Prevention rather than cure is the obvious, common-sense approach to dealing with any problem, and it is unsurprising that criminal justice policy has been driven by such an ideal. Shortly after entering government in 1997, New Labour embarked on what was seen by many commentators as a more holistic model of crime prevention than its predecessor Conservative government had utilised, with the establishment of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. This book examines government policy in the United Kingdom in relation to early intervention programmes that aim to support families and to prevent youth crime. It raises some important questions about prevention strategies, such as whether early intervention is symptomatic of a creeping criminalisation of social policy whereby a coercive approach is used to force so-called problem families and their children to engage with services; how local people themselves are engaged in crucial decisions about how to tackle crime and social problems; and how those most detached from the mainstream can be motivated to take advantage of support provided.
Keywords: United Kingdom, crime prevention, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships, early intervention programmes, youth crime, criminalisation, social policy, problem families, criminal justice, social problems
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