There is considerable evidence to confirm that the criminalisation of children is associated with higher levels of offending in adulthood. This association between criminalisation and increased offending is frequently attributed to a labelling process that inhibits the natural process of growing out of crime. Significantly, the effect has been demonstrated across different jurisdictions, including those that adopt more or less punitive approaches to youth offending (Huizinga et al., 2003). Of all children who come to the attention of the criminal justice system, 33% reoffend within twelve months. In 2013, 37.4% of children who received a substantive youth justice disposal reoffended within twelve months, an increase from 33.4% in 2002 (Ministry of Justice, 2015). Rates of recidivism rise with the intensity of intervention and the number of previous disposals. Research has suggested that ‘prosecution [of children] at any stage has no beneficial effect in preventing offending’ (Bateman, 2012: 11, emphasis in original). Findings from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions suggest that such outcomes may simply be an anticipated consequence of the fact that system contact is frequently criminogenic, exacerbating the risk of further involvement in crime. Conversely, ‘forms of diversion that serve to caution without recourse to formal intervention . . . are associated with desistance from serious offending’ (McAra and McVie, 2007: 337-338, emphasis added).