An opportunity for redemption within youth justice?

Manders, Gary (2013). An opportunity for redemption within youth justice? University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Redacted Version

Download (1MB)


This thesis explores how the interplay between agency, beliefs/values and behaviour generates possibilities/ potentialities for change among forty youth offenders in two Youth Offending Teams in the West Midlands. This research has a specific focus on the young people’s religious identity and how their religiosity can be a potential resource for the process of change towards abstinence from offending. It is centred on engagement with the perceptions and values of youth offenders in seeking to engage and work effectively with them towards rehabilitation and the cessation of offending, with its application for improving practice in Youth Justice.

Recent work has shown that religion can either be used to justify or excuse criminal behaviour in terms of negative attitudes and behaviour towards others, or as a prospective moral template for changing behaviour. This thesis builds upon this work by examining the role of religiosity in shaping youth offending behaviours, how they make sense of religiosity within the context of their whole lives. The nature of redemption refers to the ability, opportunity and in what manner a young person turns their life around away from crime to a law abiding lifestyle, assisted by the Youth Offending Team/Service. Comprehending the signals of desistance through examining the young person’s beliefs and values is paramount in creating the conditions for change. The notion of the good life as a life worth living is examined in this study as a means for practitioners to support the initial transitions to a better form of living through identifying youth offenders’ future goals and intended strategies for achieving them, and moral exemplars to catalyse change.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year