In Ireland, once a person reaches 18 years, they are no longer treated as a child but become immediately answerable to the laws and regulations that govern the adult population regardless of their level of maturity or vulnerability.
The consequences of this are clear: young adults are over-represented in the prison system; recidivism rates are high; and the underlying causes of offending behaviour among this group are ignored.
Several factors place young adults more at risk of becoming involved in offending behaviour and make the prison system an inappropriate and counterproductive means of dealing with young adults. The evidence also shows that the right interventions at the right points of time can successfully lead to a reduction in the offending rate among young adults.
Turnaround Youth is an IPRT campaign which makes the clear and evidence-informed case for the differential treatment of young adults in the criminal justice system.
As with all IPRT campaigns, Turnaround Youth is grounded in solid research and evidence in what works to reduce crime and improve life outcomes, towards increasing community safety.
It is in all of our interests that we develop the right supports and interventions for young adults in contact with the criminal justice system to ensure they go on to lead crime-free lives, fulfill their potential and participate fully and positively in their communities. Supporting young adults in a positive way at the right time is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss.