Module leader: Kate Gooch
This module focuses on the criminal justice response to children in conflict with the law in England and Wales. The prevalence and nature of youth crime has been a persistent concern of at least the last two hundred years and regularly captures the attention of media and political debate. More recent concerns have centred upon the prevalence of gang violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour.
This module will examine trends in youth crime and youth justice policy as well as evaluating the range of possible responses to youth crime. It will explore how the tension between conceptualising juvenile delinquents as 'children in trouble' or 'children in need' stimulates or inspires youth justice policy and the nature of the criminal justice response. Although the module will focus primarily on the youth justice system in England and Wales, reference will be made to comparative examples as and when appropriate. Topics will include:
- The development of the youth justice system
- Influences on youth justice policy
- Criminal responsibility and capacity
- Risk and predictive factors
- The nature and extent of youth crime including the involvement of girls
- Children in contact with the police including the power to 'stop and search' and the legal rights of children detained in the police station
- Community and custodial disposals
- Serious sexual and violent offending by children including gang violence
- Children's rights and international obligations.
This module has exposed me to engaging and thought-provoking literature; I have been compelled by the insight the module has gifted, to look seriously into a future in youth justice and struck by my own enthusiasm in a module I had never thought to provoke such deep interest."