Youth Justice: Developing Knowledge and Practice

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During this essay I am to discuss the developing knowledge and practice to do youth Justice. I will firstly look at the Principles of effective practice and then aim to explain how these principles are linked to my own work and experience. I will go on to discuss the use of principles of effective practice. I will then conclude with the outcome of my findings.

The method of evidence based practice means forming and applying interventions based on previous research conducted whilst monitoring and evaluating the outcomes. As a Youth justice practitioner I am part of this ongoing process, my work is evidence based and I am required to record all outcomes. These outcomes feed into the holistic research and has been used to direct the Youth Justice Board on the principles of effective practice. Following this process as best-practice ensures that interventions are always based on practical evidence and practitioners alike are working towards ever-improving interventions. ‘A number of principles have been distilled from effective practice research, summarizing the concepts involved’ The principles of effective practice:

1. Risk, Risk classification is about the balance between the risk of re-offending and the intensity of the proposed intervention.

2. Criminogenic needs, Criminogenic needs relate to why a young person has committed an offence

3. Responsively, is all about you as a practitioner responding appropriately to the specific needs and circumstances of a young person

4. Community base, Research shows that interventions are most effective when they take place in an environment that is meaningful in terms of a young person's individual 'life context' or 'community base'. This is because the problems faced in that environment are the most pressing challenges a young person faces.

5. Programme integrity, As with intervention modality, 'program integrity' has two themes. Firstly, it is about everyone understanding and being faithful to the aims and objectives of intervention programs 6. Dosage , Programs must be of sufficient intensity and duration to achieve their aims. As a Youth Justice officer I work with young people aged mainly between 10 and 18 years old, who are at various stages within the criminal justice system. Part of my role is to identify the needs of young offenders and investigate the specific problems that make them offend, in order to try and prevent them from re-offending. I am required to continuous reflect on my practice and evidence base my work. I work directly with young people some of which have very complex issues, needs and requirements. All young people require an Initial assessment it is essential for me as the youth justice officer to complete this holistic assessment and gather as much evidence and information regarding the young person as possible. Additional information may be requested from family, carer, CHAMS, children services, education, police and any relevant previous information from other services who have had contact with the young person and or family. This gives me a wider understanding of the young person and provides further insight to the Criminogenic factors surrounding the young person and family. This informs my assessment of Risk and vulnerability. An assessment is on-going and constantly changing as you work with a young person. After completion of the assessment I am equip to devise a intervention plan best suited and tailored to the young person’s needs, with the aim of reducing the likelihood of further offending. I do find that circumstances can change and new plans, task and goals may need to be added or changed to reflect the young person’s new circumstances. The Youth Justice Board introduce the scald approach in 2009, with the view that creating a plan best suitable to the young person’s needs, offers the opportunity to reduce factors that are contributing to offending behavior, as well as serve as a consequence for their...
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