Working with youths
DOI link for Working with youths
Working with youths book
The chapter contains an analysis of the crime narratives of social work and police from 1970 to 2009. In the four decades after 1970, there occurred significant changes, particularly in the social work sector. In the 1970s and 1980s, social work severely criticised society, including the criminal justice system and the police. Young offenders needed help but not punishment. The police did in some respects share this criticism of society. For the police, too, youth crime was often a question of social problems. However, unlike that of social work, the police’s criticism related primarily to cultural challenges that could be addressed with targeted interpersonal measures rather than to structural problems requiring political solutions. The relevant categorisations and self-positionings of the two professions subsequently changed. The police increasingly focused on cooperative prevention under their management and targeted action against ‘persistent offenders’. Social work in some cases entirely reversed its categorisations of offenders and victims. In particular, it came to regard offenders as personalised offenders, in other words as people responsible for their actions who caused harm to others and were therefore no longer to be seen as ‘people’, but as ‘offenders’ (and treated restrictively as such).