2: MAPPA: learning the lessons for young offenders

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The 1990s saw a growing preoccupation with high-risk offenders in the United Kingdom, particularly their accurate identification, reliable risk assessment and effective risk management. By the turn of the century, this preoccupation had also extended to young offenders, and included the formalised use of risk assessment tools and increasing attention to the early identification of those young offenders likely to become ‘dangerous’. A key component of the policy and organisational response to high-risk offenders was the development of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). This chapter considers what might be learnt from previous experience in the adult system of how MAPPA operate. It puts forward a strong case for the differential treatment of young people within this context, suggesting that adults’ interpretation of risky decisions by young people as ‘irrational’ should be tempered with knowledge about how young people perceive risks and the context within which risky behaviour takes place. It also discusses pro-social supervision and discretionary disclosure.

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