The role of criminological theory should be to inform practice. Program developers should start with a
recognized theory about the causes of crime and then design interventions that target factors identified in that theory.
Unfortunately, the link between theory and practice is not always apparent. In this paper, a number of prominent
developmental theories of crime are considered. These theories are significant in that they provide a strong basis for
understanding young offending, and how both the criminal justice system and service providers should approach the task
of working constructively with those who appear before the court. This is followed by a review of programs that have
been designed to address the risk factors identified in these developmental theories.