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Goldsmiths - University of London

Social Media and Youth Justice – challenges and possibilities for practice

Thompson, Naomi and Joseph, Ian. 2020. Social Media and Youth Justice – challenges and possibilities for practice. In: Claudia Megele and Peter Buzzi, eds. Social Media and Social Work: Implications and Opportunities for Practice. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 9781447327394 [Book Section] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

This chapter begins by exposing the lack of literature that exists relating to youth justice and social media. Current debates about young people, crime and social media are explored and critiqued. Following this, examples of social media in practice are presented. The first provides an example of young people using social media to evade the police and community orders within their local areas, demonstrating the importance of practitioners understanding and keeping pace with how young people use social media. We then explore how social media has been used to enhance youth justice practice. These examples are used to analyse and explore the key issues around young people and social media for youth justice as well as to develop some concrete recommendations for practitioners for using social media. These recommendations are grounded in a consideration of the ethics of using social media in practice. Overall, the chapter argues for a positive rather than a punitive approach to using social media as a tool for working with young people in roles relating to youth justice. The chapter aims to: recognise current debates relating to social media, crime and young people; identify problems and possibilities of social media in youth justice arenas; and consider the ethical issues of using social media in practice; make recommendations for positive, as opposed to punitive, use of social media by practitioners.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


1 September 2017Accepted
15 March 2020Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 Oct 2017 10:56

Last Modified:

15 Jan 2020 14:55


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