Source: (2003) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. 11(4): 386-397.

The term ‘youth’ is very elastic as it means different things in different spatial and temporal contests and/or political systems. However, what these contexts and political systems have had in common is the need to control their delinquent youth. The ‘enterprise’ for controlling the ‘dangerous youth,’ known as juvenile justice system, does of course not operate in a social policy vacuum, but co-exists alongside other networks influencing, regulating or controlling the lives of the juveniles, such as child care and education. The primary aim of this article is to examine the extent to which the British 1998 Crime and Disorder Act (CDA) has introduced elements of a restorative approach as part of a mainstream response to youth offending. Moreover, it attempts to examine whether, by introducing restorative justice elements, young offenders are being held more or less accountable for their actions. Occasional reference will be made to the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), which came into effect in April 2003, since it shares a number of similar characteristics with the CDA, and serves as a comparative counterpoint. But before moving to the presentation of the relevant sections of the British 1998 CDA and the Canadian 2003 YCJA, it should be appropriate to look at the evolution of the two systems, since it is useful in terms of helping us understand the ways in which the current juvenile systems are influenced. (excerpt)