Beyond Youth Custody

Trauma and young offenders: a review of research and practice literature: a summary

24 November 2016

The report presents key findings from a review of the research and practice literature concerning trauma in the backgrounds of young people who offend. It aims to highlight what is currently known about trauma within the population of young offenders, and to identify the importance of this knowledge for effective resettlement practice. It focuses on:

  • Definitions of trauma and the different ways in which trauma has been understood in the research and practice literature
  • The prevalence of different types of traumatic childhood and adolescent experiences in the backgrounds of young offenders
  • The effects that such trauma can have on young people in the short-term, and its longer term impacts on emotional, social, and neurological development
  • The links between trauma and young people‚Äôs behaviour, including the extent of their capacity to comply with youth justice interventions
  • The implications that an understanding of trauma and its effects might have for resettlement work undertaken with young custody-leavers

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Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes