Journal of Applied Youth Studies v.2 n.5 October 2018

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by Rob White


Untangling the strands of the youth justice policy process: Insights from 30 years of youth justice research and policy advocacy in NSW
by Elaine Fishwick

The development of youth justice policy and the role of youth research need to be understood in the context of a complex and dynamic policy landscape. Drawing on the author’s years of experience in the non-government sector, research with policy stakeholders and insights from the policy literature, this article examines the ‘real world’ tangle of the policy process where, it is argued, research evidence is only one factor among many influencing youth justice policy decisions. The article provides a critical examination of the dynamics of the policy process and the day-to-day challenges where strands of competing discourses are shaped by structure and agency, order and serendipity, the rational and the emotional. The discussion is illustrated with examples from the work of the Youth Justice Coalition, an advocacy network based in New South Wales.
Key words: youth justice, policy development, research, media influence

‘Relationshipwork’ in youth justice research: Weathering the storm
by Julie White, Philippa Moylan, Kitty te Riele, Tim Corcoran, Alison Baker and Simon Lenten

Little has been written about the enabling relationships that precede and permit quality research to take place. Introducing this concept of ‘relationshipwork’ as an integral part of the research process, this paper argues that development of strong relationships between members of the research team as well as between the researchers and the project stakeholders is an important precursor to research. The funded project described here provides the context for this argument and considers how the educational experiences of young people incarcerated into the youth justice system can be improved. The authors outline the significance of the positive interactions with people that make it possible for this research to be undertaken and add their concept of ‘relationshipwork’, to the three terms ethnographer John Van Maanen (1988, 2011) uses to describe the components of research: ‘fieldwork’, ‘headwork’ and ‘textwork’.
Key words: youth justice, research methodology, education

Exploring Māori and Samoan youth justice: Aims of an international research study
by Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni, Juan Tauri and Robert Webb

This article provides an overview of a current three-year (2017–2020) international youth justice research project. The research aims to reveal how Māori and Samoan young people and their families interact with and make sense of youth justice systems across three different settler-colonial countries: New Zealand, Australia and the United States. The research into these culturally distinct communities is building a community-level analysis of youth justice for comparison within and across these countries. The article outlines the study objectives and the theoretical and methodological frameworks used in the research; it also explains why an Indigenous criminology approach is being considered for policy and programmatic solutions that address the youth justice concerns and needs of these communities.
Key words: youth justice, Indigenous criminology, settler-colonial justice systems, Māori and Samoan youth research

‘Like now I’m confused …’ the blurred boundary between art and crime: Devaluing the cultural worth of graffiti writing
by Ron Baird

The City of Melbourne is recognised as a vibrant cultural and intellectual metropolis that is home to a thriving graffiti and street art scene. However, municipal authorities draw a clear distinction between graffiti and street art that results in tensions related to the cultural worth of each art form. Despite domestic and international visitors’ obvious interest in graffiti, Melbourne has taken a solid stance focused on the eradication of graffiti via its graffiti removal program, and by working to prevent graffiti via anti-graffiti education programs and the cultivation of what it terms ‘high quality street art’. The contradiction at play here has the potential to negatively impact the development of young street artists about whom little is known. Based on qualitative interviews with active Melbourne graffiti writers gathered as part of a larger PhD study, this article presents the lived experiences of graffiti writers, arguing that Melbourne takes a myopic policy position on urban art that justifies the promotion of a valued art practice in ‘street art’, while simultaneously criminalising and devaluing graffiti writing.
Keywords: graffiti, street art, youth, crime, policy, economies of worth.

Crime and context: Understandings of youth perpetrated interpersonal violence among service providers in regional Australia
by Tamara Blakemore, Louise Rak, Kylie Agllias, Xanthé Mallett and Shaun McCarthy

Youth-perpetrated interpersonal violence in Australia is a complex issue of significant scope and scale. Evidence suggests a correlation with individual, familial and social experiences of disadvantage and disconnection requiring a multi-systemic response for effective prevention and intervention. To date, a largely unheard voice in the literature is that of frontline workers instrumental to these efforts. This paper, drawn from a larger study of young people’s disengagement with education and involvement in crime, presents findings from semi-structured interviews with 37 regional service providers regarding their work with young people before the Children’s Court for criminal matters. Spanning multiple sectors, the majority of participants reported an increasing incidence of youth-perpetrated interpersonal violence within family, in out-of-home care and in peer group settings. Implications for intervention and prevention emphasise the importance of context in informing creative, collaborative, relationship-based and connection-focused responses that are trauma-informed and culturally inclusive.
Key words: youth justice, interpersonal violence, youth crime, Children’s Court, educational disengagement, youth work, out-of-home care

Competition versus relationship: Youth services seen from New Public Management or ecological perspectives
by Chris Krogh

In the youth services field, moves to the market-oriented, competition-based policies of New Public Management (NPM) and New Public Governance (NPG) have impacted on service funding, service delivery, working with other services and accounting for value. Under these models, services are purchased, organisations are producers of social outcomes and service users are rational and self-interested consumers, and evaluations focus on quantifiable effects, often measured in cost/benefit terms. While recognised as being central to the youth services field, relationships between services are expected, but undermined, through the processes of NPM and NPG. An alternative to these quantification and finance-oriented rationales is to take an ecological approach that sees services as inextricable from the relationships in which they are enmeshed. These relationships are integral to service achievements and service identities. Evaluation strategies that support story-telling are more effective in allowing the significance of these relationships to be heard. This paper aims to demonstrate that ecological perspectives can help to re-view the service landscape in valuable ways and help to make visible important elements that go unnoticed when competitive and market-based approaches are used. Two key findings from a recent evaluation process presented here illustrate how the ecological experience of services might be recognised, and implications of this for service development and evaluation are briefly discussed.
Key words: youth services, ecological perspective, New Public Governance, New Public Management, evaluation, Indigenous youth


SHINE for Kids ‘Stand as One’ mentoring program: The role of mentoring in supporting the transition from a juvenile justice centre to the community
by Tanya Macfie, Stand as One Program Coordinator
Joel Robert McGregor, Stand as One Program Mentor and Associate Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Newcastle

Highlighting the structure of the SHINE for Kids ‘Stand as One’ mentoring program, this article explores the role of mentoring in supporting young people who are transitioning from a juvenile justice centre into to the community.


Interview with ABC investigative journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna
by Xanthé Mallett, Joel McGregor, Erina Finau and Joshua Markulin

Caro Meldrum-Hanna speaks to the authors about her work on ‘Australia’s Shame’ and what drives her to bring challenging but important stories to light.


Ed. Kate Gross