Well-Being of Children: A Criminologic Perspective

  • Mimi Ajzenstadt
Reference work entry


Child well-being plays an important role in criminologic discourse. Numerous studies conducted during the years that evaluated existing programs treating young offenders and informed policy development have aimed to ensure the well-being of children from different perspectives. Scholars set out to prevent the involvement of children and youth criminal activity, mainly by increasing and developing welfare, health, and educational programs. Others saw the penal system as the appropriate agency able to provide care and supervision to children and youth through interaction with law enforcement agents. At the same time, critical scholars and practitioners saw state intervention and “over treatment” as harming the well-being and rights of children who entered the juvenile justice system. The criminologic knowledge and practice are strongly influenced by a variety of inner and external variables, among them are the development of new disciplines, areas of studies and modes of knowledge; public norms and beliefs about the relations between the authorities and young citizens; political-economic changes and the development of waves of moral panics, demanding that authorities develop certain policies. This chapter follows the rise of the criminologic discourse and practices from the end of the nineteenth century until the present, in relation to the well-being of children, paying attention to these various circumstances.


Sexual Offender Juvenile Justice Juvenile Offender Juvenile Justice System Juvenile Delinquency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law and the Baerwald School of Social Work and Social WelfareThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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