Social Deprivation and Rural Youth Crime: Young Men in Prison and Their Experiences of the “Rural Idyll”
Within rural communities, young people are highly visible and therefore more readily stigmatized and marginalized. At the same time they tend to be, paradoxically, invisible in terms of research, service delivery and policy. This article explores the experiences of young men in prison who come from rural parts of the south west of England. The results indicate that rural policy and practice have failed to meet the needs of young people, particularly those caught up in the Criminal Justice System. Findings suggest that key issues within rural communities include a lack of services, isolation and inter-generational tensions. It is suggested that these concerns exacerbate the risks of re-offending as young people return to their communities after release from prison. The need for community-wide initiatives and recommendations for policy and practice in the prison and probation services are discussed.