Young People’s Mental Health

Home / Young People’s Mental Health

Mental health, young people and punishments

Buck, Gillian and Creaney, Sean (2020)

This chapter focuses upon young people who have come to the attention of criminal justice services in England and Wales and will offer a critical introduction to the ways which their behaviour and mental health are constructed. The chapter begins with an overview of the young people who populate today’s youth justice system, before documenting the prevalence of mental ill-health amongst this group and gaps in provision for them. We consider how diverse conceptualisations of mental health can create tensions in practice, and in doing so, ask critical questions of existing approaches, exploring the capacity for present systems to exclude key stakeholders, punish the vulnerable, and label the nonconforming. The chapter concludes by advocating for systems and approaches which do not emotionally harm young people (further) but nurture wellbeing and healthy relationships. We additionally suggest that young people be placed at the centre of these improvements so that any work done on their behalf is meaningful to them and fit for purpose.



Skip to toolbar