NEWS: Groundbreaking youth justice KTP shortlisted for Times Higher Education Award

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    The Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership is in contention for the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year.

    The Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership (GMYJUP), a pioneering approach to delivering youth justice services underpinned by University research, has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards 2019.

    It has been shortlisted in the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year category at the HE sector’s flagship awards ceremony, which recognises excellence in academia and professional services.

    GMYJUP is an Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council-funded Knowledge Exchange Partnership between the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS) at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Youth Justice Board, and each of the ten Greater Manchester Youth Justice Services.

    The partnership culminated in the development of a unique model of youth justice practice, co-created with young people for the first time in England.

    The Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year “recognises the most innovative and original initiative in knowledge exchange or transfer”. The winner will be announced at the 15th annual THE Awards gala dinner and ceremony on Thursday, November 28.

    Real-world impact

    Professor Hannah Smithson, Director of MCYS and lead researcher on GMYJUP, said: “I am absolutely delighted that MCYS and GMYJUP have been shortlisted.

    “The work of the partnership is challenging but very rewarding. Working with youth justice colleagues provides an insight into practice and we are very proud of the initiatives we have established, which are developing a more progressive, innovative youth justice service across Greater Manchester.

    “The broader objective of MCYS is to enable youth-informed and youth-led research, and the way in which we are utilising this approach in the youth justice sector through the work of GMYJUP is unique and very much needed – young people in youth justice systems are rarely afforded the opportunity to contribute to a justice system’s response to their own behaviour.

    “Manchester Metropolitan has fully supported our work and as an outward-facing institution, keen to work with local communities, I have no doubt that GMYJUP will continue to have real-world impact.”

    Participatory research

    GMYJUP responded to a strategic drive, both at a national, regional and local level, to improve the voice of the child within the youth justice system, thereby tackling reoffending rates and improving life chances for young people.

    Using innovative participatory methods such as boxing, lyric writing and urban art, academics and young people within the criminal justice service developed the Participatory Youth Practice framework, which has been successfully implemented across youth justice services in Greater Manchester.

    It was based on a list of eight principles developed with young people, including ‘let them participate’, ‘acknowledge limited life chances’ and ‘develop their ambitions’.

    The broader objective of MCYS is to enable youth-informed and youth-led research, and the way in which we are utilising this approach in the youth justice sector through the work of GMYJUP is unique and very much needed.

    Rolled out in 2017/18, researchers have helped to develop training sessions on PYP and an explanatory film, and each region now has a ‘Participation Champion’ to further embed the research into practice.

    The partnership was shortlisted for ‘Organisation of the Year’ at the 2018 Criminal Justice Alliance Awards and has been rated as Outstanding by Innovate UK.

    THE editor John Gill said: “With 23 categories this year, we’re also showcasing more exceptional stories than ever before, and it’s a real honour for us to shine a spotlight on all those who have made it as far as these shortlists – their stories deserve much wider circulation.”