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This document summarizes the proceedings and recommendations of a national forum that brought together experts in education, social services, and the justice system to encourage action on the issue of literacy for youth in conflict with the law. Teachers, politicians, police, parole officers, students, community workers, and volunteers attended conferences held concurrently in cities around Canada on June 5, 2012. In addition, online participants were able to submit questions by email or through Twitter.
Participants identified a number of key issues, including the need for collaboration across sectors and organizations; the vital importance of early intervention and the involvement of parents; and the wisdom of providing funds for early intervention and preventative measures, rather than offering support only after young people have already entered the justice system.
They recommended establishing and sharing best practices with those who police, sentence, monitor, and support youth before, during and after incarceration, so that they are aware of the importance of literacy and have strategies they can use to help young people.
The forum was organized by Frontier College, a national literacy organization. In preparation for it, Frontier College published a discussion paper and a literature review, which can be viewed by clicking here http://library.nald.ca/item/10431 and here: http://library.nald.ca/item/10446.
The goal of this paper is to encourage critical discussion and future planning for effective and measurable literacy programming for youth in conflict with the law in Canada.
The authors note that literacy is critical to both the reduction and prevention of criminal involvement for young people, and describe their paper as a call to action for coordinated services and programming for youth, before, during or after incarceration.
The paper includes an overview of existing programming; information on available research and research gaps; a discussion of measurements of programming success; and a look at promising practices.
A companion document offering a review of literature on the topic can be seen by clicking here: http://library.nald.ca/item/10446.
The authors have also included information about a conference, scheduled for June 2012, on the topic of youth, literacy and criminal justice. The conference is organized by Frontier College, a national literacy organization.
This literature review provides a demographic snapshot of literacy challenges for youth in conflict with the law in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also includes a review of available literacy programming and research on the intersection of youth, justice and literacy in those three countries.
The authors hope to spark critical discussion regarding available programming; the comprehensiveness of current long-term studies; measurements of programming success; and promising practices and future planning for effective and measurable programming in Canada.
This review is a companion document to a discussion paper the authors have written on the same topic, which can be viewed here: http://library.nald.ca/item/10431. Both documents are published by Frontier College, a national literacy organization.
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