• Who pulled the plug? towards an explanation of the fall in child imprisonment in England and Wales

      Bateman, Tim; University of Bedfordshire (Sage Publications, 2012)
      This article offers an analysis of the recent fall in youth custody in England and Wales. It argues that parallels can be drawn between the present period and the decline in child imprisonment during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership in the 1980s. In particular, increased diversion and a depoliticization of youth crime have contributed to a more tolerant decision making within the court arena. Some remarks on the implications for an understanding of the punitive turn are offered and an assessment of the prospect for future trends is provided in the light of the riots of August 2011.
    • Child imprisonment: exploring injustice by geography

      Bateman, Tim; University of Bedfordshire (HM Prison Service, 2011)
      The risk that a child might be confined to the secure estate depends to a large extent on the post code of the court in which he or she is sentenced. At the level of individual youth offending team (YOT) area, the difference is 1 in 5 cases leading to a court disposal in Merthyr Tydfil to 1 in 150 in Dorset. This variation cannot be explained by local patterns of youth crime, but is indicative of a form of injustice. The article demonstrates that sentence decision-making at the local level is sensitive to a range of factors which distinguish the areas with a high use of detention from those which deprive few children of their liberty. These factors are: the extent of pre-court diversion; the distribution of sentencing options below the level of custody; and the manner in which youth justice practitioners respond to children who come to the attentions of YOTs. The article concludes that areas where the level of child imprisonment remains relatively low retain elements from an earlier era of youth justice committed to decriminalisation, diversion and decarceration. In contrast, localities with higher rates of incarceration show more features associated with the punitive turn of the early 1990s.
    • Reoffending as a measure of effectiveness of youth justice intervention: a critical note

      Bateman, Tim; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010)
      Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show significant progress against New Labour's targets to reduce reoffending by young people within the youth justice system. The outgoing government was, unsurprisingly, quick to infer that such findings constituted corroboration of the improved effectiveness of youth justice practice under their administration. This article considers whether such an inference is warranted and discusses other potential explanations of the data.
    • Target practice: sanction detection and the criminalisation of children

      Bateman, Tim (Taylor and Francis, 2008)
      In the tick-box culture that has come to dominate the criminal justice world, some performance measures appear to have more influence on outcomes than others. The Youth Justice Board's (YJB's) target to effect a 10% reduction in the number of children in custody, in the three years from April 2005, remains unmet. At the end of March 2008, the juvenile secure population had risen by 10% over the relevant period, and – at 2,942 – stood at 22% above the figure of 2,408 required by the measure. By contrast, the Government's target to increase the number of ‘offences brought to justice’ (OBTJ), from 1.025m in 2002 to 1.25m in 2007/08, has proved rather easier to meet. In the year ending June 2007, 1.434m offences were dealt with by way of a recognised ‘sanction detection’ (reprimand, warning, caution, cannabis warning, penalty notice for disorder, charge or summons), a rise of 43% over the 2002 baseline (Home Office, 2007).
    • A questionable strategy: ASBOs and youth misbehaviour

      Bateman, Tim; Nacro (Nacro Magazine, 2007)
      During 2005/06, teenagers hanging around on the street topped the list of public concerns about antisocial behaviour (ASB). Almost one in three considered young people on the street to be a fairly big or very big problem in their locality: an increase of 60% since 1992.1 The intensity of public concern provides an essential backdrop for understanding what has frequently proved to be a polarised debate about the use of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) for those below the age of 18.
    • Ignoring necessity: the court’s decision to impose an ASBO on a child

      Bateman, Tim (Jordan Publishing Limited, 2007-11-09)
      The anti-social behavior order has proved to be one of the more controversial elements of the Government’s agenda for law and order. On the face of it, however, little of that controversy is reflected in the court process, where the ‘success rate’ of applications for such orders is extremely high. Drawing on recent research on the use of ASBOs against children, this article aims to explore some of the factors that determine whether an application against a young person below the age of 18 years is granted. It is argued that while courts generally require strong evidence to establish the young person’s involvement in anti-social behavior, less attention is paid to the issue of whether an ASBO is necessary to prevent further incidence of misconduct. It is further contended that necessity is overlooked, in part, because magistrates and district judges (and defence solicitors) tend to assume, sometimes erroneously, that applications for ASBOs against children are only initiated where other measures have been tried and failed.
    • New Labour and youth justice: what works or what’s counted?

      Bateman, Tim; Pitts, John (Russell House Publishing Ltd., 2010)
    • Pre-sentence reports

      Bateman, Tim (Willan, 2008)
    • Individual support orders

      Bateman, Tim (Willan, 2008)
    • Grave offences

      Bateman, Tim (Willan, 2008)
    • Exclusion orders

      Bateman, Tim (Willan, 2008)
    • Detention and training orders

      Bateman, Tim (Willan, 2008)
    • Custody rate

      Bateman, Tim (Willan, 2008)
    • The outcomes of late permanent placements: the adolescent years

      Dance, Cherilyn; Rushton, Alan; King's College London (British Association for Adoption and Fostering, 2004)
      Using interview and questionnaire data based on a sample of 133 late-placed adoption and permanent foster care placements, Alan Rushton and Cherilyn Dance report on the outcomes of their prospective study as the children arrive at their teenage years (range 11-16). After a year, the young people remained with their new families in 92 per cent of cases and six years later 71 per cent of families were still together, a rate which is largely consistent with similar research samples. The disruptions took place at all points, but on average occurred at 34 months after placement. The reasons for placement endings were examined and differences between the disrupted and the 'continuing but unhappy' placements were explored. In the continuing placements, the parents' views of their experiences fell into three groups: the happy throughout, the happy now but not always so, and the largely negative responses. Most of the parents in the latter group were still being severely tested by developmental and behavioural problems, including aggression, destructiveness and over-activity.
    • Negative parental treatment of the singled out child: responses to the problem by health visitors, social services departments and child and adolescent mental health services

      Dance, Cherilyn; Rushton, Alan; Institute of Psychiatry, London (Sage Publications, 2005)
      The focus of this three-part study was on the recognition of, and service response to, families in which negative or rejecting behaviour is shown towards one of the children, whereas the siblings are accepted. Part 1 was an interview-based survey of health visitors’ views. They were able to identify families with such problems but were seldom in a position to intervene constructively and referrals to specialist services were not easily achieved. Part 2 was a case file study based on referrals of alleged emotional abuse to social services offices. The nature of the risk-assessment process undertaken by social workers was explored and it was shown that, beyond the initial stage of seeing the families, a lack of capacity was evident to provide structured assessments of the child, formal assessment of parenting and observation of the parent-child relationship. One-third of the emotional abuse cases were subject to child protection registration but only a minority received substantial social work intervention. Although it was found that singly rather than jointly referred children were given less priority and had less-thorough assessments, this could have been related to other characteristics of these children. Part 3 explored how child mental health professionals conceptualized the families’ difficulties, devised therapeutic interventions, considered obstacles to engaging the families and assessed the benefit of psychological help. It was acknowledged that some of these families can present a considerable challenge to any child welfare system because of denial of the problem or difficulties in engaging with existing services. More attention needs to be paid in these cases to maternal mental health problems, especially depression. Recommendations are made for developing more accessible preventive services while ensuring the protection and effective treatment of the singled-out child.
    • Educating difficult adolescents: effective education for children in public care with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

      Berridge, David; Beecham, Jennifer; Dance, Cherilyn; Field, Sarah (Jessica Kingsley, 2008)
      Educational achievements for children in care are significantly poorer than for the general school population. This book explores why this is and how to enable children in care to succeed in the classroom. It evaluates the educational experience and performance of a sample of `difficult' adolescents living in foster families, residential children's homes and residential special schools for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD). The book addresses factors such as the failure to prioritise education for children in care, placement instability and disrupted schooling. It investigates care environments, policy changes and young people's background experiences - as well as the costs of services - in order to gauge the effectiveness of targeted initiatives. The authors adopt a multidisciplinary approach to suggest how best to support children in care in educational settings. This book will be essential reading for professionals supporting children in care, including social workers, directors of children's services, policy makers, school leaders, teachers and managers in the public, voluntary and private sectors. It is also highly relevant for social work and education lecturers, researchers and students.
    • An effective tool if used appropriately : but what is an appropriate use of Asbos for young people?

      Bateman, Tim (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2007)
      This article considers the use of Asbos as a response to problematic behaviour exhibited by children and young people under the age of 18 years. Drawing on research conducted on behalf of the Youth Justice Board, it suggests that the perceptions of key professionals involved in the Asbo process may have a greater impact on their use than the level of anti-social behaviour in an area.
    • Reducing child imprisonment: a systemic challenge

      Bateman, Tim (Sage Publications, 2005-08)
      This article seeks to make explicit the obstacles to reducing child custody in order to understand better what is required of an effective decarcerative strategy. It argues that a punitive turn, with its origins in the early 1990s, was responsible both for a subsequent inflation of the numbers of children in custodial establishments and for a range of systemic changes which serve to maintain the population of the juvenile secure estate at high levels. Thus, although recent efforts to reduce custody have tended to focus on provision of robust and credible community based programmes, rates of diversion, shifts in the tariff and movements in practitioner attitude are as important as programmatic concerns to the success, or otherwise, of initiatives designed to function as alternatives to custody.
    • Living with final warnings: making the best of a bad job?

      Bateman, Tim (Sage Publications, 2002-12)
      This article examines the final warning scheme from a number of perspectives. In the first place it considers the rationale for the abolition of police cautioning for children and young people and subjects it to critique. It then reviews the recent evidence that has a bearing on the likely impact of the scheme in terms of the prevention of offending. Finally, some unintended consequences of the new system, with particular reference to its implementation, are identified, and some related observations regarding the potential implications for practitioners are discussed.