Negative Youth Justice: Creating the youth crime ‘problem’


Ahead of the following event

CYCJ and the School of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Strathclyde are hosting a free seminar event ‘Positive Youth Justice: Children First, Offenders Second’ as part of the School of Social Policy and Social Work Seminar Series 2016/2017.

Featuring guest speaker Professor Stephen Case, the event will commence at 4pm (for a 4.30pm start) on October 20 in the Collins Suite, Collins Building, University of Strathclyde.

If you would like to attend, please email

here’s the link to the first instalment of a two-part blog by Steve Case. now Professor of Criminology at Loughborough University, Negative Youth Justice: Creating the youth crime ‘problem’.

He begins:

Contemporary youth justice has seriously lost its way. An overview of international youth justice systems indicates a melting pot of strategies, structures, perspectives and interventions often bereft of clear purpose and guiding principles. There is no Occam’s Razor for youth justice, no KISS mentality (keep it simple and straightforward). Instead, we have an amorphous mass of multiple aims and methods desperately lacking consensus, continuity and identity – a bulimic system constantly pursuing improvement (often in the form of increased efficiency) through addition rather than reflection.

The Youth Justice System (YJS) of England and Wales, for example, illustrates a long-term government project that has painted itself into a corner and exhausted ideas for change, although not the compulsion for change. In the process, it has (to some extent at least) manufactured, sustained and exacerbated the very youth crime ‘problem’ it seeks to address.

This blog will explore the reasons for and impact of the negative youth justice that characterises contemporary youth justice systems; a youth justice approach that has sustained and exacerbated the ‘problem’ of youth crime. In my follow up blog I’ll offer a progressive solution to the youth crime ‘problem’: Positive Youth Justice.

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