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Nipping Crime in the Bud? The Use of Antisocial Behaviour Interventions with Young People in England and Wales

Lewis, S and Crawford, A and Traynor, P (2016) Nipping Crime in the Bud? The Use of Antisocial Behaviour Interventions with Young People in England and Wales. British Journal of Criminology, 57 (5). pp. 1230-1248. ISSN 0007-0955

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Abstract

This article presents findings from a study of the use of antisocial behaviour (ASB) warning letters, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) with 3,481 young people from four large metropolitan areas in England, which challenge dominant narratives about their use and impact. The findings unsettle prevailing beliefs concerning the targeted use of ASB interventions to tackle low-level incivilities and the timing of their use within a young person’s deviant trajectory. They also contest the logical sequencing of behaviour regulation strategies by demonstrating the haphazard deployment of ASB sanctions within complex webs of prevention, ASB and youth justice interventions. The article concludes by considering the findings alongside recent youth justice trends in England and Wales.

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