Diversion in Youth Justice: What Can We Learn from Historical and Contemporary Practices?

1st Edition

Roger Smith

Published January 31, 2019
Reference - 174 Pages
ISBN 9780367227647 - CAT# K421871
Series: Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice

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Diversion in youth justice is a subject of enduring interest. It concerns the processes by which decisions are made about whether or not to prosecute young offenders, and this book explores the continuing debates and historical developments which shape these processes. The treatment of young offenders is a contentious subject, and this book provides a comprehensive review of out of court decision-making in the context of wider arguments about how we should deal with the crimes of the young.

This book follows a broadly historical structure, exploring the development of ideas and approaches to agency decision-making at the point of prosecution. This leads to the identification of a number of distinctive ‘models’ of diversion, reflecting both specific periods of time and particular philosophies of intervention with young people in trouble with the law. Based on this classification, this book explores the implications for wider debates about childhood, crime and punishment and how these relate to theories of social control. This, in turn, leads to the conclusion that diversionary ideas and practices act as a kind of barometer for wider developments in the governance of youth.

This is one of the very few books that focuses exclusively on diversion as a feature of youth justice, and it provides a range of original and contemporary insights into this subject area which remains of considerable interest in this field, both academically and in practice. The ideas outlined here will contribute to new thinking in youth criminology, as the discipline responds to a prolonged period of apparent liberalisation in the treatment of young offenders which has yet to be fully understood or properly theorised.


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