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‘Vulnerable by law (but not by nature)’: examining perceptions of youth and childhood ‘vulnerability’ in the context of police custody

Dehaghani, Roxanna ORCID: 2017. ‘Vulnerable by law (but not by nature)’: examining perceptions of youth and childhood ‘vulnerability’ in the context of police custody. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 39 (4) , pp. 454-472. 10.1080/09649069.2017.1390279

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This paper, drawing upon qualitative data produced through interviews with custody officers (COs) at two custody suites in England, examines how the vulnerability of children and young people is conceptualised generally, within the criminal process, and then, more specifically, in police custody. It uses the appropriate adult (AA) safeguard under Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 as the point of reference and explores, firstly, how childhood is conceptualised and, secondly, how childhood vulnerability is understood by COs. The responses of COs are perhaps indicative of a wider issue within the criminal process – the construction of youth and childhood and, accordingly, the criminal law response to children and young people. Within this paper, whilst it is accepted that childhood and vulnerability are non-static concepts, it is nevertheless contended that children and young people are vulnerable, particularly when facing the criminal process.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0964-9069
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 January 2018
Date of Acceptance: 26 October 2017
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 23:52

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