Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Youth Justice

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION Youth justice is an area of policy and intervention characterized by conflict and ambiguity stemming from the fact that the Youth Justice system has the dual purpose of both care and punishment/control. Youth in trouble is a favorite theme in political discourse. The course examines the complex and contradictory means employed to achieve the governance of young people through social and criminal justice policy. It looks at how young people, both historically and currently, have come to occupy a pivotal position as society’s premier folk devils, with fears for morality, discipline and order regularly surfacing. It examines the construction of young people as special and distinct . A main theme of the unit will be the idea that interventions disguisd in the form of philanthropic care and protection, has allowed for the imposition of intrusive forms of intervention.

Study-unit Aims

This unit will explore the complexities of the purpose and procedures of a separate system of youth justice. It aims to explore its origins and examine how welfare, punitive justice, liberal justice, diversionary and crime reduction initiatives have affected its development.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. demonstrate an understanding of the development of juvenile justice systems;
b. demonstrate an understanding of the philosophy behind the development of such systems;
c. demonstrate an understanding of the implications for young people in late modernity.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. critically engage with the subject matter;
b. develop sensitivity to the often contradictory discourse in prevalent in youth justice;
c. Apply course material to the local context.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

E. McLaughlin, J. Muncie, G. Hughes (eds) (2003). Criminological Perspectives: Essential Readings, 2nd edition. London: Sage. [available]

E. McLaughlin, J. Muncie (eds.) .(2001). Controlling Crime, 2nd edition. London: Sage. [unavailable]

J. Muncie (2004) Youth and Crime, 2nd edition. London: Sage. [available]

J. Muncie & B. Goldson. (2006). Comparative Youth Justice: Critical Issues. London: Sage. [available]

R. Smith (2003) Youth Justice: ideas, policy, practice. Willan. [unavailable]

B. Goldson, J. Muncie (eds.) (2006) Youth Crime and Justice. London: Sage. [available]

J. Pitts (2001). The New Politics of Youth Crime, Palgrave. [available]

E. McLaughlin, R. Fergusson, G. Hughes, L. Westmarland (eds) (2003) Restorative Justice: Critical Issues. London: Sage. [unavailable]

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.