Desistance Approaches in Youth Justice – The Next Passing Fad or a Sea-Change for the Positive? – 2018

Youth justice in England and Wales has followed a risk-orientated model for almost two decades, requiring interventions with young people to mitigate assessed risk factors for offending. The desistance revolution evident in much of the adult system and research has been slow to influence change. The Youth Justice Board recently established the desistance-led AssetPlus assessment model, proclaiming that it will facilitate this change. However, youth justice practitioners appear not to have been able to apply desistance theory, resulting in ‘business as usual’ assessments and deficit-focused intervention plans. How can desistance be truly embedded in a system still dominated by risk?

Kathy S. Hampson
Youth Justice, April 1, 2018