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This Chapter focuses on the research evidence underpinning developmental and life course criminology. Government policy is heavily influenced by developmental theories of offending, namely that offending in young adulthood is apparent from early childhood. But she asks to what extent crime is determined by and predictable from childhood, not least when most children who offend do not continue such behaviour into adulthood. McVie explores the literature on the age-crime curve and on criminal careers and identifies a range of dimensions which show promise in increasing our understanding about the developmental processes which lead to prolonged offending. However, she concludes that youth justice policies based on risk identification, prediction and prevention run the risk of inadvertently stigmatizing and criminalizing young people.
|Title of host publication||Youth Offending and Youth Justice|
|Editors||Monica Barry, Fergus McNeill|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Name||Research Highlights in Social Work|
- Criminal careers; developmental criminology; age-crime curve; life-course offending; youth justice policy; risk factor prevention paradigm
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