A student at Edge Hill University has secured a placement with Cheshire Youth Justice Services as part of a drive to develop the next generation of youth justice workers. 

Criminology student Emily Bourque has secured a 60-hour placement with the multi-agency team, where she will gain first-hand experience of the justice system and how it has adapted during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Emily said: “I am really proud and happy to have secured a placement with the Youth Justice Service team. I have already learnt about the crimes young people typically commit, how the media and society view them as well as the different responses to youth crime and hope to expand on this knowledge and see it first-hand during my placement.  

“I’m interested in youth justice as it is an area that I really want to work in when I graduate, and it is a module that has really interested me during my degree. I hope the experience and knowledge that I gain during my placement and all of the things that I experience when being with the Youth Justice Team solidify that it is a career that I would love to go into in the future. I am really looking forward to starting next week.” 

Her placement has been arranged through the University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Cheshire Youth Justice Services which provides statutory youth justice service covering Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton and Warrington local authority areas.  

The partnership launched in 2017 and recently expanded to welcome experts from the University of Chester to collaborate on new research and promote best practice in youth justice. 

Dr Sean Creaney, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Edge Hill, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Emily to apply the criminological theory that she has learned on her degree while gaining real-world experience of how the youth justice system operates. 

“We’re also delighted to welcome Dr Jayne Price from the University of Chester to the KTP team to share insight, deliver joint projects and attract funding for new research and development. This collaboration offers important opportunities to enhance the application of theory into practice. For example, the Youth Justice Service established an innovative Research Group with input from both practitioners and academics. Together we interrogate the evidence-base and scrutinise the principles of effective practice by reflecting on the development and efficacy of restorative practices, participatory initiatives, and trauma-informed approaches.” 

Tom Dooks, Senior Manager of Cheshire Youth Justice Service, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Emily who will be on placement with our Divert Team which assesses children arrested for low level offences with a view to diverting them away from the formal criminal justice system.  

“Emily will gain valuable practical experience alongside some very experienced professionals in a multi-disciplinary service that work with socially disadvantaged children and young people as well as their victims.  We hope it will be a rewarding placement for Emily and one that complements her academic studies and inspires her to pursue a career in Youth Justice.” 

Edge Hill provides the opportunity to study Law and Criminology in a dynamic, relevant and professionally informed manner. Our teaching and student learning is informed by our cutting-edge, internationally recognised legal and criminological research.