Making sense of the melting pot: multiple discourses in youth justice policy

Fergusson, Ross (2007). Making sense of the melting pot: multiple discourses in youth justice policy. Youth Justice, 73(3) pp. 179–194.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1473225407082509

Abstract

The paper proposes a framework for politically-informed analysis of policy processes, to enhance understanding of the inconsistencies of youth justice policies. It begins from the importance of political discourse and argues that multiple discourses reflect political tensions which produce inconsistency. It focuses on the punitive detention of young people, and the paradoxical disjunctures between policy and practice in the 1980s. A second example concerns young people’s rights. These analyses highlight the importance of theorising differences between the rhetorical, the codificational and the implementational modes of the policy process, particularly with regard to governance, and the power of front-line staff.

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