“Youth Justice policy over the last century has struggled with the public assistance of immature people and ‘just deserts’ of piquing behaviour” ; critically discourse how this has impacted on young person justness pattern.

The public assistance theoretical account and its impact on young person justness

After a ferocious run led by taking societal reformists of the 19Thursdaycentury, the so prison system was reformed to include a parallel option for condemnable instances that involved juveniles. TheYouth Offenders Act 1854provided the footing for reform schools and industrial schools, while theProbation of Offenders Act 1907and theChildren Act 1908created the juvenile tribunals which from so and on were based on a different condemnable justness doctrine.

This new tendency was founded on the public assistance rule whereby the province had the duty and the authorization to take any necessary stairss towards the involvements of immature people. These, of class, were assumed instead than identified through audience. Children and juveniles were hence treated as a particular class of wrongdoers. As Lord Advocate put it the intent of the reformed young person system was “to dainty kids non by manner of penalizing them, but with a position to their reformation” [ 1 ] .Continuing concern about the public assistance of juveniles besides found look in theChildren Act 1948. This,inter alia, created local authorization children’s sections, while the 1956 Ingleby Committee led to the passing of theChildren and Young Persons Act 1963and to treatments to get rid of juveniles tribunals wholly, replacing them with household councils. Arguably, the highest point of welfarism was reflected in theChildren and Young Persons Act 1960, which aimed to get rid of prosecutions of any kid under 14, making a by and large applicable premise that kids would be dealt with outside tribunals.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

The impact of the application of the public assistance theoretical account on young person justness was instead negative as there was an addition of about 98 % in the Numberss of juvenile wrongdoers per 100,000 population cautioned for chargeable wrongdoers in the period 1961-1985 [ 2 ] . Harmonizing to Windlesham, the figure of offenses recorded by the constabulary during the welfare period increased over 150 % [ 3 ] . Similarly, Cavadino and Dignan reported that the figure of tutelary sentences rose from 3,000 in 1970 to over 7,000 in 1978 [ 4 ] .

The ‘just deserts’ theoretical account and its impact on young person justness

As a consequence, the new conservative authorities decided to take extremist determinations during its 1980s reforms, presenting the retributive or as otherwise called ‘just deserts’ condemnable justness policy. Newburn has characterised the Conservative Manifesto of 1979 as the most avowedly ‘law and order’ pronunciamento in British political history [ 5 ] . The White PaperYoung Wrongdoersso suggested a figure of punitory reforms including the debut of detainment Centres for juveniles with tougher governments.

The initial ratings of these reforms were negative. For illustration, the Home Office Young Offender Psychology Unit concluded in its research: “Apparently, the proclamation of the new policy did non impact offense rates by and large: there we no break in tendencies in offense among immature people by and large, nor in the catchment countries of the two pilot undertaking regimes especially” [ 6 ] .

However, this did non put off the authorities who responded with even more punitory policies. Gesthorpe and Morris characterised theCriminal Justice Act 1982-which was introduced after the Home Office study- as theputsch de graceagainst the public assistance theoretical account [ 7 ] . TheCondemnable Justice and Public Order Actso introduced stricter and extra sentences.

However, the Audit Commission’s 1996 study on the young person system was far from positive, as it revealed how incorrect reformists have been as the Numberss of young person offense continued to lift. In peculiar, the Commission called the authorities to reform the system, which was characterised as “expensive, inefficient, inconsistent and ineffective” [ 8 ] . As a consequence, the new Labour Government reconsider the ‘get touch’ , punitory policy and introduced theCrime and Disorder Act 1998and theYouth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which are said to hold changed the young person system basically, conveying it in line with the doctrine of renewing justness and rehabilitation.


Without uncertainty, young person justness has been an experimental country for all British authoritiess of the last century. The move off from the public assistance theoretical account, the acceptance of the punitory, ‘get tough’ , retaliatory paradigm of condemnable justness and so the abandoning of both of these policies led to a concatenation of events that left the young person system more complicated, expensive and inflexible than of all time.


Audit Commission. 1996.Misspent young person: immature people and offense: drumhead. London: Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England and Wales.

Cavadino, Mick and James Dignan. 1992.The penal system: an debut. London: Sage 1992.

Garland, David. 1985.Punishment and public assistance: a history of penal schemes. Aldershot: Gower c1985.

Geslthorpe, L and A Morris. 1997. “ Juvenile Justice. ” inThe Oxford enchiridion of criminology, edited by M. Maguire, R. Morgan, and R. Reiner. Oxford: Clarendon.

Newburn, Tim. 1997. “ Youth, Crime and Justice. ” inThe Oxford enchiridion of criminology, edited by M. Maguire, R. Morgan, and R. Reiner. Oxford: Clarendon.

Thornton, David. 1984.Tougher governments in detainment Centres: study of an rating. London: HMSO.

Windlesham, David James George Hennessy Baron. 1993.Responses to offense. Oxford: Clarendon Press.



I'm Niki!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out