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Assessment of Theoretical and Practical Approaches to Youth Offending - Report on Jane Doe's Case

Purpose of this assessment

Assignment Title:   Assessment of theoretical and practical approaches to youth offending

The assignment is designed to test students’ understanding of factors that contribute to youth offending and the impact youth offending has on public services. It also provides an opportunity for students to engage in academic literature and test their ability to analyze secondary data.

There are many reasons for examining the relationship between young people and crime. One of the more obvious is that the levels of involvement in criminal activity, whether judged by official statistics or self-report studies, are at their highest in the teenage years. Childhood and youth are commonly seen as times when patterns for later life are being set. Effective intervention, or the lack of it, may decide whether young offenders become prolific criminals.

This unit will bring together theory, policy and skills that are relevant to a multi-agency setting within the criminal justice system. Students will focus on analysing both youth crime and responses to it; the latter concentrated largely on the youth justice system, but may also involve initiatives relating to parenting, schooling, problem drug or alcohol use or social inclusion. Students will discuss the key principles relating to how youth justice has evolved and how punishment has modernised to create a balance between deterrence and rehabilitation. They will also examine some of the main theories and models that have been put forward to explain youth crime, including behavioural patterns linked to social decisions such as those based on class, ethnicity and gender. They will also consider the effects of ‘moral panic’ on youth offending throughout history. Finally, students will undertake a review of recent developments and future directions in youth justice with consideration of key concepts and debates related to youth offending.

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed skills which will support roles in a range of public sector organisations who are involved with the youth justice system.

Fact sheet

Fairwick Youth Offending Service

Name : Jane Doe  

Age : 15 years and 7 months

Offence(s) : Possessed knife in a public place

Possessed a controlled drug of Class A – Heroin

Sentencing Court: Fairwick Youth Court

Jane Doe appeared before Fairwick Youth Court and pleaded guilty to the above offences. She was sentenced to a 6 months Referral Order.

On the day of her offence, the police received a call from a concerned member of public stating that he had just witnessed two hooded young people hiding a knife, crowbar and unidentified package underneath a parked vehicle. Upon police arrival, two young people who matched the description supplied by the witness (Jane being one of them) were located. Both young people were immediately detained and searched. CCTV from the area shows both young people discarding the weapons and a package under the car. The weapons were later seized by the police and the package contained class A drugs (heroin).


Jane explained that on that day she had carried a knife on her for personal protection and stated that she was not confident about going to this area alone. She added that she heard negative things about the friend she was going to meet. Jane stated that she did not know that this friend was also carrying a weapon until they both discarded them. The package which Jane in possession upon her detention belonged to her boyfriend, who is a member of the ‘Laurel and Hardy’ gang group. He asked her to pass the package (that contained drugs) to that friend. Jane explained that she did not know what was in the package that she was carrying, but she did carry it because she wanted to be liked by both her friends and her boyfriend. On her way, she hesitated carrying the package but she went along with the plan because she felt it was too late to turn back and did not want to appear as weak and scared.

There is no direct victim for her offences. However, Jane has demonstrated that she does regret leaving her home with a knife and meeting someone whom she was aware of getting into trouble frequently. She also regrets listening to her boyfriend. Her mother has shared her concerns and was disappointed that she had been arrested as she has had several discussions with Jane regarding her peers and boyfriend and how she spends her time. However, she acknowledges that Jane lacks structure at home. She also acknowledges that due to her learning needs it may be harder for her to understand social situations and process information. Her mother also shared that Jane is a lovely young girl, who is very intelligent and ambitious but has concerns around how she spends her time and how much she can keep herself safe in the community due to her Asperger’s. The mother expressed her concern that Jane will be an easy target for exploitation.

Jane enjoys keeping fit and doing exercise routines with her friends, going out to restaurants and watching movies with her friends. Jane is a pianist and she enjoyed aerobics but has stopped engaging in these activities.

You work for ‘Fairwick Youth Offending Service’. The head of the service has asked you to draft a report on Jane’s case. You are required to consider the following in your report: 

  1. A contextual introductionwhich signposts the report; See on the top of the purpose of the page of the assignment all in red is important

2.Governmental policies and initiatives in youth offending  / is good to mention Cohen. From the lecture slide 1 just a little explanation of how social change perception about youth offenders. must be mentioned if possible in 3 to 4 sentences(all this is week 1 lecture 1). After week 1 lecture 2 - Controlling Juvenile, adolescence and social development(all this must be done briefly)Why focus on Youth offending. Then Lecture from week 2 is the biggest part explain about Tacherism puntitive justice, then 1998 Crime and Disorder act(that is most important in this section)Explain Anti-social behaviour and here comes critical thinking punitive doesn't work and comes to a need of Welfare which again doesn't work perfectly and then multi agencies by end of the lecture is YJB, YOTs, Youth courts. Speak mostly for YOTs because Jane Doe is under their supervision we have in the scenario‘Fairwick Youth Offending Service’. The other two just mentioned exist. 


Two exciting approaches are welfare and justice. Explain the punitive-welfare continuum. Dynamics which determent the policies in the youth justice system.

-Thatcherism, government approach was more punitive.

-New Labour approach to welfare resulted in

1, Crime and Disorder Act(1998)

  1. Youth Justice Board
  2. Creating youth offending teams.

That new approach established more retributive justice. Referal order if offender played quilty is sent to youth offending team, the sentence could be 3,6 or 12 months. And is an option for the first offence could be a second offence but if its from different nature of the first offence. Also, very important is the nature of the offence and from that will depend on how long the team will supervise the offender. The rationale behind this is different offences will need different intervention programs. Youth Justice policies reflect adults concerns about social stability by what they consider to be “unregulated and undisciplined youth”.   Political dynamics and social control. 

3.. With the dominant theoretical perspectives in your mind, Please consider:

Here needs to be explained onset and desistance. Onset is what lead you to offence. Discuss but whit fewer words  Social learning theory how that theory is focused on individuals and how they learn true socialisation(here comes informal factor), how Jane was influenced by her boyfriend and just a little explanation about Subculture theory because her boyfriend was a member of a gang. Subculture, here it comes the informal factor which pulls her in the offence.

The third most important theory is Social control in the case of Jane social bond is broken(school), and her father was abusive lack informal control again, the social bond theory. More words must be used in that theory.

Desistance is the mentality and how can pull you out of an offence. Here comes the Life-course approach explaining how life and situation change. The age-crime curve explains that Jane life and situation will change and whit proper multi-agency(informal factors) support she can desist from crime. Here again, comes Social learning theory how if bond whit family is restored  that will help Jane to divert from offence and school to prison pipeline

  1. The formal and informal social factors may pull Jane in or out of her offending behaviour.

Formal are family, school, employment. Informal is the police, state institution, government, institution

  1. Her school has considered excluding Jane from school. Existing literature suggests that this may exacerbate her offending behaviour. Identify academic research and analyse factors contributing to why young people experience the school to prison line.

Of course, mentioned the school to prison pipeline. Just one statistic about the impact of exclusion from school, and how that She (Jane) can end up in prison and in revolving doors of reoffending. Regarding the fact sheet, she is a good and intelligent girl and she needs to be kept at school. there is a report which can be used

  1. From the ‘Guideline’ list below, please consider:

. After a discussion of theories that can pull Jane out or into crime, we can assess which intervention will work for her to divert her from crime. Here highlight that when the offence is committed there are two victims, the actual victim and society. And that’s need to be explained to the offender. In Jane offence, there is no real victim but society is affected. Considering her offence of possessing a knife in a public place and possessing drug class A as middle–risk offence specific treatment will be more effective. From another site, we should consider that is the first offence of Jane and choose intervention regarding her individual circumstances. She was sentenced to 6 month Referal order..

a  . Which programmes (both reparation and intervention) may be suitable in Jane’s case? Why so? .

  1. CAMHS-because she was diagnosed whit Asperger and second because her father was abusive and Jane suffer from( anxiety and paranoid thoughts) Public services involved here is NHS
  2. Peer Pressure Awareness-Probation services
  3. Consequential thinking course Community/council every council have different services regarding of needs of the community
  4. Weapon awareness because of her offence community, Third sector organisations-charities
  5. Substance Misuse Support and Awareness because she needs to realise what drugs do to the society-other people.Comunity and some volunteers in the community.
  6. Employment and Employability to give Jane an alternative to think for her future not only to focus on what she did. To much pressure on what she did can make her feel frustrated, she needs an alternative for positive thinking- Council

For Reparation

      Gardening project at” Fairwick Public park” because she loves doing exercises and keeping feet also like to be engaged in activities whit other people as she was enjoying whit her sibling.

Future preventive Measures??????

  Reporting to the Police station Saturday and Sunday 4pm-6pm. because is not manor offence 6 mounts referral order. Yes, there is no actual victim but steal we have knives and Drugs class A. Here comes Police as public service.

  1. Which public services may work in collaboration with Fairwick Youth Offending Service to provide support for the service and Jane.

5.Critically analyse how youth offending impacts public services

6.A rational conclusion influenced by your findings. again is coming from the top of the page –purpose of the assignment

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