Has welfarist criminology failed? Juvenile justice and the human sciences in Victoria

McCallum, David and Laurence, Jennifer (2007) Has welfarist criminology failed? Juvenile justice and the human sciences in Victoria. Australian Social Work, 60 (4). pp. 410-420. ISSN 0312-407X


In the present context of ‘get tough on crime’ and ‘back to criminal justice’ campaigns that continue to dominate political agendas throughout Australia, critics point to the inadequacy of ‘welfarist’ or reformist criminological and sociological theories that have informed interventions in the past, and reinforce the need for ‘retributive justice’ models of penal policy. This paper examines historical evidence on the role of the human sciences in juvenile justice administration during the 1940s, a formative time when psychiatric, psychological and social work expertise came together in the form of the Children’s Court Clinic in Victoria. It suggests that contemporary critiques about the failure of the welfare model of juvenile justice inadequately captures the historical functioning of expertise in justice administration and the real extent to which the welfare model as ‘actual rehabilitative intervention’ was ever implemented.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1400
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > RFCD Classification > 370000 Studies in Human Society
Keywords ResPubID13816, Juvenile justice, welfare, rehabilitative intervention, Victoria
Citations in Scopus 1 - View on Scopus
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