Sean Creaney_YVJ Nov 2020.pdf (1.41 MB)

Trusting children to enhance youth justice policy: the importance and value of children’s voices

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journal contribution
posted on 05.02.2021, 14:40 by Stephen Case, Sean Creaney, Nicola Coleman, Kevin Haines, Ross Little, Victoria Worrall
Purpose: To explore the integration of children’s voices within youth justice policy and practice development. Design/methodology/approach: The authors theorise the efficacy of participatory practices in youth justice by presenting original empirical data drawn from innovative child friendly methodological approaches, including activity-oriented focus groups, questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Findings: Children’s voices have been noticeably absent from youth justice policy development in England. Children continue to be the recipients of adult-led, deficit-facing practices underpinned by a longstanding preoccupation with identifying and managing ‘risk’. These practices have undermined children’s knowledge and potential by distrusting their perspectives. In contrast, the internationally-relevant cogent arguments set out in this paper allude to the importance and benefits of engaging with children and listening to their voices in the planning and delivery of ‘Child First’ youth justice. Practical implications: It is recommended that youth justice professionals treat children in the Youth Justice System as children (not ‘offenders’), fostering non-hierarchical, empathic, trusting relationships with children, strengthen the child’s involvement in policy and practice processes and centralise their educative, health and wellbeing needs. Originality/value: The paper explores empirical examples from the emerging (but still limited) evidence-base of youth justice research studies that have placed the child’s voice at the centre of understanding their experiences at different stages of the Youth Justice System.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Youth Voice Journal

Volume

2020

Issue

Special issue

Pages

25 - 40

Publisher

RJ4ALL Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© RJ4ALL

Publisher statement

This paper was published in the journal Youth Voice Journal and is available at https://www.rj4allpublications.com/product/trusting-children-to-enhance-youth-justice-policy-the-importance-and-value-of-childrens-voices/. This paper appears here with the publisher's permission.

Acceptance date

01/10/2020

Publication date

2020-11-01

Copyright date

2020

ISBN

9781911634232

ISSN

2049-2073

eISSN

2056-2969

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Stephen Case. Deposit date: 2 February 2021

Exports