Youth Justice Network

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There are a host of new challenges for youth justice in the 21st Century. This interdisciplinary network aims to open and facilitate national and international communication in contemporary youth issues, by creating opportunities for knowledge exchange between academic research and teaching, practice and policy communities.

The network presents progressive critical perspectives, to help the understanding of contemporary youth justice realities, as well as contributing to future policy, practice, training and education responses that are derived in children’s rights principles.

Knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer is clearly at the heart of the Youth Justice Network, which aims to raise awareness at an individual and community level, alongside informing policy and practice locally, nationally and internationally.

About

This network is comprised of, and welcomes members who are engaged in projects in the areas of youth justice, in particular those who have an awareness that the context in which children and young people are living their lives is very different in contemporary society, particularly in light of the digital age and new technologies.

Current members are engaged in projects that seek to challenge the structural marginalisation of children and young people and explore a range of contemporary issues in the field, such as children, young people and social media; cyberbullying and ‘sexting’; the recruitment and online radicalisation of young people; children and young people navigating transition from conflict; children and young people ‘in conflict with the law’ and their experiences of the criminal justice system.

This network impacts positively on non-academic users, particularly a wide range of local, national and international non-governmental and civil society organisations working in the fields of children’s rights, youth justice, human rights, journalism, psychology, policing and legal institutions and practitioners, as well as statutory organisations and government policy makers.

There are four core initial aims of the network:

  • The network runs regular sessions for members to present their research or raise issues on which new research needs to be conducted. These sessions provide the space for academics, practitioners and policy makers to engage and share information.  Session proceedings and presentations will feature on the website and blog.
  • The network will be hosting an international research conference series with the view to developing research grant proposals, special edited journal collections and an edited collection. Proposed outputs draw on the international perspectives and interdisciplinary expertise of the network members and participants.
  • The network will organise and deliver an Undergraduate and Postgraduate training school open to students across the faculties at the University of Westminster. The Training School will focus on methodological issues, including research with young people, ethical considerations, comparative youth justice and networking/engaging with youth services and practitioners.
  • The network encourages knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer amongst academics, researchers, practitioners and policy makers. This will extend to exploring the opportunities for criminology and sociology students to obtain placements and/or work experience or access to children’s and young people’s organisations for dissertation research purposes.

For more information email F.Gordon@westminster.ac.uk