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The module aims to provide the student with an in-depth critical insight into the responses of the criminal justice system to youth crime and deviance and the implications of such measures. It begins by discussing the manner in which the ‘youth problem’ is constructed by contemporary society and the links between popular culture and notions of childhood. It then moves to discuss the classic paradigms of youth justice such as welfare, justice and risk and how these models have informed shifts in juvenile justice policy and practice in western societies since the 1960s. Students will be invited to locate the Irish juvenile justice model within these frameworks, while recognising the ambiguity and contradiction which continues to mark the Irish and other contemporary juvenile justice systems. The final part of the module examines various aspects of the youth justice system response to young people such as policing strategies, detention and non-custodial alternatives.