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Youth Crime, the ‘Parenting Deficit’ and State Intervention: A Contextual Critique

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Barry Goldson
  • Janet Jamieson
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>Youth Justice
Issue number2
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)82-99
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


On 1 June 2000 a new court order was implemented in England and Wales. The Parenting Order provided for the extension of state intervention (primarily through youth justice agencies) into ‘family life’. We have recently completed research with regard to youth justice parenting initiatives, and during the course of our research, our interest in, and concern with, the broader question of ‘parenting’, ‘parental responsibility’ and the ‘parenting deficit’ consolidated. This article sets out our principal concerns by locating the new statutory powers within their wider context. By tracing their historical antecedents, theoretical foundations and policy expressions we aim to critique the latest developments in state intervention. Similarly, by analysing the material circumstances of the parents who are targeted by such intervention, and reviewing the means by which children, young people and parents conceive such intervention, we argue that the new powers essentially comprise an extension of punitiveness underpinned by stigmatising and pathologising constructions of working class families.