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Title: The risk factor :an exploratory study into the assessment of risk within criminal justice practice
Authors: Lewis, Danna-Mechelle
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores how knowledge and the construction of risk are developed within criminal justice and how meanings of risk are different or similar to an individual offender’s perspective within their everyday context. By drawing together macro sociological notions of risk, with the lived experiences of how individual offenders experience their world in a micro context, the thesis explores the ways in which expert-led contemporary notions of risk are designed to serve the purpose and practice of criminal justice at the expense of creative ways of thinking about risk. By deconstructing current ways of thinking about risk, this study examines how modern scientific ways of thinking about risk, and how expert discourses of risk assessment have come to hold such importance within criminal justice. Using an investigative case study approach, the thesis maps the conditions within which risk discourses are produced, sustained and reproduced, and identifies the truth claims which are made within the context of criminal justice risk assessment and management practices. This constitutes an important comparative backdrop to understanding offenders’ emotive and experiential perspectives on offending in the context of their everyday. Insights derived from discourse theory are utilised in order to analyse selected cases of the phenomenon of risk as mobilised within ‘real-life’ experiential contexts; this enhances contemporary understandings of this relatively under-researched dimension of the risk assessment process. The study is offered as a contribution to a criminological body of scholarship that has been largely neglected an area of risk that draws attention to young people’s voices and their everyday experiences of offending.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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