Minds@Work keynote: How criminal justice, mental health, engagement intersect

Shawn McWeeney is a writer, qualitative researcher and youth mentor, with a passion for raising awareness around the criminal legal system, incarceration and empowering young individuals to find resilience and pathways to success.

Join us at the Minds@Work Research Conference at 11 a.m. April 4 to hear Shawn’s compelling keynote speech and gain valuable insights into the intersection of criminal justice, mental health, and community engagement. Shawn's keynote speech promises to be a powerful and thought-provoking experience that will leave attendees with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of the research and the criminal legal system.

Having embarked on a transformative journey that involved a 25-year prison sentence, starting at the age of 18 for his involvement in a robbery (no verbal or physical contact with the victim) "gone wrong," Shawn gained invaluable insights into trauma, delinquency, the criminal legal system, the experience of incarceration and r-entry.

Driven by a desire to make a positive impact, Shawn has channeled their knowledge and experiences into a graduate degree in Prevention Science and the development and administration of the Oregon Justice Network (OJN)—with the mission of preventing criminal legal system involvement through lifespan. Within OJN, Shawn has developed a youth mentorship and advocacy program called Juvenile Advocacy and Mentorship (JAM), which aims to support and guide young individuals in their journey toward resilience and success.

Focusing on variety and diversity of research, Shawn brings a unique perspective to the Minds@Work Research Conference. They will share their personal experiences with youth delinquency and punishment, challenges faced by incarcerated individuals and the importance of providing support and opportunities for rehabilitation and successful re-entry.

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