Prof Lesley McAra gives keynote address at the annual conference of Include Youth

Head of School, Prof Lesley McAra, gave the keynote address yesterday at the annual conference of Include Youth in Belfast.

Head of School, Prof Lesley McAra, gave the keynote address yesterday at the annual conference of Include Youth in Belfast.

The conference - entitled Getting the 'right' Youth Justice - aimed to explore the implications for policy and practice of the recent review of youth justice in Northern Ireland, commissioned by Ministers and led by Kathleen Marshall, John Graham and Stella Perot. The Edinburgh Study was part of the evidence base drawn on for this review (both by the review team itself and by groups such as Include Youth in their submissions to the review). 

Prof McAra's paper, "Getting youth justice 'right'? Key messages from research", argued that although the review report had made some of the 'right' moral choices it was politically timid. The key challenge for juvenile justice policymakers and practitioners was to develop a system which offered services proportionate to the child's needs but which also maximised diversion from criminal justice. In order to rise to this challenge the best interests of the child are required to be placed at the heart of decision-making.  

For more information on the conference, plus the conference twitter feed, please see the Include Youth website http://includeyouth.org/