The Open UniversitySkip to content

The ‘punitive’ turn in juvenile justice: cultures of control and rights compliance in western Europe and the USA

Muncie, John (2008). The ‘punitive’ turn in juvenile justice: cultures of control and rights compliance in western Europe and the USA. Youth Justice, 8(2) pp. 107–121.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (163kB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Separate systems of justice for children and young people have always been beset by issues of contradiction and compromise. There is compelling evidence that such ambiguity is currently being `resolved' by a greater governmental resort to neo-conservative punitive and correctional interventions and a neo-liberal responsibilizing mentality in which the protection historically afforded to children is rapidly dissolving. This resurgent authoritarianism appears all the more anachronistic when it is set against the widely held commitment to act within the guidelines established by various children's rights conventions. Of note is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, frequently described as the most ratified human rights convention in the world, but lamentably also the most violated. Based on international research on juvenile custody rates and children's rights compliance in the USA and Western Europe, this article examines why and to what extent `American exceptionalism' might be permeating European nation states.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2008 The National Association for Youth Justice
ISSN: 1747-6283
Keywords: children; convergence; custody; diversity; juvenile justice policy, punitiveness; rights compliance
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)
Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)
Item ID: 11931
Depositing User: John Muncie
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2008 12:55
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2018 21:20
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU