Friday, 29 April 2016

My Research Into Abuse in Youth Institutions in Northern Ireland

I am currently studying for my PhD at the University of Ulster.  As part of my Doctoral research, I have interviewed a selection of people who as children or young people experienced imprisonment, detention or what were previously known as 'Training School Orders' (which were along with Life Sentences and Detention at the Secretary of State's Pleasure, were 'indeterminate sentences').

The people who I have began interviewing are now largely in their 40's or 50's but at the time of their detention they would have ranged in age from what were then classed as juveniles to those who were categorized as 'Young People', being in the 17-21 years old category.

Many of my research subjects have been deeply affected by the treatment they received at both state and church administered institutions.  Many suffer from a variety of mental health conditions ranging from Clinical Depression, long term self-harming, alcoholism, drug addiction, Bi-Polar Disorder, Personality Disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and low self-esteem.  This would not be an exhaustive list of Psychiatric disorders by any means.

Naturally enough my Doctoral research is an academic exercise but I felt that some of my research subjects, with their express permission, deserved some of their experiences of detention published in a less academic format.  All names used are pseudonyms.

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