DNA is an important tool for criminal investigations and prosecutions. There has been considerable comment on its collection and retention from adult suspects and convicted persons, but little analysis of the particular situation of young people in the youth justice system. This article considers the competing paradigms at play when young persons’ DNA is collected and stored. The tensions between expanded DNA powers and norms of youth justice such as reintegration and best interests are considered as well as the implications for the young person’s rights.
Our thanks to Ursula Kilkelly for helpful comments on a previous draft. All errors remain our own. Nessa Lynch’s thanks to Kiritapu Allan, Emily Bruce and James Gilbert for research assistance.