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Youth crime is the concern of all European countries; however, the issue is frequently addressed with repressive approaches. Public and governmental fear of youth crime continues to influence policy regardless of crime levels. In their reporting of crime, the media exacerbate a fear of youth crime, and authorities consequently turn to punitive responses even more during an economic crisis. Thus, instead of instigating innovative and positive changes in youth justice policy, governments cling to punishment over progress. The majority of European countries do not have a clear picture of how well they are adhering to international and European standards, or, indeed, whether or not any of their practices in the sphere of youth justice are actually working, because they do not have sufficient data collection, monitoring and evaluation systems.
Obviously, justice systems are neither equipped nor mandated to fulfill this role alone, and need to work hand in hand with the social sector, educational sector, youth sector and local communities towards this end. In the absence of such inter sectoral cooperation, juvenile justice interventions would miss the opportunity of supporting a sustainable change in the child’s behaviour, circumstances and environment.
We are fully aware that developing educational programs within criminal juvenile justice systems requires the involvement of the disciplines of both education and law. The promotion of educational tools in juvenile justice systems is as much a matter of justice as of welfare. Penal sanctions and educational assistance given to these youths are two sides of the same coin, aimed at the reintegration of the juvenile. Therefore, the choice for any educational tool will strongly depend on the juvenile (criminal) justice and penitentiary systems and practices that are present in each country. But we dare to propose the exploration of potentially having a unitary approach at European level, pushing the focus on quality assurance for all educational experiences a child and young person is having inside and outside of juvenile system and looking to bring to the table the youth sector.
Aim: Fostering the inclusion of disadvantaged young learners from juvenile justice contexts, including persons with a migrant background, while preventing and combating discriminatory practices.
There is perhaps no subset of young people whose need for a quality education is more acute—and whose situation makes them especially challenging to serve – than incarcerated youth or that interacts with juvenile justice.
WP1 Management and Quality Assurance.
WP2 Dissemination, Upscaling and Promoting Inspiring Practices.
WP3 Revision, Adaptation and Application of the Training Practices and Learning Experiences from LIFE, Talent4, MyCompass to European Juvenile Justice Context
WP4 Training and Capacity Building for Educators and Juvenile Justice Staff in implementing developed training tools and promoting the need of multidisciplinary teams in engaging with local community and education stakeholders.