Replacing the ASBO: An opportunity to stem the flow into the Criminal Justice System

Millie, Andrew (2013). Replacing the ASBO: An opportunity to stem the flow into the Criminal Justice System. In: Dockley, Anita and Loader, Ian eds. The Penal Landscape: The Howard League Guide to Criminal Justice in England and Wales. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 64–88.



Over the past two decades there has been growing political and legislative emphasis in Britain on tackling antisocial behaviour. Th is chapter outlines the expanded focus on antisocial behaviour which has resulted in a confusing array of enforcement powers, the most high profi le of which was the Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO). Evidence is presented that a consequence of this expansion has been an increased flow of people – especially young people – into the criminal justice system and, ultimately, into prison. At a time when the prison population is at a record high the wisdom of sending people to prison for committing antisocial behaviour (rather than serious criminality) is questioned. In 2011 the Coalition government outlined proposals for a new approach to antisocial behaviour that would see legislative powers simplified and the ASBO replaced. In May 2012 the antisocial behaviour White Paper entitled Putting Victims First (Home Office 2012 ) was published. The proposals outlined in the White Paper are for England (and in some instances also apply to Wales).

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