Responding to antisocial behaviour in New South Wales: youth conduct orders.
The legal definition of antisocial behaviour in both England and NSW is broad, constantly requiring subjective evaluation (Ramsay, 2004; Millie, 2007:612-614). The definition of behaviour, conduct and circumstances that regulatory policies endeavour to counteract is blurred, which may lead to a net deepening and a net-widening of the juvenile justice system, bringing more young people into the system and at an earlier stage, increasing rather than decreasing their involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Antisocial behaviour is a deliberately vague concept (Brown, 2004). In England, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 defined ASB as 'acting in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household' (Home Office, 1998). Concerns had been expressed that the proposed Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill uses an even wider, vaguer definition, utilising the phrases 'nuisance' and 'annoyance' thereby potentially bringing even more young people into the system (Monbiot, 2014). The House of Lords in the UK rejected this new definition in January 2014, returning to the test used in the ASBO legislation. Within the NSW context, antisocial behaviour has not been structured around a set definition, there is no conceptual simplicity, rather a blurring between incivilities and criminal offences. Criminology has long observed that unclear boundaries in deviancy control evade the subject of whether a law has in fact been breached (Cohen, 1985). The development of professions engaged in controlling deviancy leads to more classification systems to create new categories of deviance that then must be filled (Cohen, 1985; Brown, 2004). However, as Donoghue (2010) argues, there has been general public concern about antisocial behaviour and measures to address it have been popular with the public and should not necessarily simply be seen as attempts to extend the social control reach of the state.
The mixing of incivilities and criminal offences raises fundamental questions of justice and civil liberties (see Chakrabarti & Russell, 2008) and can increase public fear and anxiety. Producing a clearer definition of antisocial behaviour would help to unravel the nature and extent of the problems and develop a workable solution. Millie et al. (2005:2) recognised two reasons why it is important to be clear and distinct in how we distinguish more serious criminal behaviour from more minor incivilities. Firstly, antisocial behaviour remedies such as YCOs can forcefully remove the liberty of those on whom they are imposed, and it is important to be clear about the limits to the use of those powers. Secondly, tackling ASB requires strategic thinking and partnership work which, in turn, demand that the agencies involved are clear about the problems they are seeking to tackle.
Youth Conduct Orders in NSW
Responding to behaviour from young people that is deemed troublesome but is not necessarily a breach of the criminal law is a challenge in many jurisdictions, including the UK and in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The New South Wales government has used Youth Conduct Orders (YCOs) to respond to such behaviour and this article will discuss the application and impact of these orders and will consider some similarities and differences in how antisocial behaviour has been dealt with in England and Wales. YCOs met a political need for a response to antisocial behaviour but, in practice, have fallen into disuse.
Youth Conduct Orders (YCO henceforth) were introduced by the NSW Government in 2009 as an antisocial behaviour intervention. They were initially established as a pilot project to fill a noticeable enforcement deficit at the level of localised youth crime and disorder by facilitating a shift in thinking to allow the law to respond to behaviour that had previously been considered minor. YCOs could address the increasing impact of a range of behaviours which, individually, might have seemed relatively minor but become intolerable when endured on a daily basis (Bottoms, 2006) The stated objectives of YCOs were to (Nous, 2012):
* Establish a scheme to deal with young people charged with offences under the Young Offenders Act 1997 for whom the Act's diversionary scheme is not appropriate;
* Address underlying causes of antisocial behaviour by such young people to promote socially acceptable behaviour;
* Provide a co-ordinated multi-agency response to these young people.
The YCO regime is complicated and complex, making the implementation process a lengthy one (Nous, 2012). The Children's Court has the authority to place a young person on a YCO if they have been charged with or been found guilty of a relevant antisocial offence. YCOs can restrict particular behaviours and movements and it uses coordinated case management to direct young people to participate in constructive activities and intervention programmes (Nous, 2012). The imposition of a YCO is usually not compulsory so those young people who have completed it have willingly engaged with the programme.
YCOs were developed around the institutional classification of risk, whereby young people were considered in terms of the risk they posed to others, and government concern about young people and antisocial behaviour (Cunneen & White, 2011), based closely and explicitly on the use of Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in the United Kingdom. ASBOs were introduced by the Labour Government in the UK in 1999, as part of their policy to extend the criminal law to deal with perceived antisocial behaviour; during the time they were implemented, they were the subject of academic attention and political and public controversy (Millie, 2006). The Antisocial Behaviour Order itself was introduced in the Crime and Disorder Act (1998). It was a civil order, not a criminal order, but any breach could constitute a criminal offence (Muncie, 2009) and consequently bring individuals on such orders back to court. In contrast to YCOs, ASBOs were not specifically targeted at young people but three-quarters of ASBOs were imposed upon young people (Squires and Stephen, 2005). The policy underwent extensive Home Office review which led to significant amendments to the regime, including a White Paper, the setting up of the Antisocial Behaviour Unit and, ultimately, the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003. This Act also created new interventions, including Parenting Contracts, Fixed Penalty Notices and Dispersal Orders (Muncie, 2009). The policy became strongly associated with the New Labour government so it was no surprise that it was removed in 2010, when Conservative Home Secretary, Theresa May, called it a 'gimmick' and announced that Antisocial Behaviour Orders would be withdrawn immediately (May, 2010). However, the practice of responding to perceived nuisance behaviour by way of high-profile legislation continues; at the time of writing, the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill is proceeding through the British Parliament (Home Office, 2014).
In July 2013, the NSW Government designed another program called "Youth on Track" to be piloted in selected NSW areas (see NSW Government, 2013). This program is also aimed at intervening early in the lives of young offenders by taking an individualised approach in the form of a one on one case management model. Youth on Track focuses on the risks and needs of young offenders, rather than the actual crime committed. While still in its early stages, since its inception, Youth on Track was projected to capture 300 young offenders but by October 2013 'of the 60 young people referred to the Youth On Track service by police, 21 refused to participate' (Patty, 2013: no pagination). Attorney-General Greg Smith told parliament only 30 children were being case-managed (Wood, 2013).
The Youth on Track model takes into consideration the recommendations put forward by the Noetic Group in their 2010 review of the NSW Juvenile Justice System, particularly the need to focus on 'early intervention' and the risk associated with young people (re)offending (see Noetic Solutions, 2010). However the introduction of this programme raises the question of where Youth Conduct Orders are now positioned in the juvenile justice system. Both initiatives aim to 'intervene', reduce and prevent further antisocial and criminal behaviour, assess risk and case manage young offenders and provide services that target the specific 'needs' of young offenders. Can NSW juvenile justice system have room for both initiatives or will this programme mark another step towards the redundancy of the Youth Conduct Order scheme? The more the system expands, the more likely that young people will continue to be caught up in a variety of programs, contradicting the objectives of diversionary programs to keep young people away from the system.
NSW Policy Responses to Antisocial behaviour
The UK antisocial behaviour policy was originally created to provide a sanction for particular behaviours that had previously been considered socially important but legally trivial and so had not been covered by existing legislative powers, and a similar position was taken by the NSW government. The term 'antisocial behaviour' was attractive to politicians in the UK as it was vague and elastic but hinted at toughness (Garrett, 2007) and the same concerns were prominent for New South Wales policy makers. YCOs were introduced with a focus on "offences covered by the Young Offenders Act 1997, but for whom the diversionary scheme created by that Act is not appropriate" (S 48A (a) and (b)). These orders were identified as a sanction to assist "in the fight against anti-social behaviour" (Hatzistergos 2008:10488). Of particular concern at the time was the perceived ineffectiveness of existing provisions, such as cautions and warnings, for dealing with young people.
The stated purpose of the YCO scheme may be positive in its attempts to address the underlying factors of young people's offending. Richard Torbay (2012: no pagination) commented that;
'...youth conduct orders and the review of the Young Offenders Act are making a difference and have proved effective in pre-empting the flow of young people into the criminal justice system.'
Once a young person has been identified as being eligible for a YCO, they are allocated to a lead agency (such as Health, Department of Education and Training, TAFE, Department of Community Service, Department of Attorney General and Justice), which are responsible for coordinating and monitoring the combined case management process. The lead agency is required to be actively coordinating the case, to develop and implement the case plan, deliver services and monitor progress and ongoing risks that the young person may be confronted with. The 2012 Nous Report shows that all of the 22 young people on Final Orders had at least two additional agencies, with three young people having five agencies that worked together to support and monitor them. This form of intervention has the potential to bring young people further into the juvenile justice system in order to deal with their welfare needs, rather than dealing with established offending behaviour.
The strategy of bringing multiple agencies together in an effort to intensively case manage these young people where it is needed is commendable, as it has been raised by various welfare and social services and there is acknowledgement from community members that 'antisocial behaviour very often comes from disaffected youth who have been marginalised by society, high unemployment and a clash of cultures' (Hatch 2013: no pagination). However, linking such support to court ordered conditions such as curfews, non-association (where young people are prohibited from associating with certain other young people) and place restrictions in addition to compulsory attendance at particular programs for up to 12 months runs the risk of setting up young people to fail. All these conditions have previously been imposed as bail conditions on young people but have high rates of breach. Breaching bail conditions leads to incarceration of young people and it is possible that a similar inability to comply with the court ordered conditions of YCOs may also lead to harsher outcomes. Of real concern is the coherence of overall youth justice regime and the possibility that YCOs will dilute and undermine the operation of the Young Offenders Act (YOA) in particular the use of Youth Justice Conferences (which bring together victims and offenders).
YCOs were established as penalties for young people and graffiti, possession of knives, possession of liquor and theft have been highlighted as appropriate behaviours against which an order may be issued (Hatzistergos, 2009). The moral dimension of these orders cannot be underestimated. YCOs were expressed by Hatzistergos (2009: no pagination) 'a tough new approach to tackling youth crime and getting young people to face up to their anti-social behaviour before they embark on a life of crime'. However this type of intervention is distinct from prior attempts. Previously, the removal of the young people from the environment in which they engaged in their antisocial behaviour was practiced; YCOs are a civil order which seeks to prohibit particular behaviour(s), with positive and negative consequences. It is this YCO condition of negatively sanctioning young people that can cause concern for their experiences with the juvenile justice system. Welfarist approaches have sought to prevent children being tainted by the criminal label, a breach of the YCO may very well result in their return to the court system. The concern here, is in regards to the ready use of such orders, which have led YCOs to be perceived as a risk-management, punitive and restrictive responses; a measure that blames young people who themselves may be victims and their families.
In contrast to the high profile discussion of ASBOs in the UK, the use of YCOs has received much less public and political attention in New South Wales over the past four years, with limited public information available and two evaluation reports that raise many questions. The NSW Government announced the YCO scheme to be implemented as a 'careful balance of law enforcement responses to the management of antisocial offences' (Hatzistergos, 2008:10488).
The Nous Group Evaluations of YCOs
The NOUS Group, an Australian Management Consultancy Company, has undertaken two independent evaluations of Youth Conduct Orders. The first evaluation took place after one year of operation and concluded that the just 5 final Youth Conduct Orders that had been issued at that time were an 'insufficient' sample to 'evaluate the effectiveness of YCO'. (NOUS, 2010:3). Based on the recommendations made in this report, the NSW government prolonged the time frame required to pilot this policy, and also expanded the locations for which the project would cover (now including the medium sized conurbations in Western Sydney of Blacktown, Liverpool, and Macquarie Fields).
In the second and 'final' Nous Group evaluation report the evaluators summarised their findings into how YCOs had been used and showed little significant increase in the use of YCOs. Since the commencement of the YCO as a pilot in 2009, 226 young people were deemed eligible for YCOs, of which 106 were in Mount Druitt, 80 in Campbelltown (both areas of Western Sydney) and 40 in New England in northern New South Wales. At the time of the evaluation, 14 young people had commenced final orders, 12 orders had been completed and 14 young people had received interim orders. Of the cohort, 84% were male, 29% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and on average were 16 years of age (Nous 2012:7). Of the 22 young offenders that received a final order, the type of offences varied from 'break, enter and steal', to 'breach of AVO', 'shoplifting' and 'malicious damage'. Fifteen of the young people were reported to have not re-offended during and following their participation, with an average of 17 month period of not re- offending (Nous 2012:17). The report does not break down the reoffending statistics with regard to those who completed or did not complete the programme but clearly as 12 young people completed the order and 15 did not reoffend there were some who did not complete the programme but did not go on to be convicted of further offences. Considering the traditional political dichotomy and appeal to what works and evidence based policy, these results give way to contesting the effectiveness of YCO in meeting its objectives of providing a diversionary scheme, address underlying causes of antisocial behaviour to reduce reoffending and provide support to young people. The Nous Report (2012:26) indicates that the current evidence is insufficient to determine the overall success of the YCO scheme, and they recommend that the YCO scheme should be practiced for 'further time' so that Juvenile Justice NSW can 'accurately assesses the potential' benefits of the YCO scheme in the long run.
An interesting aspect of the NOUS report was the description of the alternative methods that were used for young people that were deemed eligible for an YCO but not actually placed on an order. The diversionary alternatives reverted back to the mechanisms that the justice system had in place, such as good behaviour bonds, probation orders and youth justice conferencing. The use of these measures further questioned the need for YCOs; if, based on the data provided, over 168 'alternative' options were used (11) (2012:10) why was there a need to introduce a new measure of a YCO? What benefit did those young people who had received a YCO achieve ahead of those who were dealt with by the alternative, traditional measures? The Nous Report (2012:10) also highlighted the inconsistencies of the data recording between the locations; that impact on data analysis and possible conclusions. For example, of the cases where alternative methods were used to deal with the young offenders, 51 of these methods were listed as 'unknown'.
The Nous Report identified a strong tendency to utilise YCOs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. 226 young people had been considered for YCOs since the scheme was introduced, with 66 of those (29%) identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. However, of the 22 young people who received final orders, 13 of those (60%) identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. In the absence of further data it is difficult to interpret these figures, although they might suggest a ground for concern about a possible unwillingness to divert Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to other diversionary options. In NSW Aboriginal young people are more likely to be arrested and charged by the police than non-Aboriginals (Cunneen, 2008:50). Research by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (Beranger, Weatherburn & Moffatt, 2010) has reinforced a continued belief that, to reduce Aboriginal contact with the criminal justice system, the focus should be on rehabilitation and assistance with complying with orders. Is it essential to reduce Aboriginal contact with the criminal justice system from a young age, as research indicates that Aboriginal young people are at higher risk of reoffending if they are arrested under the age of 14, making them highly visible and vulnerable to risk prevention efforts (Weatherburn, Cush & Saunders 2007:9). A more positive interpretation would say that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are being given the opportunity to complete an intervention programme that has significant positive benefits, including the opportunity to have their charges dismissed. The fact that a YCO is often a non-compulsory intervention, evidenced by Section 48(L) of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 which states that consent by the young person to the order is required (although it can be imposed if the young person is found guilty of an offence) and that some young people and families have continued to engage in it even after the order has completed (Nous, 2012) suggests that it might be that the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people could be seen in a different way than their over-representation in the criminal justice system generally and custodial settings in particular. It would, however, be important to seek more data before settling on a positive interpretation of the statistics (for more discussion of the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian criminal justice system see the resources provided by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) (AIC, 2014).
The YCO policy has positive intentions including its multi-agency, collaborative and cooperative operation between key stakeholders and agencies, including the local police. The policy's ambitious aims were not only to reduce antisocial behaviour and act as a deterrent, but also to address underlying causal factors of youth offending. A short sample of the 22 participants that reached an interim or final order was provided by the Nous Report (2012) and it identified the leading agencies working with the young people involved. Overall, 45% of the young offenders were allocated to Health as their lead agency to deal with their order and provisions (involving support for mental health issues), followed by five to the Department of the Attorney General and Justice (DAG&J), three to the Department of Education and Training, only one was given to EACH OF the Department of Correctional Services (DoCs), TAFE (Technical and Further Education) and Police as their lead agency. So, it appears that young people with welfare needs are being processed through the criminal justice system to then be referred to welfare agencies to deal with those needs.
A multi-agency approach also provides many advantages for the young people against which action is being taken. This approach allows agencies to collectively address the wide-ranging factors associated with antisocial behaviour, for example unemployment, lack of education, alcohol and drug misuse, and troubled inter-personal relationships. A multi-agency approach therefore assists young people and families to become more socially included within their community and prevent behaviour from escalating into criminal activity (Burney, 2009). It might be that the imposition of a YCO promotes this inter-agency working but, alternatively, YCOs could simply be imposed upon young people who already have a lot of agencies working with them.
Justice or Welfare? Children as risky or at risk?
The use of YCOs reflects two distinct political narratives about young people and crime in NSW. On the one hand, young people are scapegoated as the main perpetrators of general disorder and antisocial behaviour. Authoritarian and punitive responses have been invoked such as increased police powers of dispersal of young people (Crawford, 2009). However, there is no clear logic to policy concerning children and young people in NSW, with a second narrative of concern about their welfare being articulated at the same time as concern about their actual or potential deviance. The previous NSW Youth Action Plan pledged to support potential youth contribution, create safer milieus and provide an avenue for leisure and cultural activities (YAPA, 2006). As an individual policy it provided alternative ways of providing interagency support to enhance and cater for young people's needs and to interact with young people in choices that impact on their lives. However, the NSW Youth Action Plan was situated within a broader set of NSW Government policy objectives that positioned youth as social 'risks' and related to issues such as crime, delinquent behaviour, risky drinking, illegal drug consumption and perilous driving (NSW Government, 2013a). Young people are known within the current policy context in paradoxical, conflicting and multifaceted ways. These confusing, and sometimes negative, messages about young people echo the discourse in the UK, where young people were constructed as a separate constituency from 'the public' (Garrett, 2007). Young people need to constantly negotiate the differing and often inconsistent messages of both support and regulation evident among the diverse fields of government policy making.
The NSW Government has recently moved away from a focus on antisocial behaviour within the NSW State Plan objectives, shifting to broader goals including preventing and reducing the level of crime and re-offending (NSW Government, 2013a). The NSW Police Plan (see NSW Government, 2010) continued to maintain antisocial behaviour as a priority for their objectives and performance targets, however the current NSW Police Plan (2012-2016) has also shifted its priorities to creating safer communities, reducing alcohol fuelled violence and reducing crime. These objectives are also contrasted against the previous Youth Action Plan (2006-2010, see YAPA, 2006) that represents a focus in both support and regulation of young people. Such policy developments at the NSW state level demonstrate successive pendulum swings between a punitive approach, and a more welfare-based philosophy.
The tension between care and control is not distinct to the YCO regime; wider policy concerning young people displays this same need to strike a balance between protecting young people from harm and protecting society from young offenders. This complexity of governing young people has been demonstrated by the NSW Government review of the legislation governing the Juvenile Justice System, namely the Children's (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 along with the Young Offenders Act of 1997. The review was established to 'ensure that the legislation continues to reflect best practice and meets the needs of young people and the community, including victims' (NSW Government, 2013b).
It seems that within contemporary rhetoric, the young person continues to be considered as a potentially dangerous delinquent. The recent inclusion of YCO demonstrates a clear concern about young people's offending behaviours and is an outworking of the need to place individual responsibility and accountability of delinquent youths and their parents central to the political agenda. The modern response to high risk young people has been to develop legislation that attempts to address specific problems. Each legislative measure (such as the Young Offenders Act 1997 and Children's (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987) identifies and isolates the problem behaviours, holds someone responsible for the behaviours (in most cases the youth or their guardian) and imposes accountability - through restrictive or punitive measures. These initiatives were developed to regulate youth who are at risk of becoming entrenched within the NSW Juvenile Justice System. Despite some efforts to limit the youth control system in NSW, it has in many respects expanded (and continues to expand) and with each additional expansion and the creation of new forms of interventions such as YCO, the social control net widens. This has the effect of widening the net to catch more of the youth population, many of whom would not have been caught if it were not for these increasing social control mechanisms. The use of YCOs could be an example of criminalising young people for political purposes (Cunneen & White, 2011). Net-widening was also a consequence of ASBOs and it led to the capturing of more marginalised and vulnerable groups within the system (Millie, 2006).
YCOs are issued in recognition of individual culpability of the young person, a response that favours justice over welfare, and, as such, has done little to tackle factors associated with involvement in antisocial behaviour. Constructive action for tackling the causes of bad behaviour has been brought about through the introduction of intensive case management. The order imposes positive obligations upon the offender to address the underlying causes of criminality and avoid a breach of the YCO, which based on current results, have proven to be ineffective. Judge Mark Marien, reiterates this when he commented that 'too many children are still being brought before the court' in NSW, suggesting here that young people continue to reoffend (Wallace & Jacobsen, 2012:no pagination).
NSW requires effective policies against antisocial behaviour, to protect the community from criminal and antisocial behaviour, and to divert young people from the stigmatising court processes. This responsibility goes beyond short-term, day-to-day politics; and requires policy makers to take the responsibility to look at the research to determine what works, to adopt the mechanisms that work and properly resource them. What is not clear is whether such policies require new legislation, or need to be led by justice agencies. The YCO is a politically attractive intervention, of questionable effectiveness, that represents a further increase in the power of the state.
The use of the criminal justice system to respond to antisocial behaviour is detrimental to the interests of young people but also a poor use of the skills and resources of some criminal justice professionals. Matthews et al. (2007:15) suggested that police officers may be of the view that 'controlling anti-social behaviour was not proper police work and distracted them from concentrating on realising their crime targets', implicating that many police officers either do not take this issue seriously or do not see it as police work. Furthermore, it has also been argued that when tackling antisocial behaviour the power that the NSW Police holds often allows them to disproportionately dominate via their enforcement 'gatekeeper' role to the juvenile justice system (Burney, 2009), as they are able to act quickly and have greater resources. The consistent emphasis placed on enforcement ensures the continuation of a punitive stance towards antisocial behaviour, in which perpetrators are socially excluded rather than included (Young, 1999).
YCOs represent a bubble of legislative policy in which governments are viewed as doing something about crime, as the 'governmental preoccupation with petty crime, disorder and ASB reflects a sense of "anxiety" about which something can be done in an otherwise uncertain world' (Crawford, 2002:31-2, cited in Stephen & Squires, 2005:521). Tackling antisocial behaviour of young people swiftly has a more instant impact then utilising long-term obligations to address underlying causal factors (Stephen & Squires, 2005:521). However, the New South Wales YCO scheme has had less of a negative impact when compared with the response to antisocial behaviour in the UK. Criticisms of the UK system are summarised by Muncie and Goldson (2006:37):
'It has been subject to a barrage of criticism such as its merging of civil and criminal law, its ignoring of due process, the eligibility of hearsay 'evidence', its criminalisation of incivility and its exclusionary effects.'
They also refer to the antisocial behaviour legislation's focus on rowdy young people, its geographical inconsistency of application and its ability to bring young people into the criminal justice system even when they have not committed criminal offences. Some, but not all, of these criticisms could be levelled at the NSW YCO regime. It is certainly the case that YCOs extend the reach of the criminal justice system by responding to incivility and nuisance and by utilising criminal justice processes to meet young people's welfare needs. There is also a blurring of the civil and the criminal law. Whereas the UK system was criticised for its ignoring of due process, the New South Wales approach has faced the opposite criticism of being unduly cumbersome and complex. The complexity of the system is clearly a factor in the low number of eligible young people who have proceeded to completed orders but this is not necessarily a matter for concern. A process that allows a lot of young people to be diverted to appropriate agencies would have a lot to commend it. There are other positives about the NSW Youth Conduct Order scheme. It has referred some young people to appropriate alternative approaches with, it is hoped, some positive impact on their lives. The large number of agencies involved and the emphasis on good communication and interagency working are also positive aspects.
Ultimately, the use of ASBOs in the UK and YCOs in NSW lead us from two different directions to the need to respond to two key questions. Firstly, does a high profile political response to the 'antisocial' behaviour of some young people bring benefits to young people? The answer to that would seem to be a negative one; the NSW government have been able to introduce a regime to respond to such behaviour without the need for the excessive demonization of young people that was apparent in the UK. Secondly, is the involvement of the criminal law a helpful addition to the other remedies available? Here, the limited success of the NSW experience leads to the same conclusion as more troubled experiences in the UK. Where there are positive outcomes they are often led by health, welfare or education and in most cases the best that the criminal justice system can do is to link the young person with the right support. This work should not be underestimated, there can be many reasons why a young person has not previously had access to services, including lack of awareness or a failure to meet entry criteria, and the criminal justice system can facilitate access that otherwise might not have been granted. The imposition of a statutory order may facilitate access to services that might previously have been refused to a perceived risky young person. If the stigmatisation and demonisation of young people represents the worst of antisocial behaviour legislation then this ability to link to services might represent the best aspect of such a regime.
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Anca Stanculescu, PhD Student, School of Social Science and Psychology, University of Western Sydney & Dr Brian Stout, Associate Professor, University of Western Sydney
(11) Some candidates received multiple alternative options.
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|Author:||Stanculescu, Anca; Stout, Brian|
|Publication:||British Journal of Community Justice|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2014|
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