‘Locking Up Our Kids – What Do We Hope to Achieve?’: A public conversation

Our inaugural public event was held on Tuesday 11th April 2018 at the University of Melbourne.

Our panel of experts – Wayne Muir (VALS), Nathan Hughes (Sheffield Uni), Anne Hooker (Port Phillip Prison Youth Unit) and Roger Antochi (TalentRISE) – brought diverse perspectives to a rich, provocative, moving discussion about the practices, policies and consequences of locking up children and young people.

These themes emerged most strongly:

  • the need to acknowledge individual and systemic bias;
  • the links between child protection and increased likelihood of criminalisation and youth justice involvement;
  • how failings in the education system drive children and young people towards justice-involvement;
  • the need to use custody as a last resort;
  • that custodial settings – where necessary – can and must be truly therapeutic and rehabilitative to be effective;
  • and that a socially just system of responding to young people’s problematic behaviours must be framed by principles of care, responsibility and relationship.

This important conversation will continue through a series of forthcoming events and discussion… stay tuned!

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