Exploring Pathways and Transitions between Juvenile and Adult Penal Institutions



Price, JL
(2019) Exploring Pathways and Transitions between Juvenile and Adult Penal Institutions. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

This thesis advances understandings of how young people comprehend, negotiate, and experience, the pathways and transitions between young offender institutions [YOIs] within the juvenile secure estate and penal institutions within the young adult/adult estate. Young people within the juvenile secure estate are widely considered to be ‘vulnerable’ (Goldson, 2002; Gooch, 2016; Charlie Taylor, 2016) and the institutions in which they are held are intended to provide tailored support for the additional safeguards they require (Youth Justice Board [YJB], 2018a) despite evidence which suggests that this does not always obtain in practice (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons [HMCIP], 1997, 2017a). Upon turning age 18 years and therefore becoming ‘adult’ (Goldson, 2013) young people transfer into the young adult/adult estate (National Offender Management Service [NOMS], 2012). By virtue of their status, the services they are involved with and/or entitled to also change. This has been described as feeling like a ‘cliff-edge’ (Social Exclusion Unit [SEU], 2005; Transition to Adulthood Alliance, 2009; National Audit Office [NAO], 2015). NOMS (2012, p. 1) have acknowledged that this transfer represents a “challenging part of [young people’s] time in custody” due to the significant changes in regime and environment. The difficulties associated with transitions were first acknowledged within a joint inspection report in 2012 (Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates [CJJI], 2012). Subsequent independent reviews (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2016a) and inquiries (House of Commons Justice Committee, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c) have reported how the move is one of the most ‘stressful’ transfers (Harris, 2015, p. 95) and is “frequently abrupt and inadequately planned” (Royal College of Psychiatrists, cited in the House of Commons Justice Committee, 2013, p. 61). This thesis is unique in its exploration of this period of transition. A mixed methods approach was taken; this included tracked interviews which followed a cohort of young people pre- and post-transition, supplemented with interview data from a range of key stakeholders and data drawn from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons [HMIP] surveys conducted during inspections. Four perspectives of transitions have been identified: (i) the official guidance (ii) ‘insider’ key stakeholder perspectives: those working within penal institutions, (iii) ‘outsider’ key stakeholder perspectives: those working outside of penal institutions and (iv) the experiences of the young people. There is a clear gap between the rhetoric of the official guidance and the ‘grim reality’ (Sim, 2008, p. 139) for young people. Although the young people interviewed reported that they felt ready to move and progress through the system, they stated they had little information and involvement throughout the process, and they felt unprepared. It was evident that the support the young people required post-transition was not available. It is argued, therefore, that the transition experience is ‘imagined’ (Carlen, 2008) and is a period which serves to exacerbate the vulnerability of those held (Beal, 2014).

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Divisions: Fac of Humanities & Social Sci > School of Law and Social Justice
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 16:09
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 00:10
URI: http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3055099
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