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Shifting Currents: Young Adult Offenders in Transition

Contemporary society for young people is underpinned by the shifting currents of economy, politics, legislation, and culture. These currents shape and define the social factors impacting young people’s transition to adulthood.

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.

Presented by Dr Karen Hart

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. 

The YWA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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