A critical approach towards the professionalisation of the youth justice workforce: a research-led design of a mental health module

Palmer, V., 2015. A critical approach towards the professionalisation of the youth justice workforce: a research-led design of a mental health module. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.


Download (2MB) | Preview


Over the last 15 years, the youth justice system has expanded and taken on a life of its own, accommodating novel and diverse occupational ideologies within a managerialistic and neo-liberalist agenda, to realise New Labour’s aggressive reductionist targets. One of the unforeseen consequences of this strategy has been a gradual decline in ownership by youth justice practitioners of crucial forms of knowledge; critically that pertaining to mental health. This qualitative and interpretivist study attempts to assess how educators may bridge this gap. It focuses on the experiences and consequent requirements of a group of individuals who have all studied the youth justice discipline to BA level, many of whom are now experienced practitioners in this field. This thesis examines the association of mental health with crime, drawing heavily from Foucault’s oeuvre of archaeological works, yet shining the light on its specific impact on children and young people. The research methodology is developed through the lens of social constructionism and attempts to challenge the naivety of certainty that is often expected in late modernity. The findings are presented with one eye on participant requisites in the enhancement of their knowledge of mental disorder and the other on critical pedagogy which seeks to contextualise the results within society’s pre-ordered perception of ‘culpable’ children. It argues that the delivery of a university module encompassing mental disorder, learning disability and autism will assist youth justice practitioners to form more insightful assessments of the youth offending populace. In turn, this should assist in a movement away from increasingly defensive, punitive and exclusionary responses exercised by the police and court machinery; a shift from a control ideology to one of care. Furthermore, it is suggested that the timeliness of module development is in keeping with the conservative government’s emerging ideology of revisiting intricate professional judgement alongside a strategy of diverting children and young people from the youth justice system.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Palmer, V.
Date: November 2015
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the intellectual property rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 28 Jun 2016 15:07
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 15:07
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28029

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year