'It Is Not as Easy as ABC': Examining Practitioners' Views on Using Behavioural Contracts to Encourage Young People to Accept Responsibility for their Anti-Social Behaviour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the use of acceptable behavioural contracts as a tool for engendering the voluntary acceptance of responsibility in children and young people perceived to be engaging in anti-social behaviour and low-level criminality. Based on the results of a qualitative empirical analysis with local government and social housing anti-social behaviour teams, the article explores the attitudes of practitioners to the use of this unregulated but commonly utilised intervention. Practitioners' views are contrasted with the ideals of voluntary responsibilisation upon which the contracts are supposedly based. It is argued that there is a spectrum of differing approaches among practitioners, with some using the contracts more to encourage the voluntary acceptance of responsibility, whilst others use them more coercively to hold individuals responsible for their behaviour. The implications of these differing approaches are examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Criminal Law
Volume76
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Anti-social behaviour; Acceptable behaviour contracts; Responsibilisation; Youth Justice; Diversionary Measures

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