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2012-05-29 Youth Justice Seminar

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UNESCO Centre

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‘Reviewing the Provision of Education
    for young people in Detention:

    Rights, Research and Reflections
         on...

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Rationale

 to identify the rights for children and young people in custody to
  education in Northern Ireland;
 to anal...

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2012-05-29 Youth Justice Seminar

  1. 1. UNESCO Centre
  2. 2. ‘Reviewing the Provision of Education for young people in Detention: Rights, Research and Reflections on Policy and Practice’
  3. 3. Rationale  to identify the rights for children and young people in custody to education in Northern Ireland;  to analyse and review the legal and policy provisions for the educational needs of children and young people in custody;  to highlight research evidence and data in relation to the voice and educational experiences of young people in custody and identify gaps in existing provision;  to explore new strategies of providing education in custody and make recommendations for policy development and implementation.
  4. 4. Current arrangements fall short of international standards  Although progress has been made arrangements fall short of international standards.  Provision of education remains problematic.  Provision of well-co-ordinated education, training and support is fundamental to address offending and prepare young people for re- integration to the community.  Young people not taught in line with the NI Curriculum.  In some circumstances young people not receiving adequate training to prepare them for release.  Overuse of custodial remand and undue delay in youth justice system.
  5. 5. Need for Improved co-ordination and information  Poor transmission of key information and lack of continuity between custodial-based education and provision in the wider community.  Whilst there has been some progress in this area, evidence indicates that it is still not fully realised in practice.  There have been consistent calls for joint collaboration between relevant government departments, agencies and community organisations.  Consideration should be given to statutory guidance with comprehensive provisions for children and young people in a youth custody setting.  Welsh Assembly Government (2011) Learning for children and young people in a youth custody setting in Wales: Statutory guidance for local authorities in Wales.
  6. 6. Collaborative Partnerships are critical to improve re-integration  A collaborative approach between youth custody settings and external agencies can support young people during and after their time in detention.  Education or work-based placement on release can be a significant deterrent for reoffending.  The lack of access to and support in securing such placements post custody can have a detrimental effect on successful re-integration.  There is a need to develop external relationships, for example, with further education and work-based learning suppliers to make it easier for young people leaving custody to reintegrate into mainstream education and training.  Also requires strong support structures to be put in place including those for family support.
  7. 7. Data Collection can be improved  Quality information and research that produce policy relevant knowledge are crucial to inform policy.  Good progress has been made in recent years.  Difficulties remain with existing data on education in custody. Lack of information or portfolio about educational gains made in custody.  There is a need for comprehensive data systems, particularly longitudinal and disaggregated data on young people in custody; data on re-offending and pathways and outcomes post release.  Need for longitudinal data which goes ‘Back to the Future’.
  8. 8. Dedicated Training and pedagogical approaches can improve outcomes for Children and Young People  Children in custody are rights holders and not merely recipients of penal care.  Role of professionals can influence the experiences of young people and equip them with learning and skills to reintegrate into society.  There are deficits in child rights training for staff in places of detention for young people in Northern Ireland.  Deficits remain in training on the complex and rehabilitative needs of young people in custody.  Alternative approaches to education can help re-engage young people who are disaffected and improve teaching quality.  Innovative pedagogy and technology can be used to improve learning.
  9. 9. UNESCO Centre

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