Nicola Yule

PhD Student


Working Title of PhD: The Impact of the Whole System Approach to Dealing with Young People Involved in Offending

Year commenced PhD study: 2012  (Full time)

Funding Source: ESRC and Scottish Government (co-funded)

PhD Supervisors: Dr Margaret Malloch and Dr Niall Hamilton-Smith

Synopsis: This study will aim to evaluate the ‘Whole Systems’ approach, which has recently been implemented in a number of local authorities throughout Scotland. The approach, rooted in welfare-based, restorative justice, places early prevention at the very core of its policy. Other central principles include using alternatives to custody, and implementing streamlined planning and assessments for young people who offend.

Attention will be given to theorising the basic premises of this approach and locating it within the wider context of policies and responses to young people involved in offending, and the wider requirements of addressing the needs of young people in terms of welfare-based approaches as they have been employed within the criminal justice system. Consideration of issues of diversity will be considered (particularly in terms of meeting the needs of young people of different ages, and gender in relation to the impact and effectiveness of this approach as experienced by both boys/young men and girls/young women.

This is a multifaceted, mixed method study with an aim to evaluate the whole system approach on two different levels. The ideas of ‘realistic evaluation’ introduced by Pawson and Tilley (1997) will be used to guide the thinking behind the qualitative elements of this study, and quantitative methodology will also be used to provide an evaluation on a macro level.

Keywords: Young Offenders, Policy Evaluation, Whole Systems Approach



University of Stirling

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