‘They just treat you like a f***ing child’: Young Adults, Infantilisation and the Criminal Justice System

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Young adults coming into contact with the criminal justice system are open to a unique and multitudinous array of challenges, difficulties and vulnerabilities. This paper explores the complex interplay between young adults’ subjective maturity, their interactions with aspects of the criminal justice process, and the commencement and maintenance of fragile and oscillating processes of desistance from crime. Highlighting a range of conceptual and definitional discrepancies at different points within the Northern Irish criminal justice system, the paper scrutinises the system's responsibilities in respect of young adults’ needs, circumstances, and complex maturational processes. In particular, the analysis problematises a framing of young adults as maturationally deficient, and examines the potentially infantilising impact of aspects of the justice process on the identities and autonomy of young adults in contact with the system.
Period19 Jun 2024
Event title15th Irish North/South Criminology Conference
Event typeConference
LocationBelfast, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational