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Foreign Minors and Young Adults in Detention Facilities in Italy: Successful Pathways and Critical Factors in the Education Process

TitleForeign Minors and Young Adults in Detention Facilities in Italy: Successful Pathways and Critical Factors in the Education Process
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsValente A, Caravita S
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published10/2021
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordseducational process, foreign minors and young ROMA, Identity development, Juvenile Detention Centres

This study analyses success and failure of educational process for immigrant minors and young adults in detention facilities in Italy. The analysis includes unaccompanied foreign minors (UAMs) and the young Roma, foreigners that are “dissimilar to the dominant group” (Schwartz & Petrova, 2020). The twolevel study, a survey to Juvenile Detention Centres in Italy and deep interviews with teachers, educators and heads educators of the local juvenile justice center of Rome, is focused on the educational processes in prison, moving from general data to specific life stories, raising questions on if and how the educational process within the prison environment can positively impact the personal development of young detainees. The study inquires: what can be considered educational success in prison and its relationship with identity development for young foreigners; which factors are weighing on minors and young foreigners; possible ethnic or gender discrimination.Despite the challenging context and the limits of education in prison, the study provides evidence of successful achievements and of positive impact that education can have on the difficult process of identity development of foreign minors through an interplay among pupil-related factors, school-and prison-related and macro-system factors.