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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2023

Andrew Day, Catia Malvaso, Luke Butcher, Joanne O'Connor and Katherine McLachlan

Recent years have seen significant policy and practice interest in how to best respond to the impact of childhood maltreatment and adversity on young people’s contact with…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent years have seen significant policy and practice interest in how to best respond to the impact of childhood maltreatment and adversity on young people’s contact with youth justice systems. In Australia, this has resulted in increasing pressure to implement trauma-informed practice, although this is a term that has different meanings for different stakeholders, and little is known about the perspectives of justice-involved young people. This paper aims to review what is currently known about co-production in youth justice and discuss ways in which young people can be meaningfully involved in the development of trauma-informed practice frameworks.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative approach is used to present a contextual overview of youth justice in Australia, introduce key concepts underpinning trauma-informed practice and consider the barriers and facilitators of co-production and participatory approaches to the development and implementation of trauma-informed practice.

Findings

Youth justice in Australia is widely viewed as in urgent need of reform, with broad interest in developing more trauma-informed practice in these systems. Co-production and participatory approaches are fundamental to the reform process and can help to ensure that the views and aspirations of the children for whom these systems are responsible are embedded in efforts to implement trauma-informed practice.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents an argument for implementing trauma-informed practice in Australian youth justice that is based on consultation and collaboration with young people. It does not present evidence about the potential effectiveness of such an approach.

Practical implications

This paper has direct implications for youth justice practice, in terms of both service philosophy, design and delivery.

Social implications

The work discussed in this paper offers possibilities for new and different ways of responding to youth crime and maintaining community safety.

Originality/value

Whilst the need to re-imagine youth justice is widely recognised, there are few resources available to support efforts to co-produce trauma-informed practice. This paper synthesises what is known about these approaches and offers some suggestions and possible ways forward.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 January 2023

Andi Brierley

The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to explore the concept of experiential peer support, which involves individuals who have lived experiences of using care and justice

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to explore the concept of experiential peer support, which involves individuals who have lived experiences of using care and justice services. This paper discusses whether experiential peer support can contribute to developing a participatory culture in youth justice practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This viewpoint paper will critically evaluate the relational power of experiential peers. Particular attention will be paid to the key components of relational practices by reflecting on ways to enhance the voice of the child within participatory and child first approaches. The paper draws on a range of evidence and research to explore whether inclusion of a lived experience perspective can foster participatory cultures.

Findings

Experiential peers can create a participatory youth justice culture, which can positively impact on desistance for justice involved children.

Research limitations/implications

Further research needs to be undertaken to extrapolate the key characteristics of effective experiential peer support. This includes discussion on whether recruitment of wounded healers into professional youth justice roles can enhance participation in youth justice settings and construct conditions for social growth to develop in youth justice practice.

Originality/value

The author of this viewpoint paper has personal experience of care, youth incarceration and professional experience of youth justice participation practice, providing a unique vantage point and contribution to the desistance and rehabilitation literature.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2010

Tim Bateman

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show significant progress against New Labour's targets to reduce reoffending by young people within the youth justice system…

Abstract

Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show significant progress against New Labour's targets to reduce reoffending by young people within the youth justice system. The outgoing government was, unsurprisingly, quick to infer that such findings constituted corroboration of the improved effectiveness of youth justice practice under their administration. This article considers whether such an inference is warranted and discusses other potential explanations of the data.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2022

Hannah Smithson, Thomas Lang and Paul Gray

Since 2015, the authors of this chapter have been working together through a formal partnership between Manchester Metropolitan University and the 10 youth offending teams…

Abstract

Since 2015, the authors of this chapter have been working together through a formal partnership between Manchester Metropolitan University and the 10 youth offending teams (YOTs) in the Greater Manchester region of north west England. 1 This partnership, termed the Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership (GMYJUP), is the first of its kind in a youth justice context. GMYJUP has predominately focused on strengthening justice-involved children's participation in decision-making processes and embedding meaningful participation in youth justice service delivery and practice (Smithson et al., 2020; Smithson & Gray, 2021; Smithson & Jones, 2021). In this chapter, the authors outline the Child-First narrative that is becoming increasingly apparent in the youth justice system in England and Wales, before describing our own body of participatory work which has resulted in the co-creation (with justice-involved children) of a transformative framework of practice that we term Participatory Youth Practice (hereafter referred to as PYP). The chapter goes on to provide a candid account of the facilitators and barriers that youth justice practitioners have encountered when endeavouring to embed PYP into existing youth justice processes. The authors conclude with a consideration of the value of child-centred practice for children and practitioners.

Details

Establishing Child Centred Practice in a Changing World, Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-407-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Sean Creaney

The purpose of the paper is to examine the discourses of risk, prevention and early intervention, with particular reference, to the treatment of girls in the contemporary…

1352

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine the discourses of risk, prevention and early intervention, with particular reference, to the treatment of girls in the contemporary Youth Justice System.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has two broad objectives: first, the paper reviews the literature on early intervention and youth crime prevention policy. Second, the paper focuses on youth justice practice in relation to girls who are engaged in youth justice processes or “at risk” of criminal involvement.

Findings

The paper argues that: girls are drawn into the system for welfare rather than crime‐related matters; and youth justice policy and practice seems to negate girls' gender‐specific needs. Moreover, the paper highlights research evidence and practice‐based experience, and contends that youth justice policy and practice must be re‐developed in favour of incorporating gender‐specific, child and young person centred practices.

Originality/value

The results presented in this article will be particularly pertinent to policy makers, educators and practitioners in the sphere of youth justice, especially since the contemporary youth justice system, in its rigorous, actuarial pursuance of risk management, fails to distinguish between “genders” within its formulaic assessment documentation.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Sean Creaney

The purpose of this paper is first, to explore the impact of risk‐focussed intervention on the lives of young offenders and young people defined to be “at risk” of crime…

2160

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is first, to explore the impact of risk‐focussed intervention on the lives of young offenders and young people defined to be “at risk” of crime. Second, the paper considers “alternative perspectives” and the prospect of a youth justice predicated upon the principles of informal justice, child‐friendly values and the notion of inclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

The first part of the paper reviews the theory and literature on early‐preventative intervention in the youth justice system. The second part of the paper explores “alternative perspectives”, drawing on restorative justice, restorative approaches and diversionary measures.

Findings

The paper presents three general findings. First, young people can be subject to youth justice intervention without a “presenting problem” or offence committed. More pertinently this form of pre‐emptive criminalisation violates the child's human rights, due‐process and legal safeguards. Second, young people who are drawn into the net of formal youth justice intervention can suffer from the stigmatising and labelling effects of being criminalised. Third, there is a pressing need for youth justice policy and practice to be transformed, in order to allow for the implementation of more informal, diversionary and restorative measures.

Originality/value

The paper has great value for students of youth justice, and policy makers, especially the conservative‐liberal democrat government who wish to cut costs, introduce restorative justice on a large scale and appear to be in favour of diverting young people away from formal youth justice intervention.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Stephen Case

The paper presents and discusses the findings of a Strategic Insight Programme placement that explored the Youth Justice Board for Wales (YJB Cymru), a division of the YJB…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper presents and discusses the findings of a Strategic Insight Programme placement that explored the Youth Justice Board for Wales (YJB Cymru), a division of the YJB for England and Wales since the abolition of the regional structure in April 2012. The focus of the placement was on exploring the role of YJB Cymru in the development of youth justice policy and practice in the unique, partially devolved context of Wales. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted over a six-month period from February to July 2013. A multiple methods design was adopted, consisting of semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (YJB Cymru staff, Welsh Government staff and Youth Offending Team staff), observations of policy and practice mechanisms (YJB Cymru meetings, YOT projects) and documentary analysis of YJB Cymru publications.

Findings

Thematic analyses demonstrated that YJB Cymru has an increasingly important role in policy and practice development structures and processes in England and Wales more broadly (e.g. within the YJB for England and Wales) and in the Welsh national context specifically. YJB Cymru fulfills a role of dual influence – working both with government (UK and Welsh) and youth justice practitioners (mainly YOT managers and staff) to mediate and manage youth justice tensions in the partially devolved Welsh policy context through relationships of reflective and critical engagement.

Originality/value

This study draws inspiration from the groundbreaking research of Souhami (2011) and builds on those findings to provide a unique insight into the organisation and role YJB Cymru in the complex and dynamic context of youth justice in Wales.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2014

C. Michael Nelson

The school-to-prison pipeline is a term used to describe the pathway traveled by students from public schools to incarceration in secure juvenile detention and…

Abstract

The school-to-prison pipeline is a term used to describe the pathway traveled by students from public schools to incarceration in secure juvenile detention and correctional programs. It begins with students who are marginalized by the education system because of their academic and behavioral issues. The pipeline leads from school failure and disciplinary exclusion to involvement with the juvenile justice system. Youth who are ethnic minorities (especially those who are African-American or Hispanic) as well as those with educational disabilities (especially those with learning and behavioral disorders) are significantly overrepresented in data sets representing key points along the pipeline (e.g., students with poor academic achievement, high rates of suspension, expulsion, and dropout) as well as their high rates of incarceration. From his personal perspective and experience with the juvenile justice system, the author attempts to explicate the pipeline, and to describe efforts to impact it positively.

Details

Special Education Past, Present, and Future: Perspectives from the Field
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-835-8

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2011

Anna Souhami

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) was established in 1998 as a central part of the Labour government's radical programme of youth justice reform. Yet while it has had a…

561

Abstract

Purpose

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) was established in 1998 as a central part of the Labour government's radical programme of youth justice reform. Yet while it has had a central role in directing the culture, organisation and activities of youth justice in England and Wales, it is poorly understood. As its future hangs in the balance, this paper seeks to draw on a unique empirical study of the operation of the YJB to explore what it is, what it does and why it is so difficult to describe.

Design/methodology/approach

The research involved 18 months' ethnographic fieldwork. For one calendar year (2006‐2007), research focused on the internal operation of the YJB including observations of meetings, depth interviews and documentary analysis. A second strand of research explored the regional operation of the YJB. This involved observations of regional monitors and assessment processes and interviews and focus groups with Youth Offending Teams staff.

Findings

The research shows that the YJB is an inherently ambiguous organisation. This ambiguity has made it simultaneously highly insecure and extremely productive, enabling it to extend its influence and activities beyond those initially envisaged in New Labour's reforms. However, the difficulty in defining the YJB also suggests the full effect of its activities will only become clear once it has gone.

Originality/value

While there has been much academic interest in the YJB, this research is the only empirical study of it. It, therefore gives a unique insight into the organisation and culture of the English and Welsh youth justice system.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 June 2011

Susan McVie

Widespread criticism of the youth justice system in England and Wales has resulted in calls for it to adopt a restorative paradigm. This paper seeks to review the…

1228

Abstract

Purpose

Widespread criticism of the youth justice system in England and Wales has resulted in calls for it to adopt a restorative paradigm. This paper seeks to review the historical development of youth justice in neighbouring Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

The historical development of youth justice in Scotland and Northern Ireland is reviewed with a view to learning lessons from these two very different models, compared to the current model in England and Wales.

Findings

It is argued that those tasked with reforming the system in England and Wales must understand the underlying political, cultural and social contexts in which alternative models have developed and satisfactorily resolve the conflicting needs and rights of the offender versus those of the victim, community and wider public.

Originality/value

Transfer of policy and practice from other jurisdictions requires careful consideration of their political, cultural and social contexts but England and Wales may benefit greatly from adopting restorative practices similar to those in Northern Ireland. However, successful implementation will depend on political will and institutional infrastructure.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

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