Congratulations to Marianne Quirouette who, along with her co-authors, received the Canadian Law and Society Association’s prize for the best English-language article published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society in 2016. Marianne recently completed and defended her dissertation entitled Risks, Needs & Reality Checks: Community Work with Disadvantaged Justice-Involved Individuals, under the supervision of Professor Hannah-Moffat. Marianne has now begun a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Ottawa where she is studying defense lawyers’ approaches to representing poor and marginalized clients in lower criminal courts.
The winning CJLS article comes out of a yearlong longitudinal study of the factors and processes affecting transitions away from homelessness for 51 young people in Toronto and Halifax. Quirouette and her co-authors (including Tyler Frederick, U of T SOC alumni PhD 2012) found that conflict with the law impacts youth in two types of ways that negatively affect their ability to transition out of homelessness. First, it produces short – and long – term practical barriers to housing, education, and work because of arrest, court, jail, records, and oversight from other authorities. Second, it negatively affects self-perception, motivation, and hope for the future. The authors found these two effects lengthened the process of becoming housed and threatened stability, wellness, and ability to access opportunities. Findings highlight how conflict with law and regulation—even occurring before and during homelessness—has serious repercussions for young people well after they have left the streets. The citation and abstract of the article follow.
Marianne Quirouette, Tyler Frederick, Jean Hughes, Jeff Karabanow and Sean Kidd, “‘Conflict with the Law’: Regulation & Homeless Youth Trajectories Toward Stability” (2016) 31 CJLS 383. https://doi.org/10.1017/cls.2016.26
Youth without housing experience more regulation and conflict with criminal justice than their housed counterparts. Using in-depth qualitative interviews with fifty-one young people, we focus on how efforts to move away from homelessness towards long-term housing stability are impacted by conflict with law, a term referring to a broad range of experiences with various authorities in the legal system, social services, shelters, etc. Our paper comes out of a yearlong longitudinal study of the factors and processes affecting the transition away from youth homelessness in Toronto and Halifax. We consider practical barriers generated by conflict with law, but also the role that it can play in shaping the identity processes at the heart of successful transitions. Our findings highlight how conflict with law and regulation—even occurring before and during homelessness—has serious repercussions for young people well after they have left the streets.