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Challenging the risk paradigm: Children First, Positive Youth Justice
This chapter explores the trajectory of ‘Child First’ justice in the Youth Justice System of England and Wales, from its genesis as the ‘Children First, Offenders Second’ (CFOS) principle through its journey to the evidenced-based ‘Positive Youth Justice’ model that underpins the Youth Justice Board’s ‘Child First’ guiding principle and strategic objective. The chapter provides a structured discussion and systematic evaluation of the development of Positive Youth Justice as a progressive, principled alternative and explicit conceptual and empirical challenge to the ‘negative’ risk-bias of the dominant ‘new youth justice’ in England and Wales that had been shaped by adult-centric strategies of adulterisation, punishment/justice, preventing negative behaviours/outcomes, responsibilising children and programme fetishism. It reviews and evaluates the emergence of neo-liberal ‘evidence-based’ explanations of ‘youth offending’ and youth justice responses in the Western world and the rise to prominence of neo-correctionalist risk management is the hegemonic model of youth justice, notably in England and Wales, animated by the Risk Factor Prevention Paradigm. The chapter continues by tracing the development of the ‘Children First, Offenders Second’ principle of youth justice and its empirical extrapolation into the avowedly anti-risk ‘Positive Youth Justice’ model. The chapter concludes by outlining and evaluating the central tenets of Positive Youth Justice, the nature of their explicit challenge to the key features of risk management and their empirical bases as a progressive form of ‘evidence-based’ youth justice.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy
Published inChild First: Developing a new youth justice system
Pages51 - 82
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Rights holder© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Publisher statementThis book chapter was accepted for publication in the book Child First: Developing a new youth justice system and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-19272-2_3