[Distinguished Lecture Series] How can youth mentoring research can help improve outcomes for Turkish youth in the criminal justice system

Date: June 3, 2021 12:00 PM EST 

There is an acceleration of the prison population in Turkey, with incarceration rates being one of the highest per capita in Europe (Walmsley, 2016). Official statistics of the Turkish Ministry of Justice (2019) indicate that youth incarceration and probation rates have quadrupled in the past decade. Those alarming rates suggest an urgent need for evidence-based rehabilitative services for youth involved in crime to prevent their re-offending and promote their healthy development. In this presentation, I will review my intervention research projects, targeting probation officers, youth involved in crime, and their families. Utilizing Family Systems Theory and Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach, my research projects examine the impact of building alliances between key stakeholders to foster youth empowerment, capabilities, and healthy development. I will summarize empirical findings of a series of projects with phases of needs assessment, program development and pilot testing (a nonrandomized study), an implementation study of risk assessment and referral system nationwide (DENGE Project), and a recently completed randomized study with incarcerated youth in a high-security prison in Turkey. I will discuss how close relationships with family members, peers, relatives, and natural mentors change the following incarceration and the new relationships youth build in prison with peers and adults.

Zoom Link: https://umassboston.zoom.us/j/6176209147