What Implications has the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 had on Youth Justice?

What implications has the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 had on young person justness?


There can be no uncertainty that over the last two hundred old ages the young person justness system has been an experimental field of governmental, policy and academic work. Traveling from the public assistance theoretical account to more punitory responses, from get on tough policies, ‘just deserts’ , disincentive and incapacitation to communitarian paradigms, the juvenile system has been characterised by incompatibility and conflicting values. However, this concatenation of reforms, legislative amendments and policy versions is said to hold found its terminal of yearss when the new Labour was elected in authorities merely before the bend of the Millennium.

In peculiar, the first moving ridge of young person justness extremist reforms took topographic point with theCrime and Disorder Act 1998, which laid the foundations of a new paradigm on which the system was traveling to be based. This moved off from the punitory theoretical account, coming a measure closer to more inclusive responses to offense. These are now grouped under the umbrella name of renewing justness. The intent of this essay is to foreground the significance of theCrime and Disorder Act 1998in helping the historical passage of the young person justness system from the punitive to the renewing paradigm of justness.

Youth Justice before the Crime and Disorder Act 1998

The young person justness system has non ever been distinguished from the grownup condemnable justness system. The first measure towards this separation was taken with theYouthful Offender Act 1854and theSummary Jurisdiction Act 1879which introduced particular reform schools for juveniles. The biggest reform, nevertheless, was achieved with theChildren’s Act 1908as after its debut, juvenile justness begun taking form as a typical manner of covering with immature wrongdoers. Harmonizing to Watson and Austin: “TheChildren’s Act 1908, heralded as the Children’s chapter, was a extremely progressive step ; the most of import of its commissariats was the establishing of the separate juvenile tribunal from which the populace were to be excluded” [ 1 ] .

The first juvenile system was based on the public assistance theoretical account whereby the province is deemed to be the chief responsible for the well being and successful life of its citizens. As a consequence, the governmental machinery is the primary defender of peace and order and no other power can overrule this. This is expressed in the different public establishments that this Act introduced and which were meant to educate immature wrongdoers.

This theoretical account was retained until theYoung Persons Act 1933which introduced a system that was an merger of public assistance and punitory steps for offense control [ 2 ] . After the 2nd World War, when Labour was elected in authorities,the Children Act 1945took the system back to its public assistance character whilethe Children and Young Persons Act 1963introduced stronger welfarism establishments. The Act shifted pattern towards the usage of recreation, understating the usage of detainment Centres and borstals and replacing them with community steps [ 3 ] .

However, when authorities changed, the Conservatives took the system back to its punitory character presenting theCriminal Justice Act 1982, which gave the magistrates the authorization to exert new powers such as young person detention and parental mulcts [ 4 ] . In add-on, it limited the discretional powers of societal workers over immature wrongdoers, incarnating a figure of offense control features [ 5 ] . During the 1990s, these punitory steps were reinforced with tougher policies, as extended media coverage over instances such as the slaying of James Bulger led to a public unfavorable judgment of the system. These rigorous reforms came to their choice with theCondemnable Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Youth Justice after the Crime and Disorder Act

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As it is evident from the above analysis, over the last two hundred old ages most of the governmental responses to juvenile delinquency have been punitory. After a serious unfavorable judgment that was launched against the young person system through a study of the Audit Commission, the authorities was forced to take some serious steps to rectify the increased offense and recidivism rates. In peculiar, the Audit Commission in its 1996 study said that the young person system has so far been uneffective and expensive and that pressing extremist reforms were needed [ 6 ] .

As a effect, the new Labour authorities released a audience, which led to the well-known White Paper “No More Excuses: A New Approach to Tackling Youth Crime in England and Wales” [ 7 ] . There, it was stressed that juveniles need a less punitory and more inclusive attack which can do them understand and more significantly acknowledge the injury they cause when perpetrating offense. This could potentially take them to remorse and amendment.

This new foundation of juvenile justness was found in the norms and rules of an old paradigm which was favoured by the early communities. It is called renewing justness and is based on the rules of meaningful Restoration. This is targeted non through penalty ( e.g. merely comeuppances, incapacitation or disincentive ) , but through a common duologue that can increase duty. The ultimate trial is passed one time the immature wrongdoer becomes able to see what he or she has done and inquire for forgiveness. His/her honestness is tested through a period of Restoration and of paying back every bit much as he/she can either through community work or other types of compensation.

The procedure is basically different from the one used in the traditional condemnable justness system. The parties are brought together either through face to confront mediation and household group conferencing or through a go-between facilitator who speaks on their behalf. Both victim and immature wrongdoer have to come in this procedure voluntarily and if one is non willing to take part or make up one’s mind to choose out so the instance returns to the standard procedure of young person tribunals.

TheCrime and Disorder Act 1998represents the first moving ridge of these reforms which were meant to convey the young person system a measure closer to these ideals. In peculiar, the following new characteristics were introduced to help this procedure:

  1. The Youth Justice Board:This organic structure is responsible for: ( a ) supplying advice to the Home Secretary on the operation of the young person justness system. ( B ) supervising the operation and public presentation of the juvenile system, procuring adjustment suppliers ( degree Celsius ) commissioning and apportioning secure topographic points for juveniles who have been remanded or being given a tutelary sentence ( vitamin D ) supplying advice to the Home Secretary on criterions for the work of Youth Offending Teams and juvenile secure estate, puting and monitoring public presentation indexs ( 5 ) identifying and circulating good pattern.
  2. Young person Piquing Teams:Since the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, each local authorization is obliged to set up a Youth Offending Team. This organic structure is chiefly responsible for the appraisal of immature wrongdoers on initial contact with the juvenile system, every bit good for supplying pre-sentence studies to the tribunals. For wrongdoers who are given community orders, the squads need top guarantee that appropriate supervising and programmes are in topographic point. Youth Offending Teams are besides responsible for puting wrongdoers on remand into appropriate adjustment, every bit good as guaranting that those who are on Detention and Training Orders and other tutelary sentences receive appropriate programmes while in detention, every bit good as appropriate supervising on release. Each Young person Offending Team is required by the Act to include at least one: probation officer, societal worker, police officer, individual nominated by a wellness authorization, individual nominated by the main instruction officer and nominative lodging officer. The squads receive direct support from the Youth Justice Board.
  3. Orders and other programmes:A scope of new non-punitive steps became available to youth tribunals through the Act. These are chiefly used to undertake piquing behaviors and its causes among juvenile wrongdoers.
  4. Detention and Training Orders: These are orders that can be imposed on juveniles and can be for a term of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 18 or 24 months, half served in detainment and the balance in the community under the supervising of a YOT worker. They can be imposed merely to juveniles convicted of an offense that would be punishable by imprisonment for person aged 21 or over [ 8 ] .
  5. Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programmes ( ISSPs ) :These programmes are appropriate for immature wrongdoers who have been charged with or warned for an chargeable offense on four or more occasions within the last 12 months and have antecedently received at least one community or tutelary punishment. The programme topographic points accent on renewing justness, instruction and preparation, and altering piquing behavior. Young wrongdoers who are given an ISSP are supervised and monitored either by labeling, voice confirmation, intelligence-led policing or trailing. ISSPs are targeted at the 3 % of juveniles who commit 25 % of all offenses. They can be a portion of bond supervising, a community punishment, or it can be used during the 2nd half of a Detention or Training Order.
  6. Bail Supervision and Support programmes:These are designed to understate the demand for remand. They are complemented by a Remand Review programme contracted to the Children’s Society which desperately reviews the rightness of remand arrangements.
  7. Rearing Orders: These orders target the immature offenders’ parents/guardians and are meant to increase duty and consciousness. In general footings, the have two elements, failure to follow with which is a condemnable offense. The first places a demand on parents/guardians to go to guidance or counsel Sessionss where they receive aid in covering with their kids. The 2nd topographic points a demand to exert control over their children’s behavior. The continuance of this portion of the order may last for up to 12 months.
  8. Reparation Orders:These are advanced orders which were introduced through the Act and which aim to take into history the wants of the victims of offense when enforcing sentences on immature wrongdoers. They allow damagess to be made, and purpose to face wrongdoers with the effects of their actions. In general footings, reparation orders require convicted juveniles to do specific reparation either to the single victim of the offense, where the victim desires this, or to the community that has been harmed.
  9. Supervision Orders:These are given to any immature wrongdoer, and can last between three months and three old ages. The convicted juvenile is supervised by a YOT worker and may be required to set about specified activities to turn to their offending behavior.
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As it is obvious from the above history of the Act’s advanced characteristics, the usage of penalty ( in the sense of incapacitation or merely comeuppances ) is avoided, while more inclusive and antiphonal methodological analysiss are adopted. Therefore, the doctrine of the young person justness system is shifted towards the renewing ideals, while penalty is left as a last resort.

Reasoning Remarks

TheCrime and Disorder Act 1998was the first measure in a series of other reforms which were introduced in order to convey the young person justness system in line with the renewing justness ideals. In combination withthe Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999and a figure of primary and secondary statute law that followed it, it basically changed the punitory massive pattern, which characterised the juvenile system for about two hundred old ages.

So far, the consequences from these reforms seem to be mostly positive [ 9 ] . Arguably, one of the best grounds for this claim is found in the Audit Commission’s 2004 Report “Youth Justice 2004: A Review of the Reformed Youth Justice System” [ 10 ] . In contrast to the Commission’s last critical study, this one was praising the young person justness system for being antiphonal and effectual. In fact, it encouraged reformists for more versions utilizing the same doctrine and congratulated the Youth Justice Board for its lead in this procedure. It said: “…The YJB provides a clear national model and takes a lead function in supervising public presentation and development policy. As a effect, relentless immature wrongdoers are dealt with more quickly by the tribunals and most magistrates are satisfied with the quality of service received from YOTs. Young wrongdoers are less likely to perpetrate offenses on bond and the reconviction rates for the new pre-court intercessions, such as constabulary rebukes and Final Warnings and tribunal orders have fallen” [ 11 ] .

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There can be no uncertainty that theCrime and Disorder Act 1998along with the legislative ( e.g.Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999) and policy versions that followed it is the most of import and broad piece of statute law of all time passed in the field of young person justness in the state. Its elements such as renewing conferencing, young person justness squads and boards, reparation orders, rebukes and warnings introduced a renewing character to the system taking it a measure off from the punitive and public assistance theoretical account that dominated the condemnable justness pattern in this country for over two hundred old ages.


Audit Commission. 1996.Misspent Youth. London: HMSO.

— . 2004.Youth Justice 2004: A Review of the Reformed Youth Justice System. London: HMSO.

Crawford, Adam and Tim Newburn. 2003.Young person piquing and renewing justness: implementing reform in young person justness. Cullompton: Willan.

Davies, Malcolm, Hazel Croall, and Jane Tyrer. 2005.Condemnable justness: an debut to the condemnable justness system in England and Wales. Harlow ; New York: Pearson Longman.

Gelsthorpe, Loraine and V Kemp. 2002. “ Comparative Juvenile Justice: England and Wales. ” inJuvenile justness systems: international positions, edited by J. Winterdyk. Toronto: Canadian Scholars ‘ Press.

Home Office. 1998.No More Excuses-A New Approach to Tackling Youth Crime in England and Wales. London: HMSO.

Newburn, Tim. 1997. “ Youth, Crime and Justice. ” inThe Oxford enchiridion of criminology, edited by M. Maguire, R. Morgan, and R. Reiner. Oxford: Clarendon.

Pitts, John. 2001.The new political relations of young person offense: subject or solidarity?Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Pitts, John and British Association of Social Workers. 1999.Working with immature wrongdoers. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Winterdyk, John. 2002.Juvenile justness systems: international positions. Toronto: Canadian Scholars ‘ Press.