Source: (2001) Youth Justice. 1(3): 27-35.
This article explores the implications for youth justice in England and Wales of borrowing
other statesâ€™ penal initiatives in the pursuit of a pragmatic â€˜what worksâ€™ agenda in crime
prevention and reducing re-offending. It is argued that whilst the policy transfer of
elements of restorative justice from the likes of Australasia and Scotland has the potential
to radically rethink current practice its implementation is partial and piecemeal. The
dominant recurrent influence remains that of American inspired punitive justice.
Meanwhile some important lessons in child protection, diversion and decarceration from
Europe are ignored. The adoption of â€˜what worksâ€™ is highly selective and in itself provides
a dubious basis for reform. What superficially appears as a new open-mindedness to learn
from academic evaluation and â€˜best practiceâ€™ world-wide, masks the fundamentally
political and ideological nature of contemporary youth justice policy.
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