Supporting young people at risk of violent crime or criminal exploitation

Sally-Ann Ashton is a Lecturer in the Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour and is involved with a project regionally to identify and support young people who are involved with or at risk of violent crime or criminal exploitation.

Dr Sally-Ann Ashton

Sally-Ann was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Travel Fellowship to research US gang interventions in July and August 2019. She began her research in Houston with Harris County Constable Precinct 1. She attended Crisis Intervention Training for officers and observed procedures in the Mental Health Division and the associated court processes.

Sally-Ann then travelled to Chicago to learn about restorative interventions with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation; she was able to speak to staff and young people who have been affected by gang violence. In Chicago she attended the National Gang Crime Research Center Conference; presenting papers on her research and involvement in UK gang interventions, and learning from a diverse range of Law Enforcement, Juvenile Justice and other practitioners for three days. She then attended training sessions for youth workers at Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice and spoke to managers and teachers at a KDJJ day school to understand how young people can be supported through education. Returning to Houston, Sally-Ann then met with the supervisors from Precinct 1’s Juvenile Division and was able to learn about educational programmes for young people under detention. The fellowship was invaluable and has enabled Sally-Ann to bring a wide rangeof approaches and knowledge back to her work in the UK.

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