A post-structuralist analysis of Irish youth crime prevention policy with specific emphasis on the Garda youth diversion projects

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dc.contributor.advisor Kiely, Elizabeth en
dc.contributor.author Swirak, Katharina
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-07T12:04:49Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.date.submitted 2013
dc.identifier.citation Swirak, K. 2013. A post-structuralist analysis of Irish youth crime prevention policy with specific emphasis on the Garda youth diversion projects.PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1107
dc.description.abstract Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) have since their beginnings in the early 1990s gained an increasingly important role and now constitute a central feature of Irish youth justice provision. Managed by the Irish Youth Justice Service and implemented by the Gardai and a variety of youth work organisations as well as independent community organisations, GYDPs are located at the crossroads of welfarist and corporatist approaches to youth justice, combining diversionary and preventative aspects in their work. To date, these projects have been subjected to very little systematic analysis and they have thus largely escaped critical scrutiny. To address this gap, this thesis locates the analysis of GYDP policy and practice within a post-structuralist theoretical framework and deploys discourse analysis primarily based on the work of Michel Foucault. It makes visible the official youth crime prevention and GYDP policy discourses and identifies how official discourses relating to youth crime prevention, young people and their offending behaviour, are drawn upon, negotiated, rejected or re-contextualised by project workers and JLOs. It also lays bare how project workers and JLOs draw upon a variety of other discourses, resulting in multi-layered, complex and sometimes contradictory constructions of young people, their offending behaviour and corresponding interventions. At a time when the projects are undergoing significant changes in terms of their repositioning to operate as the support infrastructure underpinning the statutory Garda Youth Diversion Programme, the thesis traces the discursive shifts and the implications for practice that are occurring as the projects move away from a youth work orientation towards a youth justice orientation. A key contribution of this thesis is the insight it provides into how young people and their families are being constituted in individualising and sometimes pathologising ways in GYDP discourses and practices. It reveals the part played by the GYDP intervention in favouring individual and narrow familial causes of offending behaviour while broader societal contexts are sidelined. By explicating the very assumptions upon which contemporary youth crime prevention policy, as well as GYDP policy and practice are based, this thesis offers a counterpoint to the prevailing evidence-based agenda of much research in the field of Irish youth justice theory and youth studies more generally. Rather, it encourages the reader to take a step back and examine some of the most fundamental and unquestioned assumptions about the construction of young people, their offending behaviour and ways of addressing this, in contemporary Irish youth crime prevention policy and practice. en
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Children and Youth Affairs (Research Scholarship 2011/2012) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2013, Katharina Swirak en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Diversion en
dc.subject Garda Youth Diversion Projects en
dc.subject Youth offending en
dc.subject Youth work en
dc.subject Youth crime prevention en
dc.subject Youth justice en
dc.subject.lcsh Juvenile justice, Administration of -- Ireland. en
dc.subject.lcsh Social work with juvenile delinquents -- Ireland. en
dc.subject.lcsh Juvenile delinquency -- Prevention. en
dc.subject.lcsh Juvenile delinquents -- Rehabilitation -- Ireland. en
dc.title A post-structuralist analysis of Irish youth crime prevention policy with specific emphasis on the Garda youth diversion projects en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Social Science) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Applied Social Studies en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out FALSE *
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat E-thesis on CORA only en
ucc.workflow.supervisor e.kiely@ucc.ie *
ucc.workflow.supervisor e.kiely@ucc.ie *
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress k.swirak@ucc.ie en


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© 2013, Katharina Swirak Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013, Katharina Swirak
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