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Developing local cultures in criminal justice policy-making: the case of youth justice in Wales

Field, Stewart ORCID: 2015. Developing local cultures in criminal justice policy-making: the case of youth justice in Wales. Wasik, Martin and Santatzoglou, Sotirios, eds. The Management of Change in Criminal Justice: Who Knows Best?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 170-185. (10.1057/9781137462497_10)

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This volume seeks to assess the explanatory power of different ways of understanding how criminal justice policy relates to practice. How far should practice be seen as something that is shaped by central government and implemented from the top by legislative and administrative command? How far should practice be seen as more localised, negotiated at a number of levels between relatively autonomous groups of practitioners in which relationships with the centre are more diffuse and indirect and where influence runs in both directions? This chapter reflects on recent Welsh experience in relation to youth justice as an example of the ways in which local relationships between practitioners and policy-makers may shape the development of local cultures in the making of criminal justice policy and its implementation in practice. I will try to show the ways in which Wales provides a particularly rich and complex example of multi-relational negotiation of practice. The argument is not that this is something unique to youth justice in Wales. Criminal justice (and especially youth justice) in both England and Wales is founded largely on coordinate rather than hierarchical institutional relationships (to adopt Damaska’s terms, 1986). Insofar as different agencies (such as the Crown Prosecution Service, magistracy, police and probation) rarely have hierarchical powers of direction and command as between each other, much depends on inter-professional dynamics (often played out at a local level).

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781137462480
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 09:33

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