A comparison of young people’s views in Japan and Scotland on what works to reduce offending

M. Barry

Principal Research Fellow, Law School, University of Strathclyde, Scotland, monica.barry@strath.ac.uk

Young offenders’ views of the criminal justice system or of why young people desist from crime are rarely sought by policy makers and practitioners the world over. This presentation draws on a recent study of young offenders’ and ex-offenders’ views and experience of desistance from crime undertaken within Japan, and draws comparisons with a similar study undertaken in Scotland. The focus is young offenders’ responses to questions as to why and how young people desist from crime. The presentation prioritises their verbatim answers to these questions, and in comparing the responses between Japanese and Scottish young people, it concludes that despite concerns amongst criminologists about crime and desistance having different aetiologies within Eastern and Western cultures, young people in both Japan and Scotland have remarkably similar views. This consistency is perhaps based on young people’s universal status as ‘in transition’ and potentially marginalised as a result, rather than on any country-specific status as ‘young people in trouble’.


Monica is a Principal Research Fellow at Strathclyde University’s Law School, where she has worked for the last 8 years. Monica worked as a practitioner in criminal justice social work before becoming a researcher over 20 years ago. Her research interests include youth transitions, criminal and youth justice policy and practice, risk management and desistance, all primarily through the eyes of young offenders themselves. Her PhD was on youth offending and youth transitions and the importance of social recognition in the rise and fall of criminal careers.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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