Rob Allen’s report, ‘From Punishment to Problem Solving’ is a timely reminder of the failings of our current system to deal with the many young people who present with challenging behaviours in our society. He argues for reforms and legislative changes that he feels will provide us with a fairer system which prevents offending behaviour, criminalises young people less and meets more of their needs. In this piece, and with particular reference to the preventative agenda detailed in Allen’s report, I will argue that it is the Children Act 1989 that has the potential to deter young people from becoming involved in crime as it compels local authorities to improve the chances for youth to lead healthy, productive, crime-free lives. I will examine how this legislation provides extensive powers and duties in relation to tackling the familial and social problems that compel young people into a life of crime or social exclusion. I will then investigate if these powers and duties have been implemented effectively in order to respond to the needs of young people. Finally, I will argue that no changes in legislation are required to achieve these goals.
|Title of host publication
|Debating youth justice: From punishment to problem solving?
|Zoe Davies, Will McMahon
|Place of Publication
|Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
|Number of pages
|Published - 2007