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Dragonization of Youth Justice (From Youth Justice Handbook: Theory, Policy and Practice, P 231-242, 2010, Wayne Taylor, Rod Earle, and Richard Hester, eds. - See NCJ-229620)

NCJ Number
Kevin Haines
Date Published
12 pages
In describing current trends in the youth justice systems of the "countries" of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), this chapter focuses on the distinctive trend in Wales.
As both one country and four "countries," social and political life in the United Kingdom (UK) is a complex mix of jurisdictional authorities and responsibilities. Although some matters are dealt with at a UK level, others are handled at national levels. Scotland has its own legal system; Northern Ireland's legal system exists by the delegated authority of the Westminster Parliament; and England and Wales share the same legal system. This chapter focuses on the distinctive developments in youth justice in Wales compared with England. This distinctively Welsh juvenile justice is referred to in this chapter as the "dragonization" of juvenile justice (the dragon is Wales' national symbol). In terms of governance, policy, strategy, management, and practice, youth justice would be expected to be the same in Wales as in England. The Welsh Assembly has no formal responsibility for youth justice or youth offending teams (YOTs). This chapter describes the distinctive youth justice organizational structure established in Wales and its focus on implementing the international standards for the treatment of children specified in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These universal entitlements offer all children in Wales access to a wide range of support, services, and opportunities as a right. In England, on the other hand, children who commit offenses or engage in antisocial behavior will have these opportunities taken away; and they are likely to be subject to increasingly interventionist measures of control. This chapter examines the tensions that have resulted from Wales' development of a youth justice approach different from England's although they are expected to operate under the same policies. 1 table and 21 references