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Growing up with risk$
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Betsy Thom, Rosemary Sales, and Jenny Pearce

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347329

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347329.001.0001

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The prevention of youth crime: a risky business?

The prevention of youth crime: a risky business?

(p.259) fifteen The prevention of youth crime: a risky business?
Growing up with risk

David Porteous

Policy Press

New Labour's ascent to power in 1997 led to a ‘new youth justice’. In this reformed system, the assessment and management of risk has been given a pivotal role. All young people referred to Youth Offending Teams in England and Wales are now assessed using a common, structured risk-assessment profile known as Asset. This is intended to guide practitioners' judgements as to the ‘riskiness’ of a young person and to enable them to identify the precise ‘risk factors’ contributing to their offending behaviour such that interventions can be tailored to individual needs. This chapter attempts to tell the story of how the language of, and policies and practices associated with, risk in the new youth justice have come to hold such significance, and to assess the consequences of these changes. It suggests that current policy constitutes a blend of particular academic, administrative, and political discourses, each of which define and mobilise the concept of risk in different ways. The chapter also attempts to evaluate the impact of recent reforms in the context of wider debates about risk assessment and management in the criminal-justice system.

Keywords:   youth justice, risk assessment, risk management, criminal-justice system, Youth Offending Teams

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