Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science

Young people and the law conference

An international conference in Prato, Tuscany, on international approaches to care, corrections and intervention.

This international conference in September 2015 brought together practitioners, policy contributors, advocates and researchers to discuss international approaches to care, corrections and intervention. Participants examined the vulnerabilities of young people and how the systems responding to them must be reshaped around prevention and early intervention to improve outcomes both for the young person and the community.

The conference gave particular attention to the following themes:

  • youth justice, including early intervention for young offenders
  • the protection of young people under the law
  • mental health offending
  • disadvantaged groups, including indigenous young people, young people with disabilities
  • diversionary schemes for young people
  • young people and family violence.


Expert practitioners, policy contributors, advocates and researchers presented the keynote addresses.

Professor Dame Sue Bailey

Chair, Children & Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

Professor Dame Sue BaileySue Bailey works as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatrist and Honorary Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Policy. Professor Bailey is currently the Chair of the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Coalition.

As President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Professor Bailey worked with others to achieve parity between mental and physical health in primary legislation in England.

Professor Bailey undertakes needs and risk research into how to better provide ethical effective services for young people who are deemed as high harm risk to self and others. She is also the Chair of the European Union of Medical Specialists Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section.

Judge Tony FitzGerald

Auckland District and Youth Court

Judge Tony FitzGeraldTony FitzGerald was appointed a District Court Judge in May 1999, with Criminal and Family Court warrants and a Youth Court designation.

Judge FitzGerald is particularly interested in therapeutic jurisprudence and Solution Focussed Courts. In 2007 he established the Intensive Monitoring Group (IMG) in the Auckland Youth Court. The therapeutic arm of the IMG accommodates young people who are at moderate to high risk of re-offending and have moderate to severe mental health concerns or alcohol and other drug issues underlying their offending. The IMG now also co-ordinates what is happening for those young people in the Youth Court who have care and protection status in the Family Court.

Judge FitzGerald helped establish the Te Kooti o Timatanga Hou (The Court of New Beginnings) in 2010. The court is a Solution Focussed Court in the adult jurisdiction for homeless people who have impaired decision making capacity due to mental illness, brain injury, cognitive impairment, alcohol, other drug or substance abuse.

Dr Randy Otto

Associate Professor at the University of South Florida

Dr Randy OttoRandy Otto, PhD, ABPP, is an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida.  He also serves as affiliate faculty at Stetson Law School in St. Petersburg and St Johns University in New York.  Dr Otto is certified in clinical psychology and forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

His research, writing, and practice is devoted to matters of forensic psychological assessment. Dr Otto has co-edited or co-authored the following books: 

  • Adjudicative Competence, Psychological Evaluations for the Courts: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals and Lawyers (third edition)
  • Handbook of Violence Risk Assessment, Forensic Psychology (second edition)
  • Handbook of Forensic Psychology (fourth edition)
  • Forensic Reports and Testimony: A Guide to Effective Communication for Psychologists and Psychiatrists.

Karyn McCluskey

Director, Scottish Violence Reduction Unit

Karyn McCluskeyKaryn has worked in the police for the last 20 years in Sussex, Lancashire, West Mercia. She joined Strathclyde Police 12 years ago, now part of Police Scotland.

Karyn trained as a registered nurse, has a BSc and MSc in Psychology and is a fellow by distinction of the Faculty of Public Health. She has worked in a variety of areas within the NHS, East Africa and HM Prisons. She completed the strategic command course in 2009 and spent a year in the Metropolitan police developing a violence plan, and leading the Territorial Policing change program. The Institute of Directors awarded her Female Director of the year and The Guardian Newspaper nominated her as Public Service Leader of the Year.



The conference was run over three days, with keynote addresses and break-out sessions each day. 

Monday 21 September

  • Conference Welcome, James Ogloff
  • Keynote Address: Ko te rongoa, ko te aro, ko te whai kia tika ai mo nga rangatahi; solution focused justice for young people, Judge Tony Fitzgerald
  • Parallel session 1A - Public Safety and Juvenile Justice, Chair: Stefan Luebbers
    • Is public safety enhanced by abandoning juvenile justice? Mario Paparozzi, Roger Guy
    • Revising harmful policy: an inside look at changes to U.S. juvenile sex crime laws Elizabeth J. Letourneau
    • Some questions about the criminal liability of minors in Portugal Ana Rita Alfaiate
  • Parallel session 1B - Protection and Vulnerability, Chair: Margaret Nixon
    • Missing from home: the intersection of policing and welfare in protecting vulnerable young people Penelope Welbourne, Caroline Leeson, Julia Morgan
    • Risk decision-making regarding young people reported to police as missing persons Stuart Thomas, Amy Sowerby
  • Parallel session 1C - Indigenous Young People and Diversity, Chair: Stephane ShepherdPlenary session, Chair: James Ogloff. Keynote address: Principles for effectively communicating with children's and family courts, Randy Otto.
    • Rupture and repair: Acknowledging the impact of complex trauma in Indigenous Australian juvenile offenders Marshall Watson
    • An invitational model for intervention: Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge and collaboration Lee Bromley
    • One Stop Shop: A holistic approach to children's legal needs Katrina Wong
  • Parallel session 2A - Symposium: Youth Justice in Wales, UK, and Victoria, Australia, Chair: Diana Johns
    • PAPER 1: Youth justice policy in Wales, UK, and Victoria, Australia: a comparative perspective. Sue Thomas, Diana Johns
    • PAPER 2: Therapeutic models of case management: re-conceptualising risk and risk responsivity for youth. Sandra Reitano, Marg Liddell
    • PAPER 3: Young people, risk and representation. Diana Johns, Sue Thomas, Sandra Reitano, Marg Liddell
  • Parallel session 2B - Risk Assessment, Chair: Michael Daffern
    • Testing MAYSI-2 decision rules to identify poly-victimization and PTSD in detained youth. Keith Cruise, Holly Hinz, Julian Ford
    • Protective factors for juvenile offenders: SAPROF Youth Version. Ed Hilterman, Michiel de Vries Robbé
    • Contemporary challenges for cross-cultural violence risk assessment. Stephane Shepherd
  • Parallel session 2C - Child Abuse, Chair: Patricia Brown
    • Long-term outcomes of child sexual abuse: Examining interrelationships among psychopathology, offending and re-victimisation. Nina Papalia, James Ogloff, Stefan Luebbers
    • The Erosion of the Rule of Law through the Diminution of Judicial Scrutiny of Care Arrangements in Victoria’s Child Welfare System Fleur Ward, Jane Smith, Paul Brown
    • Protection of Vulnerable Children in South Australia - Legislative options utilized under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 for children under guardianship and custody of the Minister for Education and Child Development (“Families SA”). Cinzia Aglieco

Tuesday 22 September

  • Plenary session, Chair: Christopher Trotter. Keynote Address: Karyn McCluskey
  • Parallel session 3A - Symposium: Young People and the Transmission of Crime, Chair: Liana de Paula
    • PAPER 1: Imprisoned fathers, families and the intergenerational effects of crime – Effect of the Families Matter programme. Michelle Butler
    • PAPER 2: Citizenship rights for young offenders: the impacts of the 1990’s reforms on the youth justice system in Brazil’. Liana de Paula
    • PAPER 3: Young offenders in Brazil: analyzing the interplay of family, peer group and social context as risk factors for youth involvement with crime and violence. Melissa de Mattos Pimenta, Liana de Paula
    • PAPER 4: Paramilitary organisations, violent justice and community-based restorative justice projects; the impact on young people in Northern Ireland. Lauren Belshaw
  • Parallel session 3B - Risk Assessment, Chair: Jodi Viljoen
    • Are risk assessment tools created equal? A comparison of the SAVRY, YLS/CMI, and START:AV among adolescents on probation Jodi L. Viljoen, Catherine Shaffer, Aisha Bhawner, Andrew Gray, Tonia Nicholls, Keith Cruise, Sarah Desmarais
    • Trauma-informed case planning using the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability:  Adolescent Version (START:AV) Keith Cruise
    • Change of female juvenile offenders during treatment: Latent growth trajectories based on SAVRYEd Hilterman, Ilja Bongers, Tonia Nicholls, Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen
    • From risk assessment to intervention planning: Development and initial evaluation of the ARROW Jodi L. Viljoen, Catherine Shaffer, Nicole Muir, Etta Brodersen, Robert McMahon, Marlene Moretti, Gina Vincent, Keith Cruise, Ed Hilterman, Laura Guy, Kevin Douglas, Ron Roesch
  • Parallel session 3C - Mental Impairment and the Justice System, Chair: James OgloffPlenary session, Chair: Michael Daffern. Keynote Address: Complexities in youth offending: The role of substance misuse, James Ogloff
    • Young mentally ill accused: The WA justice system’s response. Phillip Kelly
    • Multisystemic Therapy for emerging adults with mental illness. Maryann Davis, Ashli Sheidow, Michael McCart
    • Doli incapax and beyond 14: Principles, practice and problems of sentencing mentally impaired child offenders. Jelena Popovic
    • Young people, insanity, fitness for trial and forensic orders, the Queensland experience. Ness McVie
  • Parallel session 4A - Early Intervention, Chair: Marg Liddell
    • Proposing models of early and effective intervention for dealing with young people who offend: A study across Scotland Fern Gillon
    • Project Booyah. Stephen Pyne
    • Complementary adventure therapy program for youth-at-risk families. Virginie Gargano
  • Parallel session 4B - Identity, Wellbeing and Human Development, Chair: Troy McEwan
    • The development of a criminal identity.Timothy Warton
    • Preventing the criminalisation of childhood neurodevelopmental impairment. Nathan Hughes& Huw Williams
    • The impact of a technology-enhanced induction process on psychological wellbeing and adjustment in young first-time prisoners. Justin S. Trounson, Jeffrey E. Pfeifer, Lisa Gye, Andrew Dodd
  • Parallel session 4C - Youth Justice Policy, Chair: Christopher Trotter
    • What’s it like on the inside? The impact of the self-concept on the educational engagement of incarcerated young offenders. Rana Abou-Sinna, Michael Daffern, Stuart Thomas, Pamela Snow
    • Analysis of supervision skills in youth justice. Chris Trotter

Wednesday 23 September

  • Plenary session, Chair: James Ogloff. Keynote address: From chaos to culture - psychosocial resiliencies applied to juvenile offender mental health pathways, Susan Bailey
  • Parallel session 5A - Justice System, Children and Young People, Chair: Justin Trounson
    • A European model of restorative justice with young peopleTim Chapman
    • Reflections on the impact of a Youth Justice Policy Review: effecting systemic change in small and devolved jurisdictions Jonathan Evans
    • What can be done? Residential therapeutic treatment options for young people suffering substance abuse/mental illness. Jennifer Bowles
    • A last resort? Use of detention and isolation in the WA juvenile justice system Anna Copeland, Najette Alaraibi
  • Parallel session 5B - High-risk Young People, Chair: Stefan Luebbers
    • Young people in contact with the youth justice system: Building the evidence base to improve health and social outcomes. Rohan Borschmann, Paul Moran, Louisa Degenhardt, Carolyn Coffey, Emma Thomas, George Patton, Matthew Spittal, Susan Sawyer, Megan Carroll, Stephen Hearps, Stuart Kinner
    • Protective factors and the relationship with desistence in a sample of high-risk young people in detention. Stefan Luebbers, Stephane Shepherd, James R.P. Ogloff
    • Traumatic brain injury and risk of incarceration in a youth cohort. Kathryn E McIsaac, Andrea Moser, Shanna Farrell MacDonald, Angela Colantonio, Rahim Moineddin, Avery Nathens, Flora I. Matheson
    • Live Works – To be the best you can be! Sam Mesiti
  • Parallel session 5C - Family Violence and Vulnerability, Chair: Troy McEwan
    • Improving family-centeredness: exploring whole family approaches to child welfare in cases of domestic violence and abuse. Kate Parkinson, Michaela Rogers
    • Calling the police on your child: An examination of incidents of child-to-parent violence reported to the police. Melanie Simmons, Troy McEwan
    • Perspectives on vulnerability to stranger crime from industry professionals who have or continue to work with violent offenders. Lucy Maxwell, Jason Skues, Lisa Wise, Jeffery Pfeifer
  • Parallel session 6A - Symposium | Young Offenders in Singapore, Chair: Michael Daffern
    • PAPER 1: Impact of childhood maltreatment on recidivism in youthful offenders: a matched-control study Dongdong Li, Chi Meng Chu, Joseph Teck Ling Goh, Irene Y. H. Ng, Gerald Zeng
    • PAPER 2: Violent and nonviolent youth offenders: Preliminary evidence for group subtypes.Violet Lai, Gerald Zeng, Chi Meng Chu
    • PAPER 3: The determinants of gang affiliation in Singaporean youth offenders. Michael Daffern, Chi Meng Chu, Stuart D. M. Thomas, Yaming Ang, Mavis Long, Kate O’Brien
  • Parallel session 6B - Diversionary Schemes workshop, Chair: Keith Cruise
    • The Tasmanian Early Intervention Pilot Program (TEIP): Diverting young people from binge drinking Isabelle Bartkowiak-Théron
    • The Tasmanian Inter-agency Support teams. Isabelle Bartkowiak-Théron and Roberta Julian
  • Parallel session 6C - Disability and the Justice System, Chair: Margaret Nixon
    • How well do youth with traumatic brain injury and substance use problems adjust to a prison environment? Flora I. Matheson, Kathryn McIsaac, Andrea Moser, Shanna Farrell MacDonald, Angela Colantonio, Rahim Moineddin, Avery Nathens
    • Understanding complex support needs in young people with cognitive disability in contact with the criminal justice system. Leanne Dowse
    • The relative disadvantage of having dual disability: victimisation and offending in a cohort sample of young people. Margaret Nixon, Stuart Thomas, Michael Daffern
    • Closing plenary session, Chair: Michael Daffern. Plenary panel, close of conference and farewell
  • PDF

    Conference program

    Download the full program for the 2015 Young people and the law conference.

General enquiries

For more information about the conference, please contact:

Brett McIvor
Research Centre Coordinator
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science
Swinburne University of Technology
505 Hoddle St, Clifton Hill
Victoria 3068, Australia

E: bmcivor@swin.edu.au