Conference Paper

Pink, fluffy and expensive? The irony of populist perspectives concerning early intervention and prevention and children's rights in youth justice.

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Abstract

"You're just saying we should let them off!": this view, offered by a member of the public when plans for rights-based, early intervention and prevention approaches to youth crime were mooted in Swansea in 2008/2009 is still arguably current. In fact, and exacerbated by the resource strains that are placed on public services by austerity measures, the 'luxury' of early intervention and prevention (without the added unpopular gloss of children's rights) has led some to conclude that non-punitive and arguably forward looking approaches should be abandoned (or at least relegated to a secondary position). There is an echo of Blair's mantra, "Tough on crime..." – but what though about the causes of crime? Whilst the views above may represent certain aspects of debate concerning youth justice, our research suggests that, perversely, populist statements are contrary to reality. Through a panel session, children’s rights orientated research which is coordinated through Swansea University's Innovative Youth Justice Research Team will be presented and critiqued. In particular, tensions associated with presumptions concerning early intervention and prevention will be focused upon, and the reality that a rights-needs-voice-appropriate intervention-provision model is actually diminishing criminogenic needs

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