Swansea University Youth Justice Team host senior officials from Northern Ireland

On Monday 3rd June 2019, the Innovative Youth Justice Team within the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law hosted a visit from senior officials from Northern Ireland. Those in attendance included Assistant Director Michael Heaney, and Deputy Director Paul McStravick, of the National Youth Agency for Northern Ireland, and Director of Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre, Brian Ingman.

Youth Justice Dr Anthony Charles, Co-ordinator of the innovative Youth Justice Team, led the event together with School partner agencies including Youth Justice Board Cymru, and South Wales Police, along with researchers from the School.

During the visit, work undertaken by criminal justice agencies and research relating to Wales’ flagship ‘Children First: Offenders Second’ strategy was shared with officials, who are considering developing a similar approach in Northern Ireland. The potential for future, collaborative work to support any reforms in Northern Ireland was also discussed.

Commenting on the meeting, Dr Charles said that:

“It really is a pleasure to be welcoming Michael Heaney and colleagues from the Northern Ireland National Youth Agency and Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre. The Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law has, for some time, worked closely with youth and criminal justice agencies in Wales and has expertise, especially in the areas of prevention, diversion, children’s rights and devolution, that will be useful to our visitors

“I am delighted that we are being joined by our partner agencies, working with them helps to strengthen our understandings of justice, at policy and practice levels, and I know that their expertise too will help to inform thinking in Northern Ireland.”

The Innovative Youth Justice Team is a research team in the Criminology Department of the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law. Bringing together researchers who have an interest in youth justice, the team seeks to progress positive understandings of how the criminal justice agencies should engage with children who come into conflict with the law and realise the policy ambitions underpinning ‘Children and Young People First’.