News 2021: 10 items (Youth Justice)

03/09/2021: Supporting Meaningful Participation In Youth Justice

Last week (27 August 2021) HM Inspectorate of Probation published the latest report in its “Academic Insights” series which is aimed at everyone within the probation sector with an interest in the evidence base. The Inspectorate commissions leading academics to present their views on specific topics in order to inform debate and help everyone’s understanding of what helps and what hinders probation and youth offending services.

03/09/2021: Court of Appeal rules the London-wide lack of secure accommodation for children is unlawful

This was an appeal against the dismissal of a claim for judicial review, which was brought on the grounds that the Local Borough of Waltham Forest does not have a reasonable system in place for the provision of secure accommodation to meet requests for such accommodation made by the police pursuant to section 38(6) of PACE 1984. The Court of Appeal granted leave and upheld the appeal, ruling that the failure by local authorities in London to provide appropriate alternative accommodation for children arrested and held by the police is unlawful.

31/08/2021: Rise in black and ethnic minority staff working in youth justice system

The proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff working within the youth secure estate has risen to the highest level in five years as part of efforts to address racial disparities across the youth justice system.

23/08/2021: Child arrests in England and Wales reduced by 74 per cent in a decade

Arrests of children have been reduced by 74 per cent over the last decade, figures reveal today (Monday 23 August) in another major step forward for a successful Howard League for Penal Reform campaign.

16/08/2021: Traumatic Brain Injury And The Criminal Justice System

Hope Kent and Professor Huw Williams highlight the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among people in contact with the justice system, and its links with offending.

09/08/2021: The dangers of incentivising children to plead guilty

In this article for the Journal of Law and Society Dr Rebecca Helm, of the University of Exeter, assesses the extent to which the current guilty-plea procedure is consistent with legitimations of criminal convictions, with a focus on decision-making in child defendants. She argues that differences in children’s brains relating to their sensitivity to pressure and rewards, make it more likely they will admit to crimes they didn’t commit when incentivized to do so.

06/08/2021: Supreme Court voices ‘deep anxiety’ over ongoing secure home shortage in face of judges’ repeated warnings

The Supreme Court has voiced its ‘deep anxiety’ over the ongoing shortage of secure accommodation for children and highlighted the government’s failure to address it in the face of repeated warnings by judges. The comments came in a judgment in which the court said it was lawful, but an “imperfect stop gap”, for the High Court to use its inherent jurisdiction to authorise children’s deprivation of liberty outside of approved secure accommodation.

29/07/2021: Crime reduction plan ‘falls short’ for young people, NYA says

The government’s new crime reduction strategy “falls short” of supporting young people away from criminal activity, the National Youth Agency (NYA) has said. Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Beating Crime Plan offers £17m for Violence Reduction Units, including funding for specialist youth workers and programmes which embed youth workers in A&E.

28/07/2021: Call for police and crime commissioners to improve diversion among young adults

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have been urged to ensure local policing plans include proposals to support young adults away from crime. A 10-point plan published by Revolving Doors Agency alongside the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A), with input from young adults with experience of the criminal justice system, calls for PCCs to “create a distinct approach to engaging and collaborating with young adults”.

28/07/2021: Call for police and crime commissioners to improve diversion among young adults

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been urged to ensure local policing plans include proposals to support young adults away from crime. A 10-point plan published by Revolving Doors Agency alongside the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A), with input from young adults with experience of the criminal justice system, calls for PCCs to “create a distinct approach to engaging and collaborating with young adults”.

27/07/2021: Crime plan invests in measures to tackle youth violence

Schools and hospitals in violent crime hotspot areas will receive additional funding to prevent youth violence under new measures announced by the government. The Beating Crime Plan, announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel today, includes £45m in specialist support for education settings to prevent violence, and an additional £17m for Violence Reduction Units (VRU) to divert those at greatest risk.

26/07/2021: Multi-Agency Work In Youth Offending Services

The latest Research and Analysis Bulletin from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation focuses on multi-agency work in Youth Offending Services. This series pulls together all the data and learning from numerous inspections (in this case 45 YOT inspections carried out between June 2018 and July 2020) to provide key insights.

22/07/2021: Too Many Women Sent To Prison For Short Sentences

A new (20 July 2021) briefing from the Prison Reform Trust: Why focus on reducing women’s imprisonment? reveals that most women are sent to prison for non-violent offences and serve sentences of 12 months or less. 72% of women who entered prison under sentence in 2020 have committed a non-violent offence. Furthermore, 70% of prison sentences given to women were for less than 12 months.

22/07/2021: More success for Howard League programme as criminalisation rate for children in residential care reduces further

Hundreds more boys and girls can look forward to a brighter future today (Thursday 22 July) as government figures reveal the transformative impact of the Howard League’s programme to end the criminalisation of children in residential care. Data collected by the Department for Education (DfE) show that, while the number of children being placed in children’s homes continues to rise, the number being criminalised is falling significantly.

16/07/2021: Police-assisted interventions ‘crucial’ to prevent reoffending, review finds

Investment in police-assisted diversion services is crucial to keeping young people out of the criminal justice system, new research has found. A new evidence review by the national justice charity Revolving Doors for T2A (Transition to Adulthood) states that delivering tailored interventions that meet the health and human needs of young adults can turn young people’s lives around, reduce crime and improve public safety.