7: MAPPA for kids: discourses of security, risk and children’s rights

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As a stark example of the difficulties that policy makers will face in the future as Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) develop within youth justice (and elsewhere), this chapter examines the tension and interplay between governance, risk, and human rights in the United Kingdom. It challenges the idea that the choice facing criminal justice (and other state agencies) is risk or rights, pointing out that the reality is a negotiated landscape of risk and rights where organisations are faced with dual requirements to comply with both. Locating this debate within the specific example of MAPPA and youth justice, the chapter asks whether MAPPA is for children and explores the extent to which this question has been debated. Furthermore, it argues that criminal justice agencies must not forego more complex considerations about rights when faced with the vagaries of risk and the near dominant mantra of public protection.

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