Most youth who come in conflict with the law have experienced some form of trauma, yet many justice professionals are ill-equipped to deal with the effects trauma has on youth and instead reinforce a system that further traumatizes young offenders while ignoring the needs of victims. By taking a trauma-informed perspective, this text provides a much-needed alternative—one that allows for interventions based on principles of healing and restorative justice, rather than on punishment and risk assessment.
In addition to providing a comprehensive historical overview of youth justice in Canada, Judah Oudshoorn addresses the context of youth offending by examining both individual trauma—including its emotional, cognitive, and behavioural effects—and collective trauma. The author tackles some of the most difficult problems facing youth justice today, especially the ongoing cycles of intergenerational trauma caused by the colonization of Indigenous peoples and patriarchal violence, and demonstrates how a trauma-informed approach to youth justice can work toward preventing crime and healing offenders, victims, and communities.
Featuring a foreword written by Howard Zehr, case stories from the author’s own work with victims and offenders, questions for reflection, and annotated lists of recommended readings, this engaging text is the perfect resource for college and university students in the field of youth justice.
About the Author:
Judah Oudshoorn is a Professor of Community and Criminal Justice at Conestoga College. He is also a Restorative Justice Mediator with the Correctional Service of Canada, a Sessional Instructor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo, an Editorial Board Member of the Internet Journal of Restorative Justice, and the Editor for restorative justice titles in the Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding series. Professor Oudshoorn has worked in diverse capacities with youth in Toronto and with First Nations people on issues related to residential schools; he is also widely involved in community services that work with men, particularly fathers, on issues of abuse.