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Home > Developing inside: transforming prison for young adults. A new approach to the unique needs of young adults (aged 18–24) in prison.

Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. (2016) Developing inside: transforming prison for young adults. A new approach to the unique needs of young adults (aged 18–24) in prison. Dublin: Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice.

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Young adults aged 18 to 24 (inclusive) account for one-in-five people in Irish prisons each day (Irish Prison Service, 2016a), and more than a quarter of all committals to Irish prisons each year (Irish Prison Service, 2014a; Irish Prison Service, 2015a). However, young adults make up just 9 per cent of the general population, and hence are overrepresented in Ireland’s prisons, as they are in prisons across Europe and the United States (Office for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 2012; Transition to Adulthood Alliance, 2009; Velázquez, 2013).

This policy report addresses the particular needs and circumstances of young adults in prison in Ireland and the conditions in which they are detained. Elsewhere in Europe and beyond it is now recognised that young adults in prison are a distinct group differing from the adult prison population in particular physical, psychological, emotional, and social ways, and that young adults have unique needs that should be considered in any approach to their management (e.g., Council of Europe, 2003; Transition to Adulthood Alliance, 2009; Council of Europe, 2009; Farrington, Loeber, and Howell, 2012; Lösel, 2012; Pruin and Dünkel, 2015).

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