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Developing creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples’ experiences of the youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dean Wilkinson (Institute of Policing, University of Chester, Chester, UK)
Jayne Price (Department of Social Sciences, Criminology, University of Chester, Chester, UK)
Charlene Crossley (Institute of Policing, University of Chester, Chester, UK)

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

ISSN: 2056-3841

Article publication date: 12 April 2022

Issue publication date: 30 May 2022

97

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 lockdowns (2020–2021) disrupted all aspects of usual functioning of the criminal justice system, the outcomes and impact of which are largely still unknown. The pandemic has affected individuals across the wider society, this includes a negative impact on the social circumstances of children and young people involved within youth offending services (YOS) (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2020; Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates, 2021). This population frequently represents those from marginalised circumstances and are rarely given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the services they are involved in. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of the young people serving orders with the YOS during Covid19 lockdowns and requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper outlines a creative methodology and method used to uncover the experiences and perceptions of young people undergoing an order within a YOS during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The arts-based approach entailed a novel and creative method using a lyric artist to engage with young people through a virtual platform, supporting them to create lyrics about their experiences of the YOS during this time.

Findings

The artist developed a successful rapport with young people based on familiarity with, and passion for, music. He promoted their strengths, improving their confidence which was perceived to elicit more in-depth perspectives that might not have otherwise been obtained using more traditional methods. As such, the method and methodology outlined developed the young people’s social and communicative skills whilst producing meaningful feedback that can contribute to the YOS recovery plan and thus future of the service.

Practical implications

This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originality/value

This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This project was funded by the University of Chester Covid19 QR Funding call.

Citation

Wilkinson, D., Price, J. and Crossley, C. (2022), "Developing creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples’ experiences of the youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 105-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-10-2021-0059

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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