Criminology > Youth Justice
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Following the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, a new criminology of war developed, producing fresh insights and opening up original research streams. The incorporation of war within the remit of criminological analysis, advocated by classical as well as critical criminology, rapidly gained new momentum. The focus on asymmetrical conflicts and invasions unveiled the massive killing of civilians, bringing war into the arena of victimology. Moreover, the examination of the material forces that drive international conflicts situated such conflicts among the violent predatory offences that concern most criminological theories. The study of ‘war crimes’, ultimately, led some authors to shift attention towards ‘war as crime’. After briefly summarising the developments that shaped a criminology of war, this paper attempts further analytical steps towards the formulation of a criminology against war. A critique of the concept of ‘just wars’ is followed by the examination of the ambiguities that cloud the notions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Current legal provisions regulating international conflict are described as blank norms, while principles of peacebuilding are finally pinpointed.
This article synthesises literature on the evolution of domestic abuse (DA) refuges, with particular attention to the development of two models: the conventional or ‘underground’ refuge (UR) and the open or ‘Dutch’ refuge. The article will detail what the available evidence says about the benefits and drawbacks of these models and explore their implications for the DA sector in England, with reference to extending women’s space for action and meeting the needs of underserved victim-survivors.
The article argues that multiple models of provision are needed to meet the intersecting, complex and at times competing needs of different victim-survivors, and that available evidence provides preliminary support for the viability of the open model as part of a wider suite of responses to DA. Further research is needed to extend the evidence base on the open model, and to develop a whole system approach which can meet the needs of a wider range of victim-survivors.
Chapter 5 starts by outlining the high prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) evident in the case study cohort. The most commonly identified ACEs are discussed, in particular the co-morbidity of some (such as, for example, being a victim of physical abuse and witnessing domestic violence). The chapter also contains a discussion of the role of poverty and deprivation in serious youth violence, before finishing with youth justice workers’ views of the assessment tool that was developed to measure the prevalence of ACEs.
Whereas crime more generally has fallen over the last 20 years, levels of serious youth violence remain high. This book presents innovative research into the complex relationship between adverse childhood experiences and serious youth violence. While the implementation of trauma-informed approaches to working with adolescents in the justice system are becoming common practice, there remains a dearth of research into the efficacy of such approaches.
Foregrounding young people’s voices, this book explores the theoretical underpinnings of trauma and the manifestations of childhood adversity. The authors conclude by advocating for a more psychosocial approach to trauma-informed policy and practice within the youth justice system.
Chapter 8 brings together the preceding chapters and makes six policy and practice recommendations: deliver training around implementing trauma-informed practice; deliver training across the wider youth justice system; provide psychotherapeutic support to those young people who need it; offer clinical supervision to youth justice workers; support young people to meaningfully participate; and avoid quantifying ACEs as a measure of risk. The chapter also outlines the authors’ vision of the future of trauma-informed practice with justice-involved young people. Finally, the limitations of the research and potential future directions are discussed.
Chapter 1 outlines the background and context to the research. It describes the recent rise in serious youth violence (SYV) and the associated economic and societal cost that has served to increase political and populist concerns around SYV, resulting in a raft of new laws, policies and initiatives to tackle the issue. The growing body of research that has identified the disproportionate prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among justice-involved young people, particularly those who perpetrate violent offences, is discussed. To investigate the complex relationship between ACEs and SYV, the research adopted an innovative mix of methods, including a bespoke quantitative ACEs assessment tool, qualitative interviews with youth justice workers, narrative life-story interviews with justice-involved young people, and participatory creative workshops with justice-involved young people. The chapter finishes by outlining the structure of the book.
Chapter 6 starts by looking at the psychological impact that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have on a young person, before looking at the role of ACEs in the development of multiple psychological diagnoses. The chapter then moves on to look at the physiological impact of ACEs. The detrimental impact of such experiences on the development and activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus is discussed, along with the lasting damage that prolonged and consistent exposure to the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormones can cause to the developing brain. The chapter also discusses the impact that ACEs can have on a young person’s identity formation, such as feelings of low self-worth and an over-reliance on praise and/or acceptance from peers, before finishing with a discussion of the relevance and applicability of attachment theory to an investigation of ACEs and serious youth violence.
Chapter 3 introduces the bespoke ACEs assessment tool that was developed for the research, along with a discussion of how it was delivered and why. This is followed by description of how the research team trained a sample of youth justice workers to undertake narrative interviews with the young people on their caseload using the McAdams Life Story Approach. The final section in the chapter details the approach that was adopted to undertake participatory creative workshops with justice-involved young people. The workshops, delivered in partnership with creative therapists and a professional sports coach, used Dent-Brown and Wang’s 6-Part Story Method to elicit data from the young people. The chapter finishes with a visual depiction of the six-part stories that were created during the participatory workshops.
Chapter 2 starts by looking at the causes and consequences of serious youth violence (SYV), before moving on to outline and critique the political response to SYV in England and Wales. This is followed by a section on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that summarizes the body of research that has followed the original ACEs study by Felitti et al (1998). It analyses the academic literature around the nature and prevalence of ACEs among justice-involved young people, and the wide-ranging impact that such experiences can have on a young person. This leads on to a discussion of the physical and psychological impact of ACEs, and the need for a trauma-informed approach when working with justice-involved young people who have experienced adversity. The final section in this chapter engages with the debates around young people’s rights to participation, and discusses the benefits and challenges of implementing meaningful participation in a youth justice context.