Youth diversion

Authored by: Tim Newburn , Anna Souhami

Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9781843921479
eBook ISBN: 9781843926146
Adobe ISBN: 9781134014637


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Like so many terms in criminology and criminal justice, ‘diversion’ defies easy definition. As a philosophy or set of practices, it has its roots in the radical critiques of penal welfarism that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. Much influenced by labelling theory, at the heart of much diversionary activity has been the aim of minimizing the extent of contact between young offenders and the formal apparatus of the state, thereby reducing the stigmatizing effects of involvement with the criminal justice system and preventing the reoffending that follows from the establishment of delinquent identities (e.g. Goldson 2000; Pitts 2001).

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