Devising juvenile criminal law
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Devising juvenile criminal law book
This chapter looks at four different narratives to explore how youth crime as a political narrative has developed from 1970 to 2009 (structural causes, help and its exceptions, the full force of the law, offenders as the agents of problems). One significant finding from a comparison of the four narratives is the flexibility of the central categories of offender and victim. A naive assessment might assume that offenders are those who commit an offence, and victims those whom the offence affects. That politicians – cooperating with experts and the criminal justice system – have the task of establishing the most sensible measures in response. In fact, the narratives reconstructed here paint a rather different picture, namely that the central categories are by no means fixed. The positions of offenders and victims are communicatively established through the attribution of pressures and problems, characteristics and activities. Those attributes are what make the categories of offender and victim ‘understandable’ and legitimise certain measures against crime, i.e. specifically in recent decades: increasingly tough and confrontational interventions.