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Decolonising Youth Justice, Rethinking Childhood: Caribbean Counterstories in Detention

Paul Mutsaers

2023 Canada

This article offers counterstories from a Caribbean youth detention centre in support of an agenda to decolonise youth justice and rethink childhood. It contrasts the youth’s own ‘ethics of illegality’ centred on structural violence and inequality with institutional interventions revolving around individual remedies and risk factors as well as culturally specific but peculiarly Western conceptions of parenthood and childhood. Concerned about the exclusive ways of regulating and defining parenthood, childhood and safety that stem from a globalisation of youth crime control, the article calls for a vernacularisation that takes seriously the complexity and context-dependency of young people’s lives.

Caribbean, childhood, decolonisation, ‘parentism’, youth detention