History, life- course criminology and digital methods: new directions for conceptualising juvenile justice in Europe

Alker, Zoe and Watkins, Emma D. (2018) History, life- course criminology and digital methods: new directions for conceptualising juvenile justice in Europe. In: Juvenile Justice in Europe: Past, Present and Future. Goldson, Barry, ed. Routledge, pp. 40-54. ISBN 9781138721319. [Book Section]


The digitisation of historical record sets is increasingly enabling researchers to compile and compare offending trajectories and life- course histories.The relatively recent digitisation of genealogical sources including the census, birth, marriage and death records, crime registers and newspapers means that crime historians are able to ‘unlock’ the biographies of young offenders and chart significant life-course events, processes and transitions including admission to, experience in and release from penal institutions, alongside their subsequent education, employment, housing, geographical (re)location, (re)marriage, parenthood, military conscription, re- offending, desistance and, ultimately, death. Using a combination of biographical and multivariate analysis, such research can draw upon ‘cradle to grave’ data to examine how juvenile justice interventions that took place over the course of the nineteenth century – including placements in Reformatory and Industrial Schools, imprisonment and transportation – was experienced by juvenile offenders and their families and the effects that such experiences imposed.

This chapter aims to encourage historians and criminologists to synthesise historical and contemporary datasets to examine juvenile justice and punishment across both time and space. Gathering life histories from across Europe can provide a lens through which to examine the effects of historical, cultural, social, economic and political change upon juvenile offenders. Life- course criminology has already demonstrated the value of embedding biographies within their temporal and spatial contexts and of examining the impact of social- structural change on ‘delinquent’ youth. Given that swathes of Europe are currently beset by conditions of austerity, collaboration amongst European crime historians and criminologists is especially timely.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 25617
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Emma Watkins
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 13:05
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 12:32
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25617

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