Working Together Conference Classroom to Prison Cell The relationship between school and youth offending Dr Alison Sutherl...
<ul><li>6 females, 19 males </li></ul><ul><li>Average age 15 years 9 months </li></ul><ul><li>Invercargill to North Auckla...
 
There is a direct relationship between alienation from school and youth offending
Existing research indicates there are 7 risk factors the school experience contributes to students’ alienation and the pat...
<ul><li>1.  Inadequate/traumatic transition to school </li></ul><ul><li>At school entry </li></ul>I didn't want to go to s...
2.  Unhealthy school climate <ul><li>High rates of student and teacher absenteeism </li></ul><ul><li>Air of disrespect bet...
3.  Academic failure <ul><li>Learning difficulties (deficits in reading/math/writing) </li></ul><ul><li>Underachievement <...
4.  Antisocial peer relationships formed at school <ul><li>Rejected by their pro-social peers </li></ul><ul><li>Mix with o...
5.  Negative student/school-personnel relationships <ul><li>Behaviour challenging students more likely to be punished </li...
6.  Mistreatment by school personnel <ul><li>May be intentional or unintentional  </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal from the on...
7.  School policy abuse <ul><li>Retaining/labelling/streaming at-risk students </li></ul><ul><li>Use of intolerant zero-po...
We were suffering from nicotine withdrawal The teachers and principals  treated us unfairly They expected too much from us...
Research Findings <ul><li>The school experience does not cause a y/p to offend, but exacerbates existing predisposition cr...
The ‘Tsunami Effect’
Research Findings cont. <ul><li>They exhibited severe antisocial behaviours when they were in school </li></ul><ul><li>Leg...
My Conclusions <ul><li>Children at risk of future serious offending are identifiable within the school setting </li></ul><...
NZ-EARL Critical Risk Assessment Screening Tool <ul><li>Uses a triangulated approach to data gathering </li></ul><ul><li>Y...
Recommendations <ul><li>Schools be better equiped to manage and support children exhibiting severe behaviour </li></ul><ul...
<ul><li>Key agencies form ‘Critical Risk Intervention Teams’ </li></ul><ul><li>Results from Critical Risk Assessments be k...
If schools are part of the problem, we have a moral and social obligation to be a part of the solution But we cannot do it...
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Classroom to Prison Cell: the relationship between school and youth offending - Dr Alison Sutherland (Resource teacher of Learning and Behaviour)

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Classroom to Prison Cell: the relationship between school and youth offending - Dr Alison Sutherland (Resource teacher of Learning and Behaviour)

  1. 1. Working Together Conference Classroom to Prison Cell The relationship between school and youth offending Dr Alison Sutherland (Ph.D.)
  2. 2. <ul><li>6 females, 19 males </li></ul><ul><li>Average age 15 years 9 months </li></ul><ul><li>Invercargill to North Auckland </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity (self reported): </li></ul>‘ From Classroom to Prison Cell: Young offenders perception of their school experience.’
  3. 4. There is a direct relationship between alienation from school and youth offending
  4. 5. Existing research indicates there are 7 risk factors the school experience contributes to students’ alienation and the pathway to youth offending. It is not any one risk factor, but the combination of risk factors that leads a young person to offend.
  5. 6. <ul><li>1. Inadequate/traumatic transition to school </li></ul><ul><li>At school entry </li></ul>I didn't want to go to school because it was the first time. Freaking out in front of everybody, I started crying to my mum saying I don't want to mummy. (Patrick) <ul><li>Between schools (e.g. primary and intermediate; intermediate and college, one school to another) </li></ul>I felt like I was a little boy, and I didn't want to come to this school because I didn't really know anyone. It was just the beginning when I start school, I don't feel, it's like I don't feel welcome. ( Albert )
  6. 7. 2. Unhealthy school climate <ul><li>High rates of student and teacher absenteeism </li></ul><ul><li>Air of disrespect between staff and students </li></ul>“ There was a lot of yelling at school from the teachers and, um, everybody.” (Elle) <ul><li>Lower expectations from teachers and students </li></ul><ul><li>Differing values between home and school community </li></ul>“ I don’t stop things when I go to school. I’m not like, I’m one person here and then I’m one person at school. I’m always the same person.” (Georgie)
  7. 8. 3. Academic failure <ul><li>Learning difficulties (deficits in reading/math/writing) </li></ul><ul><li>Underachievement </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced self esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Increased alienation </li></ul>“ Just do it, do it, do it. ” I can't do it. 'Cause I need help with it. [ W hispers in female voice] “ Just try, just try. ” [Angry] “ And I've been there so many times and I can't do it. ” (Nick)
  8. 9. 4. Antisocial peer relationships formed at school <ul><li>Rejected by their pro-social peers </li></ul><ul><li>Mix with other anti-social students </li></ul><ul><li>Contagion effect increases anti-social behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Girls particularly vulnerable </li></ul>Got my cheeky mouth from my boy mates. If a girl would get smart to us, I'd just say something real stupid but we all thought it was funny, so I'd just get real cheeky. I was like, if you want a fight, bring it on. (Siara)
  9. 10. 5. Negative student/school-personnel relationships <ul><li>Behaviour challenging students more likely to be punished </li></ul><ul><li>High levels of conflict and negative interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Cycle of negative responses </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher seeks solace/support in the staffroom </li></ul><ul><li>Child develops negative reputation </li></ul>“ Because each teacher that I went to just didn't like me because they heard other things from other teachers, and they'd think that I'm naughty, and yeah. ” (Alan)
  10. 11. 6. Mistreatment by school personnel <ul><li>May be intentional or unintentional </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal from the only school activites the child enjoys or is good at </li></ul><ul><li>Using their work to demonstrate poor example </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal and/or physical assault </li></ul><ul><li>Using fear, criticism, ridicule, intimidation to control </li></ul><ul><li>Racism and other forms of prejudice </li></ul>“ I was walking off just to cool down so I don't want to get into anger, then [the PE teacher] goes, yeah, get lost then you little black nigger.” (Patrick)
  11. 12. 7. School policy abuse <ul><li>Retaining/labelling/streaming at-risk students </li></ul><ul><li>Use of intolerant zero-policies </li></ul><ul><li>Ejecting the child from the school system </li></ul><ul><li>Transfers anti-social behaviours from school to the community </li></ul>When I got expelled I was told to walk home and I didn't come home for a few days because I was scared to go home. The first time was for smoking. Smoking cigarettes. (Craig)
  12. 13. We were suffering from nicotine withdrawal The teachers and principals treated us unfairly They expected too much from us School’s expectations and rules were different from home The subjects they taught had no meaning for us They wanted us to be compliant all the time We were always being punished The young people’s voices We feel powerless and unheard in school We couldn’t do the work like the other kids It was compulsory to go; we didn’t have a choice My Ph.D. Research
  13. 14. Research Findings <ul><li>The school experience does not cause a y/p to offend, but exacerbates existing predisposition created by external and internal risk factors </li></ul><ul><li>All of the young people were alienated from school; it was meaningless </li></ul><ul><li>The cumulative effect of negative school experiences contributed to their sense of alienation </li></ul>
  14. 15. The ‘Tsunami Effect’
  15. 16. Research Findings cont. <ul><li>They exhibited severe antisocial behaviours when they were in school </li></ul><ul><li>Legally obliged to attend school, powerless, they used their behaviours to get themselves ejected </li></ul><ul><li>The more tolerant the school, the more frustrated they became and the more their behaviours intensified </li></ul><ul><li>They wanted to learn about things that mattered to them </li></ul>
  16. 17. My Conclusions <ul><li>Children at risk of future serious offending are identifiable within the school setting </li></ul><ul><li>Agencies can take advantage of the compulsory requirement to attend school </li></ul><ul><li>Students who exhibit severe antisocial behaviours can be ‘red-flagged’ by school personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Using a validated ‘early assessment of risk tool’, we can reduce the negative effect of false positives </li></ul>
  17. 18. NZ-EARL Critical Risk Assessment Screening Tool <ul><li>Uses a triangulated approach to data gathering </li></ul><ul><li>Yields a one-page scoring sheet </li></ul><ul><li>Identifies research-based ‘critical risks’ to guide targeting of appropriate interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Parents involved as active participants in the assessment process </li></ul><ul><li>Involves the child through interview and observation </li></ul><ul><li>Risk factors divided into ‘Family’, ‘Child’, and ‘Responsivity’ categories </li></ul>
  18. 19. Recommendations <ul><li>Schools be better equiped to manage and support children exhibiting severe behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Children at risk of future criminal offending referred through the school setting from age 6 years </li></ul><ul><li>The NZ-‘Early Assessment Risk List’ trialed as a school-based identification tool </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Key agencies form ‘Critical Risk Intervention Teams’ </li></ul><ul><li>Results from Critical Risk Assessments be kept on secure database for ongoing research purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration be given to long-term residential school support for our most at-risk young people </li></ul>Recommendations cont.
  20. 21. If schools are part of the problem, we have a moral and social obligation to be a part of the solution But we cannot do it alone.

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