Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Youth justice and youth penality in England and Wales : a theoretical and empirical exploration
Author: Briggs, D. B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 8151
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with the nature of contemporary youth penality in England and Wales. Some international comparative analysis suggests that over the last 40 years or so there has been a convergence towards a number of interrelated global trends in youth justice law, policy and practice leading to increased punitiveness, intolerance, control and imprisonment of children and young people in conflict with the law across the West. Yet other comparative evidence suggests that the picture is more complicated and that youth penality significantly varies over time and is spatially differentiated at the local, national and international levels. For example in England and Wales youth imprisonment rates significantly vary between Youth Offending Team (YOT) areas and since 2008 there have been significant reductions in the numbers of first time entrants into the youth justice system and young prisoners. Within this context - and even when socio-economic factors and crime rates are controlled for - similar YOT areas still appear to produce quite different sentencing outcomes or differential justice. This thesis explores the spatial and temporal nature of youth justice policy and practice and the cultural, political, social and economic contexts and conditions that give rise to increased rates of youth custody – penal expansion – or decreased rates of youth custody – penal reduction – at a local and a national level. It is concerned with unpicking the proximate influences on, or causes of, differential justice and/or justice by geography in England and Wales. Semi-structured interviews with youth justice practitioners across three pairs of matched YOTs with higher and lower rates of penal custody in England and Wales, together with a further series of interviews with national policy “experts” were conducted. The thesis builds upon and extends the argument that, at a national level, the direction of youth penality is subject to the vagaries of social, political and economic influences. At a local level it is argued that youth penality and the use of custody is influenced by differences in: local organisational and practice cultures; practitioner values; perceptions of the nature of youth crime; discretionary practices; and individual leadership and management. Ultimately, it is argued that in order to understand youth penality analysis needs to move beyond the national and focus on the influences and effects of the international, national and local that shapes youth penality at all levels.
Supervisor: Goldson, B. ; Walklate, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral