Source: (2001) Youth Justice. 1(2): 3-16.

This article examines the strategies developed within and around government to achieve a homogeneous youth justice service in England and Wales. It examines the ways in which political imperatives have shaped the theories and ideas which have informed the development of the service, its administration, the goals to which professionals are required to strive and the methods they must employ. It argues that this has had a limiting effect upon both thinking about, and practice within, the service and has generated tension which may well undermine its stated goals.