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What works with children and young people involved in crime

Whyte, Bill and Buist, Maureen (2004) What works with children and young people involved in crime. [Report]

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Abstract

This review was commissioned by Audit Scotland in 2002 to examine the evidence on 'what works?' as it applies to children and young people involved in offending in Scotland. The first part of the paper provides a brief overview of research on factors associated with criminal behaviour in children and young people before considering research on effective intervention and change. The second paper provides an annotated summary of recent Scottish research in this field. Research tends to focus on individual change within a youth or criminal justice context. While responses to crime require to be informed by what seems to be effective in reducing criminal activity, they must, equally, be informed by our knowledge of the personal and social factors associated with criminal activity, by the nature of youth crime itself and by those important ingredients which assist young people sustain change over time and desist from offending. Factors associated with positive outcomes for children and young people cannot be considered separately from opportunities for social participation and social inclusion which are more difficult to document and measure.