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Offenders in focusRisk, responsivity and diversity$
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Kathryn Farrow

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347879

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347879.001.0001

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Young people who offend

Young people who offend

(p.53) four Young people who offend
Offenders in focus

Kathryn Farrow

Gill Kelly

Bernadette Wilkinson

Policy Press

This chapter brings together ideas about working with young people who offend (aged 10 to 21), presenting developmental approaches to understanding offending behaviour that are particularly associated with a youth-informed perspective but also have relevance to work with many adult offenders. The history of work with young offenders and crime exemplifies some of the key practice issues that are addressed in this book, namely the need to balance: risks and needs; control and care; punishment and treatment; actuarial and technical approaches and dynamic personal engagement. Arguably, these issues flow from the tension between ‘freedom’ versus ‘control’ or liberalism versus authoritarianism. The balancing act takes place against a backdrop of the diversity of individual young people's experiences as well as the risk factors they share. The chapter explores youth, both as a lens through which to view and understand the interrelationships between dynamic risk factors influencing offending behaviour and as an aspect of responsivity which should shape how interventions are designed and delivered. It also discusses youth justice and examines two key aspects of practice: assessment and interventions.

Keywords:   young people, offending behaviour, young offenders, crime, risk factors, responsivity, diversity, youth justice, assessment, interventions

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