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Verschijningsdatum: 01/12/2015

IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD

door Jenneke Christiaens

In comparative studies, the Belgian youth justice system is described as one of the most welfare oriented in Europe. In recent decades, several Western European countries have abandoned welfarism and have taken a punitive turn. At first sight, Belgium is not heading in the same direction: the age of criminal responsibility remains very high (18 years), and youth justice is still underpinned by a mainly protective welfare philosophy.

However, it is important to take a more critical look at this welfare image of the Belgian youth justice system. As we know, there is (always) a tension between law in books and law in action (or action with law). Political discourse and policy do not reflect the views or demands of professionals. Policy documents therefore do not equate to ‘street level’ daily practices. Youth justice practices can be at the very opposite of formal welfare goals. With this collective work we address precisely this question. This collection of contributions can be understood as a jigsaw puzzle. When laying the pieces on the table, an empirical image of youth justice practices emerges, and gives insight into the complexity of the youth justice system and the tensions that characterise these interventions in the lives of so-called problematic youngsters.

Hence, the title of this volume: It’s for your own good! It goes right to the ambiguous heart of the youth justice system and its practices. After all, the best interests of the child, as the keystone notion of our youth justice system, is subject to many interpretations by those involved in day-to-day youth justice practices.

 

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IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
Auteur(s): Jenneke Christiaens
ISBN: 978 90 5718 433 8

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