The importance of philosophy cannot be overstated. Such is the significance attached to this topic that it is placed immediately after the two review chapters and first among those chapters which aim to set out strategies for the future of youth justice. It may seem strange, however, for a book about youth justice policy and practice to contain a chapter on philosophy at all. Indeed, one rarely finds significant attention paid to such issues in criminal justice and criminology texts, or in texts about child care. This book aims to remedy this failure in the field of criminal justice. Although the book is about young offenders and the youth justice system, and the various chapters directly address this topic, it is also therefore about the philosophy of youth justice, and such issues are implicit in all the chapters in this book. It is crucial that professionals within the youth justice system understand the aims of their work, and in order to do so it is essential to be explicit about this philosophy and its importance.
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