Hundreds of policy makers, professionals and those working in youth justice will be in Leicester today for this year’s annual Youth Justice Convention – the most significant event in the sector’s calendar.
Now in its fifteenth year, the two-day event run by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, is themed ‘The Journey of the Child.’ It will bring together leading figures to debate and discuss the latest developments in the youth justice system.
Up to 600 people on each day are expected to attend the two-day event, held this year at the King Power Stadium, in Leicester. Frontline youth offending professionals will attend along with academics, politicians and policy makers.
Participants will be able to share experiences and consider issues - ranging from the radicalisation of young people in the youth justice system to the important part sport can play in diverting children from offending behaviour and rehabilitate those who have offended.
Delegates will also learn about the different elements of a child or young person’s journey through youth justice in England and Wales.
Lord McNally, Chair of the Youth Justice Board, said:
“The Youth Justice Convention gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate the many successes of the youth justice system over the past 15 years, and to share best practice more widely with those working in the sector.
“I look forward to hearing from those at the cutting-edge of policy developments, as well as from the young people themselves, who have experienced the youth justice system first-hand, and whose transformed lives remind us that the good work of those on the frontlines must go on.”
Along with Lord McNally, Baroness Young, chair of the Task Group producing recommendations as part of The Young Review: ‘Improving Outcomes for Young Black and Muslim Offenders’; Charlie Taylor, recently appointed by Justice Secretary Michael Gove to lead a review of the youth justice system; and Juliet Lyon CBE, director of Prison Reform Trust, are all among the event’s keynote speakers. They will debate issues ranging from the outcomes for young Black and Muslim offenders to the over-representation of looked-after children in custody.
Delegates will also get to hear from young people who have been directly involved in the youth justice system. Roy Sefa-Attakora, 22, is the Convention’s co-chair and, having overcome a turbulent start has now transformed his life and is currently studying for a Politics and International Relations degree at Loughborough University.
Teenagers from Kinetic Youth – a non-profit organisation that uses youth work to support young people to improve their lives – will also share their experiences of custody and give an insight into the pressures and influences some young people experience before ending up in the youth justice system.
Barrow Cadbury, one of the Convention’s sponsors, has also organised a fringe event which will address the over-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) young people in the youth justice system. Hosted by members of the Young Review Task group, delegates will be asked to consider how the growing disproportionality of this group can be best addressed.
The two-day event, which is being live streamed, already has a strong social media presence, with many attendees using the hashtag #yjc2015 to join the conversation.
Notes to editors
- This year’s Youth Justice Convention will be held on November 25 and 26 at the King Power Stadium in Leicester
- Those wishing to discuss the key events the event will consider can join the debate by following @YJC2015 and using the hashtag #yjc15