MCYS, Manchester Metropolitan University Public Lecture Associate Professor Leanne Dowse
Lost in Transition: young people, disability and the criminal justice system
Associate Professor Leanne Dowse will be speaking about her work around young people, disability and the criminal justice system. This will be followed by a panel discussion including lead policy makers from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Youth Justice Board (YJB).
Leanne's talk will draw attention to the fact that there is significant and growing concern in the global North at the social exclusion and criminalisation of some young disabled people. An emerging body of evidence suggests that this group figure significantly in policing, justice and correctional settings, both as victims and as offenders. Their trajectories into the criminal justice system typically begin early and, in the absence of an effective social care response, continue throughout their lives.
This lecture will explore the ways in which these young people’s experiences interlock in complex ways across compounding impairment, histories of victimization, early and persistent social disadvantage, placement in out of home care, early educational disengagement, precarious housing and substance misuse. Multiple poorly supported transitions within and between systems of social care are also a hallmark of their experience.
Drawing on the challenges identified in the Australian experience, discussion will centre on the effects of limited systemic capacity to recognise and respond to these complex needs in exacerbating vulnerability for this group, whose care and containment are often defrayed to the criminal justice system as the key system of response. Pathways for effective and targeted prevention and support are highlighted.
The panel discussion will draw on both a UK and Australian context and will link with current research being carried out by MCYS in partnership with Achievement for All (AfA) and the Association of YOT Managers (AYM) for the DfE.
This will be followed by a drinks reception.