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Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up to the end of April 2014. Records will no longer be updated after this date.

Interrupted Education: The Criminal Justice System as an exacerbating or ameliorative force on the educational progress of young offenders

  • Start date: 01 August 2008
  • End date: 30 November 2009

This 14 month study looks at how the criminal justice system impacts on the educational progress of young offenders as they move between trial, incarceration, and release. It maps the points where interruption occurs, the consequences of such interruption, and the compensatory strategies adopted to overcome it. Additionally, it investigates young offenders' ability to negotiate the labyrinth of bureaucratic texts encountered as they move through the system. 

The study takes a mixed methods approach, using large, robust data sets on offending and exclusion, meshed with a detailed ethnography that looks at the 'softer' issues around young peoples' life-experiences, their educational progress, and their aptitude for survival. The data is enriched by 'real-world' views, gathered from interviews, focussed conversations, and documented observations with young male prisoners. 

The research centres on one establishment, engaging the whole prison, but drawing particularly on the rich narratives of selected young people. As a bounded empirical study it acts as a template for future larger-scale investigation. 

The work builds on the Principal Investigator's existing ethnographies within criminal justice, and her long-term commitment to collaborative inquiry in prisons.