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The involvement of young people in research within the criminal justice area – what do we know and what do we need to find out?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jill ClarkORCiD, Karen Laing


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This working paper will present findings from an on-going AHRC study which is a scoping review of the research into the evidence of participation of children and young people (under 18) in, and with criminal justice research. The challenges and issues of crime and the criminal justice system are those that effect all communities and all connections between them. In meeting these challenges, a perspective that has been largely but not wholly absent has been that of young people. We are interested in a continuum of involvement from accessing of views to the participation of young people in solutions. The review is focusing on sub-themes pertinent to young people and include fear, perception and experience of crime (as victim and perpetrator); views (and experiences) of sentencing and punishment; fighting crime and prevention and offender re-entry and resettlement. A further focus is on the levels of involvement of young people in the research, ranging from being subjects of the research to being active partners in and with the research. This paper will present our findings to date and will explore the following: What kind of involvement has there been of young people in research within the criminal justice area? In what areas has there been no involvement of young people at all? Why and when do we involve young people? What are the ethics involved? What are the issues of power and voice? What is the level of involvement, e.g. as researchers, as activists, facilitators, observers, etc.?

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark J, Laing K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: British Society of Criminology Conference

Year of Conference: 2011