The period of young adulthood, typically accepted as those aged between 18 to 25 years, heralds the combined challenges of independent life. Many, if not most, of these young people, are supported by positive stabilising bonds to family, and community. It is one of the most significant transitional, if not transformational periods in the lifespan, where our childhood and family experiences are manifested, either providing us with the appropriate scaffolding and insurance necessary for adjusted life in adulthood and further into old age, or not. Most young people involved in the criminal justice system for several reasons, lack this stability and are expected to navigate those currents singlehandedly. They can come adrift without the necessary anchors and supports that enable them to get by, get on, and get up. This webinar focuses specifically on young adult’s involvement in the criminal justice system in Victoria and positions that within the unique developmental challenges they face, whilst exploring the concepts of social capital, specifically ‘linking social capital’ and how they grapple with identity, maturity, and compliance along the way.
Dr Karen Hart is Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Criminal Justice and Youth Work at Victoria University. Karen has held senior roles in child protection, youth and adult justice, in both the UK and Australia. Prior to joining VU, Karen was CEO of The Youth Junction Inc for 14 years where she designed and led several large social justice and crime prevention initiatives, with a specific focus on young adults involved in the criminal justice system.