were placed firmly in the background – post-2000 had been a renaissance with a flourishing restorative ideology and supportive preventative interventions. For the other group, youth justice practice was in serious decline, dominated by ‘tick box performance management’ that impeded the real work of engaging with young people and was creating intense pressure on the workforce, the ultimate manifestation of this being a reduction in the quality of the relationship between workers and young people.

 

The latter view is supported, to some degree, by Eadie & Canton (2003), who suggest that the dominance of risk assessment in contemporary youth justice culture might displace a more reflective approach to the work. Pitts (2001), too, has argued that contemporary youth justice practitioners have become de-professionalised. Furthermore, this process of ‘de-professionalisation’ connects to the distrust of ‘professionals’ generally, a movement that has been growing for around 20 years. This demise goes hand in hand with both the rise of a culture of audit and accountability – in which the government and the public need assurance that workers are being suitably scrutinised, regulated and controlled – and a rise in a ‘consumer society’ (Baudrillard 1998; Bauman 1998).

 

In the context of the recent attempts by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) to drive forward the percentage of qualified staff through the Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (PCEP) [2] , it is little wonder that such confusion can arise.  The ‘fetishism’ [3] towards Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches and a non-critical, cursory acceptance of the ‘principles of effective practice’ provide a potentially limited and confusing picture to those practitioners new to the field.

 

The teaching of effective practice, or at least the teaching of practice effectively, can help us to understand some of the central tensions within the system. It may be helpful at this juncture to reflect on how ‘effective youth justice’ was taught in England and Wales until only a few years ago, before moving on to make a few suggestions about what should be taught.

 

 

The Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (Youth Justice)

 

More than usual, the collection of nautical metaphors and clichés used in the world of youth justice, boat building, shipwrecks, and the abyss seem to have become inextricably linked in this story, and I am still uncertain as to whether this should be taken as an omen or whether it is just one of those coincidences that occur in life throws from time to time.

 

While I was working at the University of Birmingham, England, undertaking some freelance work, having been shipwrecked in the Pacific a few months earlier, a note was pinned to my door giving details of an adverterisement for trainers to deliver the Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (Youth Justice) (PCEP) on behalf of an organisation called Ecotec. [4] A few of weeks later, when working for Warwickshire Police, I sent in the required C.V., not least because I felt I had some experience in the field of youth justice and enjoyed face-to-face teaching. After a fairly lengthy interval of time, I quite unexpectedly received an invitation to attend a two-day ‘training session’ based in a hotel just outside Warwick. The first surprise for me was failing to recognise anyone in the group that I had known from the ‘old youth justice days’. Most of the people gathered there seemed to have had very little connection with that period in time. This puzzled me as I had assumed that there would be a number of ex-colleagues and acquaintances who would also find the idea of teaching on an ‘effective practice’ course both stimulating and rewarding.

 

The two-day training event ended up as a 24-hour ‘run through’ of what I later learned to be the three modules of PCEP. At the end of the session we were invited add our names to a list if we were still interested in delivering the course, although I later learned that most of the negotiations between university representatives and potential trainers appeared to have taken place in the bar during the course of the previous evening. Despite this, and with a certain degree of persistence,  I managed to secure an offer to teach the course by the three English Universities.

 

Delivering the course – de profundis

 

My thoughts on the course and indeed its impact on practitioners are formulated as a consequence of a number of years of direct delivery and my critique is thus from the abyss, as it were, rather than from some external high point, looking down at the process. Essentially the course, which was a 40-point credit bearing ‘certificate’, was delivered in three taught modules between which was apportioned appropriate ‘study time’. Normally, the taught part of the course was delivered in a hotel to students from nearby YOTs or ‘secure establishments’. There were usually between 16 and 22 ‘participants’ who were given a ‘participant pack’ along with a ‘learning portfolio’. [5] Included in the pack was a participant folder, a study guide and a set of ‘topic readers’ which grew from 8 to 15 by the final years and represented the 15 Key Elements of Effective Practice. [6] Broadly, the first module covered a brief overview of the youth justice system as whole, its possible aims, a cursory glance at the ‘values underpinning the system’ and some principles of effective partnership. The second module focused almost exclusively on the ‘principles of effective practice’, referred to as the ‘McGuire principles’ This second module is worth further consideration as these ‘principles’ were, in essence, transferred across from the ‘what works’ agenda which still dominates probation practice and is the subject of much criticism by academics and practitioners in the field. The third module dealt with the preparation necessary for participants to undertake a mini audit using the Effective Practice Quality Assurance Framework (EPQAF) as a model.

 

Reflecting on the course, it seems clear to me that there were a number of difficulties that might help expose some deeper problems associated with the education of youth justice practitioners. However, before exploring these deeper questions, I will list the difficulties associated with the subject material.

 

The subject material

 

In the course material there was a strong focus on the ‘what works’ agenda and its development subsequent to Martinson’s early work (1974) and also the subsequent emerging principles of ‘effective practice’. However, there was little detail as to the finer grain of its history in the juvenile context (Raynor & Robinson 2005). There was also little exposure of the attendant problems associated with this ‘agenda’ in relation to the teaching of probation officers. The leitmotiv of the course was a relentless presentation of a clear resolution to the questions that went before concerning ‘what works’ in preventing juvenile reoffending. Using the materials alone (including the 15 topic readers) it would be quite possible to gain the impression that a ‘holy grail’ had been found. The recent cautionary lessons regarding the application of ‘what works’ (Harper & Chitty 2005) and similar previous warnings were disregarded (Pitts 2005b). Students might well have concluded that, contrary to the research findings of Webster et al. (2005), further debate on the prediction of ‘risk’ and ‘protective’ factors is unnecessary and that risk assessment is a neutral, ‘value-free’ process. The presentation of the ‘McGuire principles’ came across as an uncontested answer, rather than a contested or developing process. The level of critique was minimal in terms of exposure to ‘dissenting’ voices.

 

In defence of this apparently simplistic approach could be afforded the argument that there was a need to present learning material at the ‘right level’ for students returning to the academic world, but of course accessible material does not necessarily need to be simplistic to be engaging. On the contrary, many students appeared to resent the rather ‘one-sided view’ outlined in the course, not least the session titled ‘The history and structure of the system’, which opened with the words ‘YOTs were established in 2000 ….’ (Ecotec 2003). Worse still, the historical section was concluded one sentence later. (See also Pitts 2005b: 253, who eloquently uncovered further ‘selectivity’ from the course.) This apparent ‘airbrushing’ of anything prior to the turn of the 21st century received much criticism from many of those who had been practising in the latter part of the previous century and had witnessed both the successes and failures of youth justice over the last 20 years.

 

The students’ experience

 

It would be wrong to give the impression that the course was badly received by all students. Interestingly, many students appeared to have gained a lot from the experience. The knowledge of the ‘McGuire principles’ for some unlocked and improved a more focused approach to programme design. Others found an introduction to ‘learning styles’ a helpful way forward (although for many a more critical approach to their application may have been more helpful – see Coffield et al. 2004). Some found that their knowledge of the vocabulary of the Effective Practice Quality Assurance Framework (EPQAF) enabled them to understand some of the requests to collect data from their managers or ‘performance specialists’. The process of learning this new vocabulary was empowering. However, many students felt that the course was simply a means to an end and found the level of academic criticality fell far short of their previous academic experiences.

 

Conclusions from the experience

 

Whilst time naturally erodes the finer details of memory, it helps expose the important from the trivial. Following the course, I have been left with a feeling that an improvement in the learning experience of youth justice practitioners is necessary in order to protect the rights of children who are not just ‘mini-adults’ but have specific needs as children. The ‘minionising’ of compliant practitioners, persuaded into thinking they have merely to operational ‘effective’ programmes, is a direct challenge to the rights of the children with whom they work.

 

 

A curriculum for youth justice

 

Whereas some of the discussion presented above might be regarded as a necessary venting of the spleen, the deeper purpose is a foundation for enquiry that centres on how a curriculum for youth justice might be selected and developed. One place to begin this discussion is with an examination of the nature of expertise in youth justice practice. Like much work in human services, it is characterised by messy ambiguity. Youth justice practitioners work with young people who are often in difficult circumstances and present intractable problems, conflicting demands and uncertainty. This is a challenge of high uncertainty and high complexity that must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, guided by a clear understanding of how offending behaviour is constituted. 

 

Nellis’ (2001) discussion of the Diploma in Probation Studies (DipPS) [7] highlights similar issues around the challenges and tensions in the construction of a curriculum to support expert practice. Nellis suggests that in the construction of a curriculum there is not merely a need for an administrative fit between what it means to be an effective practitioner and the theoretical knowledge required to do this, but rather what matters more is:

an epistemological fit—some sense of relationship, affinity or matching between what is taught and learned in the university and in the agency, which respects the strengths and missions of each. (Nellis 2001: 418)

 

Nellis’ account presents much of value in our pursuit of a curriculum for youth justice workers. First, he is particularly critical of the way that the DipPS curriculum was defined and assessed partly in terms of an agenda of ‘Competence Based Education and Training’ (CBET). This is an approach that resonates with the skills-based agenda outlined by the Leitch Report, and to a large extent, employer-based ideas of what is important to learn. With notable prescience, Nellis suggests that CBET is not some small adjustment in effective pedagogy but rather a major transforming influence on what it means to be a thoughtful, critical practitioner. Quoting Usher, he presents the competence-based agenda as part and parcel of the ‘impersonalism’ and ‘managerialism’ that is working to the detriment of the ‘Probation profession’, an effect that is felt as acutely by the newly constituted professionals of youth justice as it has been by some of the new wave of post DipPS Probation Officers:

 

People, like NVQs, become adaptable, a bundle of functional competences attained and exercised according to the demands of the market. They are commodified in the very process that commodifies learning. (Usher 1997: 106, cited in Nellis 2001: 420)

 

Nellis’ criticism of CBET is as much about the spirit of the agenda as the pedagogy. CBET subjugates students’ personal needs or desire for authentic expression to the needs of the organisation and for particular types of workers (Nellis 2001) . Nellis’ point is an important one. Under CBET the student becomes a human resource to be moulded and shaped, not an agent finding a sense of vocation and professional skill and identity through the educative process. In a sense, the workplace becomes the purchasing client and the student is the raw resource to be developed.

 

The second issue outlined by Nellis is concerned with his differentiation of the types of knowledge needed to provide the theoretical and practical base for a reflective practitioner. This framework is an attempt to clarify the types of knowledge necessary to develop specifically in terms of a university–agency split. In this sense, the curriculum builds on the idea of propositional knowledge, process knowledge and experiential knowledge. Nellis describes the distinction thus:

 

This is expressly not a normative distinction, both are of equal value, nor is it distinction between theory and practice, because both underpinning and overarching knowledge each have elements of theory and practice, different sorts of theory and different sorts of practice. Underpinning knowledge is provided predominantly by the agency while overarching knowledge is provided by the university—and that is the basis on which a partnership between them should be built. (Nellis 2001)

 

It is important not to dismiss out of hand ‘managerialist’ knowledge. Targets, guidelines and protocols can help coordinate actions in complex systems. Practitioners who are innocent of these organisational needs would struggle to be effective by any definition of that term. Whilst Nellis suggests both underpinning and overarching knowledge are needed, it is important for a practitioner to realise that these two types of knowledge cannot be easily separated, in the same way that competencies cannot be separated from the world of meaning, judgement, innovation, and insight that surrounds them. Similarly, evidence-based practice can imply (wrongly) that a separation of knowledge of best practice is detached, free-floating from context, and thus separate from any judgement about circumstances and so forth (see also Pitts 2005b).

 

 

Curriculum content

 

So what should be the nature of the overarching knowledge that would enable such a system to flourish and more importantly to empower practitioners to flourish within it? There is a balance to be struck here and it is tempting, in hypothetical terms, to ‘over-extend’ such a wish list. The primary focus of any such curriculum is the need to help in the process of becoming an ‘effective practitioner’ rather than an academic expert in the many potential fields of interest. The latter course could actually have a disabling effect by swamping practitioners.

 

Ethics

 

A fundamental aspect of the training of youth justice practitioners must be to somehow capture what Nellis describes as the ‘humanistic’ dimension. There is a need to address Godson & Muncie’s (2006) ‘principled youth justice’ system, which is based on social and economic policy, an understanding of poverty and inequality, and the engagement of the ‘universally social’, and yet is age-specific in the context of a justice system. Working as a youth justice worker is not just a matter of addressing risk factors but involves setting the behaviour of young in the context of their life and subsequently attending to social, psychological and emotional factors. To achieve this wildly ambitious aim we need to think carefully about the learning experiences of students, the process of learning, and how best we can equip students to be reflective practitioners rather than pay lip service to the idea.

 

Managerialism

There is now a developing literature on the consequences of ‘managerialist’ practice in the public sector (see above) and specifically a literature that focuses on the possible impact that these processes may have in respect to ‘professional engagement’ with young people. The nature of this relationship has, in the recent past, been eclipsed somewhat by a focus on ‘the principles of effective practice’ and the ‘what works’ agenda. The principle of ‘Responsivity’ has, to some extent, become ‘second fiddle’ to programme integrity. It is therefore necessary for the effective practitioner to be aware of the potential impact of ‘relationship’ and ‘engagement’ (a time consuming and difficult process to measure) and its potential erosion in the context of unchecked ‘managerialism’. Second, practitioners may benefit from a broader insight into the more general difficulties associated with the idea of quality and performance in the context of managerialism.

 

Sociological and psychological criminological theory

In his insightful account of a move towards a ‘post-autistic evaluative and rehabilitative ethic’ (2005b: 257), Pitts suggests that the reason why so much effort was put into professionalizing practitioners in the past was because one of the key functions of such practitioners was to make difficult decisions. This remains the case today – probably more so. A review of the evidence would suggest that there never will be a simple menu of ‘intervention’ options available and consequently practitioners will need to understand and analyse for themselves the relationship between the ‘criminogenic’ risk and protective mechanisms that are at play. To understand these mechanisms, both sociological and psychological perspectives are required. To understand the frustrations of the recently missed targets of the YJB, [8] some knowledge of the debate around the dangers of prevention services to avoid their potential iatrogenic effects is as important as knowledge of some ‘person-centred principles of effective practice’. Some background in agency and structure might help this understanding. Lastly, a knowledge that at least accepts the definitional and aetiological problems of the term ‘crime’ could add sensitivity to practitioners in the field.

 

History

To understand the youth justice system it is also necessary to understand its history. There is no excuse to begin that history in the year 2000. Whether an understanding the history of the youth justice system informs effective practice is hardly contentious. Teaching practitioners about what used to go on 150 years ago alerts them to the nature of the juvenile offender, the tension between welfare and justice, relationship between incarceration and social structure. From recent history of youth justice there are perhaps just a few clues about the potential efficacy of both custodial and non-custodial dispositions.

 

Social exclusion and social control

The relationship between certain sectors of society and those that police them is not evenly balanced across England and Wales. Even a superficial analysis of the juvenile custodial population reveals that those who are incarcerated are not representative of the population as a whole. Along with explanations that point clearly to racism, others include poverty and social exclusion as significant determinants. If the system was less obviously ‘unbalanced’ then perhaps these social structures could be simply ignored, but in its current form, some reflection on the demography of the ‘clients’ of the system seems to be another essential ingredient in beginning to understand effective practice. This understanding would at least disabuse practitioners from the notion that effective practice occurs in a social vacuum. At best, it would help contextualise the idea of ‘criminogenic need’

 

Net widening and understanding of risk

The number of children in custody in England and Wales has remained consistently high in the last eight years and is higher than it was in 1998. The risk of drawing more children into the system and their apparently inevitable rise through the ranks towards custody is perhaps the greatest challenge facing the contemporary youth justice system. The literature here is highly contested, but there appears now to be growing evidence that younger people, with less serious convictions, are being sentenced to custody, or put another way, like-for-like offences are being dealt with more punitively.

 

Victimology and ‘Restorative Justice’

Tony Blair’s attempts as the UK’s Prime Minister to find the right ‘balance’ between the needs of victims and the need to process the offender have experienced chequered success. The attempt to add ‘reparation’ to the Referral Order and the Victims Code of April 2006 has done little to assuage public opinion that victims get a raw deal. The promise of ‘Restorative Justice’ has also failed to take purchase, not least because its ideology has often been lost in the ‘managerialist’ rush towards apparently unattainable targets and misinterpretation of what reparation might mean in practice. Some background knowledge, especially of the restorative ideal, seems appropriate. 

 

Comparative youth justice

Lastly, it will be difficult to change the status quo, the way things are done, and the outcomes of these interventions or approaches if one has nothing in which to contextualise these speculative changes. A focus on mainland Europe (including recent ‘accession countries’), Australasia, and other jurisdictions, for example the United States (specifically the indigenous peoples of these continents), could enable practitioners to realise that certain ‘givens’ are indeed not (see Muncie & Goldson 2006).

 

 

Conclusions

These are interesting times for youth justice in England and Wales. The last 10 years have witnessed a particular approach to government that has direct consequences for both the youth justice system as a whole and, more specifically, for youth justice practitioners. In turn, the actions of practitioners directly impact on the lives of the children and young people with whom they work. Recognising the link between power and knowledge in these processes is essential if we are to influence any changes in practice within in youth justice as it manifests itself in England and Wales. However, this relationship between power and knowledge can work in a number of ways. The following are three possibilities, although there are many more potential formulations:

 

  • Firstly, centrist and managerial approaches to the teaching of youth justice practitioners can limit the overarching knowledge necessary to take professional and critical decisions based on holistic and informed views (see Robinson 2001).
  • Secondly, ‘knowledge–power’ can empower both practitioners and the young people with whom they work. I believe such knowledge should include knowledge of child development and the criminalisation of young people. This could act as a counterpoint to the potentially sterile and even questionable knowledge of ‘what works’.
  • Lastly, knowledge–power systems can become part of a process that leads to further surveillance and incarceration of young people. The development of a number of pre-emptive interventions, the need for more and more information on the lives of others deemed at risk of offending should set alarm bells ringing.

 

Goldson & Muncie (2006) envisage a youth justice system made up of diversionary tendencies characterised by the abolitionist and minimum interventionist discourses that were so prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s. If that is to be achieved then one factor that may contribute to the process must be the effective training of practitioners, not just in ‘percentage throughput terms’, but in terms of knowledge that will be conducive to thoughtful and reflective practitioners; to borrow from the language of ‘managerialism’, training that is ‘outcome focused’ in the widest sense of that term. Reliance on an unquestioning acceptance of ‘what works’ runs the risk of rendering invisible much important practice – the development of effectiveness can be undermined by a mismatch between the managerial agenda of targets and efficiency with the professional valuing of the more amorphous processes of building and maintaining relationships.

 

The recent changes in the structure of government departmental responsibility for youth justice may bring about changes in the way in which young people in trouble are represented. This itself may change the power–knowledge dynamic. On the other hand, such changes may be simply empty rhetoric. Understanding the central importance of reflective and knowledgeable practitioners is a step in the right direction and would ensure that children’s rights are protected by developing ‘know how’ as a counter-balance to the asymmetry of forces that exist between the young person and their wider social environment. Addressing this asymmetry through the education of practitioners is, I believe, a step that we must take.

 

 

References

 

Baudrillard, J. (1998) The Consumer Society. London, Sage.

 

Bauman, Z. (1998) Work, Consumerism and the New Poor. Buckingham, Open University Press.

 

Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E. & Ecclestone, K. (2004) Learning Styles and Pedagogy in Post 16 Learning: A Systematic and Critical Review. London, Learning & Skills Research Centre.

 

Eadie, T. & Canton, R. (2002) Practicing in a context of ambivalence: The challenge for youth justice workers. Youth Justice 2:1, pp. 14–26.

 

Ecotec (2003) The Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (Youth Justice) Tutor Handbook London, Ecotec.

 

Farrant, F. (2006) Knowledge production and the punishment ethic: The demise of the probation service. Probation Journal 53, p. 317.

 

Foucault, M. (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977. New York, Pantheon.

 

Garland, D. (1991) Punishment and Modern Society: A Study in Social Theory. Oxford, Clarendon.

 

Goldson, B. & Muncie, J. (2006) Youth Crime and Justice. London, Sage.

 

Harper, G. & Chitty, C. (2005) The impact of corrections on re-offending: A review of ‘what works’. Home Office Research Study 291. London, Home Office.

 

Hudson, B. (2003) Justice in the Risk Society: Challenging and Re-affirming Justice in Late Modernity. London, Sage.

 

Martinson, R. (1974) What works? – Questions and answers about prison reform. Public Interest 35, p. 22.

 

Muncie, J. & Goldson, B. (2006) Comparative Youth Justice. London, Sage.

 

Muncie, J., Hughes, G. & McLaughlin, E. (2002) Youth Justice: Critical Readings London, Sage.

 

Nellis, M. (2001) The new probation training in England and Wales: Realising the potential. Social Work Education 20:4, pp. 415–432.

 

Orwell, G. (1946) ‘Politics and literature’ in The Penguin Essays of George Orwell. Harmondsworth, Penguin.

 

Pitts, J. (2001) The New Politics of Youth Crime: Discipline or Solidarity. Lyme Regis, Russell House Publishing.

 

Pitts, J. (2005a) The recent history of youth justice in England and Wales. In: Bateman, T. & Pitts, J. (eds.) The RHP Companion to Youth Justice, Lyme Regis, Russell House Publishing.

 

Pitts, J. (2005b) ‘Conclusion: What the evidence tells us’ in Bateman, T. & Pitts, J. (eds.) The RHP Companion to Youth Justice. Lyme Regis, Russell House Publishing.

 

Radzinowicz, L. & Hood, R. (1986) A History of English Criminal Law and Its Administration from 1750. Vol. 5. The Emergence of Penal Policy. Oxford, Stevens.

 

Raynor, P. & Robinson, G. (2005) Rehabilitation, Crime and Justice. London, Palgrave.

 

Robinson, G. (2001) Power, knowledge and what works in probation. The Howard Journal 40:3, pp. 235–254.

 

Soloman, E. & Garside, R. (2008) Ten Years of Labour’s Youth Justice Reforms: An Independent Audit. London: CCJS (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies), King’s College London.

 

Usher, R. (1997) ‘Seductive texts: Competence, power and knowledge in postmodernity’ in  Barnett, R. & Griffin, A. (eds.) The End of Knowledge in Higher Education. London, Cassell.

 

Webster, C., MacDonald, R. & Simpson, M. (2006) Predicting criminality? Risk factors, neighbourhood influence and desistance. Youth Justice 6, pp. 7–22.

 

 



[1] Briefly the ‘what works’ agenda suggests a number of ‘principles’ of effective practice that have been drawn from various meta-analyses. In the UK, the work of James McGuire has been highly influential in establishing this agenda.

[2] In a letter dated 4 June 2007, addressed to the chairs of YOT Management Boards, Ellie Roy notes ‘In March 2006 the YJB achieved its corporate Plan Target of helping 80% of youth justice practitioners gain the Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (PCEP) or equivalent’.

[3] A term used by the former chair of the YJB.

[4] Ecotec describes itself as follows: ‘an international provider of research, consulting and management services. Our aim is to deliver real benefit to society through the work we do. For more than twenty years we have worked with clients in the public, private and not for profit sectors’.

[5] This was dropped after the first year as most participants did not participate in this part of the course.

[6] They were APIS, Targeted Neighbourhood Interventions, Final Warnings, Offending Behaviour Programmes, Restorative Justice, Young People who Sexually Abuse, Parenting, Education, Training and Employment, Remand Management, Mentoring, The Swift Administration of Justice, Substance Misuse, Mental Health, Resettlement, and ISSP.

 

[7] In 1998 it was agreed that probation training would remain in higher education. A similar pattern to that seen in the PCEP could be seen in terms of a speedily constructed curriculum and the need to address academic excellence with professional ‘competences’. 

[8] In the 2nd August 2007 edition of the Guardian, Alan Travis reported on the fact that the YJB had failed to meet all six of the major targets, noting that reduction in the use of custody was unlikely to be met.




 

 

Back to Top

Copyright for the I.U.C. Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice is owned by the Social Work Program, Department of Social Relations and Services, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. One copy may be made (printed) for personal use; teachers may make multiple copies for student use if the copies are made available to students without charge. Permission must be secured from the editors for sale of any copies of articles or for any commercial use of the material published in the Journal.
2001 Copyright BSU/IUC Journal of Social Work Theory & Practice