Restorative justice: criminalising or supporting youth offenders?

Manning, Ben (2013) Restorative justice: criminalising or supporting youth offenders? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This study critically examines the extent to which current restorative youth justice initiatives available to youth courts in England and Wales criminalise or support youth offenders. It explores and reviews the evolution of restorative justice within the contemporary youth justice system and the impact of government policy. The research has challenged assumptions, revealed some of the reality of RJ practice; identifying areas worthy of further investigation. The research methodology has been primarily literature based via qualitative and quantitative secondary data, however an element of primary data has been gained via semi-structured interviews with five Youth Offending Team Practitioners.
    Optimism appears to exist in relation to the effectiveness of restorative justice in achieving the intentions of the youth justice system, having identified huge variation in practice, disappointingly low levels of victim engagement and a sense that the importance of reintegration has been overlooked in the pursuit for responsibilisation of youth offenders. The study challenges whether the way restorative justice practice is implemented is in fact ‘restorative’ and whether high levels of satisfaction can be attributed to restorative outcomes or process. However, it is clear that restorative youth justice, whilst not being a panacea, has huge potential in supporting young offenders if undertaken effectively and communicated to the public. Numerous factors make it impossible to make definitive conclusions about whether the concept of restorative justice is part of the problem or the solution but any potential criticism of restorative justice should not be automatically viewed as unacceptable and vice versa.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 14:50
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:34
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14394

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