In close co-operation with the Norwegian Directorate of Correctional Service (KDI) and the Correctional Service of Norway Staff Academy (KRUS), the Confederation of European Probation organized an International Conference on “Working with young adult offenders” held in Lillestrøm, Norway, between August 31st and September 1st 2016.

More than 100 delegates from 24 different countries within Europe attended the Conference participating in the exchange of ideas and contributing to the various discussions on topics related to young adult offenders in the age category of 16 to 25 years old. Some of the topics discussed were: transitions between juvenile and adult penal settings, dealing with juvenile extremist offenders, various health-based and motivational approaches, practical and outreaching work with young adult offenders, practices of restorative justice, working with young adult foreign offenders, young adult female offenders, entrepreneurship as a way of reducing re-offending and climate studies in institutions for young adult offenders. The program included speakers from 9 different countries, contributions from Europe: Norway, the Netherlands, Catalonia, Slovenia, Estonia, Belgium, England and Scotland and a speaker from the United States of America.

It was a lunch-to-lunch conference and the programme combined plenary sessions and workshops.

The Conference was formally opened by Heidi Bottolfs, Deputy General Director of Norwegian Correctional Service, and the CEP President, Marc Cerón.

The keynote speeches on the first day were done by:

  • Sophie Duroy (Belgium) from the International Juvenile Justice Observatory talked about “Child-friendly measures applicable to young adults”.
  • Mojca Plesnicar (Slovenia) from the University of Ljubljana gave a speech on “Remnants from the past. A rehabilitative juvenile system”.
  • Monica Barry (Scotland) from the University of Strathclyde talked about “Scottish young offenders’ views on what works to reduce offending”
  • Sheena Leaf (England) from the organization Mind the Gap presented “Uncovering Treasure; How entrepreneurship can reduce re-offending”
  • Ida Hydle (Norway) from the Centre for Welfare Research NOVA presented a speech on “Evaluating the institution for juvenile offenders in Norway”.

The first round of workshops took place after the plenary speeches, there the delegates were able to discuss the following topics, in depth: health-promoting (salutogenic) approaches, penal institutions and practice and prevention.

The workshops were a great success due to the participation of all delegates, thus there was not enough time to finish every discussion and debate.

The next day keynote speakers were:

  • Jayne Price (England) from the University of Liverpool gave a speech on “Exploring the pathways and transitions between juvenile and adult penal institutions”
  • Melissa Lefas (United States of America) from the Global Center of Criminal Justice and Rule of Law talking spoke about “Juvenile extremist offenders in the prison and probation service”.
  • Jolande uit Beijerse (The Netherlands) from Rotterdam University talked “Experiences with the new Dutch law and policy on young adult offenders”.

During the second round of workshops participants discussed: restorative and family-based approaches, foreign citizens, and restorative justice in penal context.

The closing speech was delivered by Marc Cerón, the CEP President. He talked about his reflections on the Conference’s plenaries and workshops. Taking into account the success of the Conference, Marc Cerón, encouraged organizers, as well as participants, to give a follow up Conference next year.