Responding to Antisocial Behaviour in New South Wales: Youth Conduct Orders

Published 18/06/2014
Type Article
Author(s) Anca Stanculescu
Corresponding Authors Anca Stanculescu, PhD Student, School of Social Science and Psychology, University of Western Sydney & Dr Brian Stout, Associate Professor, University of Western Sydney

Responding to behaviour from young people that is deemed troublesome but is not necessarily a breach of the criminal law is a challenge in many jurisdictions and this paper discusses responses to young people in New South Wales who engage in antisocial behaviour, specifically Youth Conduct orders, the readiness to resort to Youth Conduct Orders; the terms of YCOs and custodial net-widening. The paper draws links and connections between the policy, practical and legislative responses to ASB in New South Wales and the approaches taken in England and Wales. It argues that in both jurisdictions there has been a disjunction between the public discussion of antisocial behaviour and the ability of relevant authorities to implement the resulting legislation effectively. Effective responses to ASB are often those that are outside the criminal justice system and away from public attention. This paper develops a critical analysis of the political and ideological significance of the problematisation of antisocial behaviour (ASB) and the criminalisation of young people through social policy associated with enforcement driven ASB strategies.