In search of a youth justice pedagogy? A commentary

Phoenix, Jo (2011). In search of a youth justice pedagogy? A commentary. Journal of Children's Services, 6(2) pp. 125–133.



Purpose – This paper seeks to look at youth justice (YJ) personnel training and education and the recommendations about it made in Time for a Fresh Start.

Design/methodology/approach – The pedagogic tensions that currently shape YJ training are described - particularly those around the question of instructionalism vs education and what ‘‘specialist’’ means in the context of YJ.

Findings – The paper suggests that the authors of Time for a Fresh Start missed the opportunity to better serve the public and young people’s interests by neither acknowledging the pedagogic tensions nor articulating what a ‘‘specialist’’ ‘‘YJ’’ professional training can mean in twenty-first century England and Wales.

Originality/value – The paper highlights an urgent need for an open debate between academics, practitioners and policy makers about YJ pedagogy.

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