20/01/2022: Expanding Out-Of-Court Disposals And Diversion Schemes

Crest Advisory has just (19 January 2022) published a major new report on the front-end of the criminal justice system, specifically Out-of-Court Disposals (OOCDs) and diversion schemes. The research included analysis of the latest evidence and trends across England and Wales, an in-depth study in the Thames Valley Police force area and a nationally representative survey.

Read: Russell Webster

20/01/2022: MoJ Has Under Invested In Its Female Offender Strategy

The Ministry of Justice has made limited progress on its Female Offender Strategy to improve outcomes for women in the criminal justice system because it has not prioritised investment in this work, according to a report published yesterday by the National Audit Office (NAO). As readers know, women in the justice system have distinct needs and worse outcomes than men.

Read: Russell Webster

18/01/2022: Self-harm guidance to include advice for schools and prisons

Staff in schools and prisons in England and Wales are for the first time to be included in draft guidance on how to identify people who have self-harmed. The experts behind it said everyone was responsible for tackling the growing problem of self-harm – not just mental health professionals. A mental health charity said the guidance would empower teachers to support young people.

Read: BBC

14/01/2022: ‘Disgraceful’ Covid-19 restrictions on children in prison to end in March

Secondary legislation which allowed children in prison to be locked in cells for up to 22 hours a day at the height of the pandemic will end in March, it has been confirmed.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/01/2022: Legal protections within child prisons to be reinstated in March

Article 39 and the Howard League for Penal Reform today (Thursday 13 January) welcome the fact that new secondary legislation has been introduced that ends the curtailment of critical legal protections to people in prison, including children, that were imposed early on in the pandemic.

Read: The Howard League for Penal Reform

08/01/2022: Great Information Resource For Justice Practitioners

The Butler Trust’s Knowledge Exchange site now has over 400 resources for prison, probation and youth justice practitioners.

Read: Russell Webster

05/01/2022: Pilot scheme bids to scrap criminal sentences for young people caught with cannabis

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is looking to trial the scrapping of criminal sentences for young people caught in possession of cannabis to divert them away from the criminal justice system. The trial is being developed for three out of London’s 32 boroughs and would only apply to young people aged between 18 to 24 caught in possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Read: Children and Young People Now

08/12/2021: The link between poverty, inequality and repeat contact with policing

A new report from the charity Revolving Doors as part of its New Generation Policing programme combines a literature review and peer-led qualitative research to demonstrate how the issues of poverty, trauma and policing interact for young adults aged 18-25.

Read: Work with Offenders

06/12/2021: A youth justice system that works for children

Last week a coalition of service, strategic and political leaders in local government published a joint policy position paper on youth justice, calling for a move towards a more localised, responsive and child-centred system in the future. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), Association of Youth Offending Team Mangers (AYM) and the Local Government Association (LGA) came together to push for a change in direction in youth justice policy.

Read: Work with Offenders

01/12/2021: Youth projects share £18m to divert children away from crime

Ten youth projects will share £18m to provide alternatives for young people at risk of committing crime. The funding is being handed out by the Youth Endowment Fund and aims to support more than 7,300 children. Projects will provide young people with alternatives to being arrested, convicted, and receiving a custodial sentence.

Read: Children and Young People Now

25/11/2021: Children’s sector leaders call for overhaul of youth justice system

Children services leaders have called for major youth justice reforms, including raising the age of criminal responsibility and creating a more “responsive and child centred system”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

23/11/2021: Does the criminal justice system punish young people for their abuse?

There is a continuing debate about the extent to which young people involved in County Lines drug dealing gangs are criminals or victims. We also know that although the numbers of children detained in custody has reduced massively over recent years (there was an average of just over 780 children in custody at any one time during 2019/20, a fall of 68% compared with ten years ago), those who are detained have very complex needs. This issue was brought under the spotlight even more by new research commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and published earlier this year. The “Punishing Abuse” report authored by Dr Alex Chard, argues that a number of children in the youth justice system are being punished as a consequence of the impact on their behaviours of their early abuse and loss.

Read: Work with Offenders

11/11/2021: Communicating Sentences to Children – updated Crown Court Compendium Part II – Sentencing (published 31 August 2021)

The most recent edition of the Crown Court Compendium Part II: Sentencing has been revised to include relevant considerations when sentencing children, in relation to both the legal framework and language and communication.

Read: Youth Justice Legal Centre

05/11/2021: Girls In Custody

A recent (October 2021) report by the Centre For Mental Health looks at the needs of girls in the Children and Young People Secure Estate (CYPSE). Out of Sight, authored by Lorraine Khan, Androulla Harris and Curtis Sinclair, was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with the Youth Custody Service. The review is informed by interviews with girls who had been in the CYPSE, conducted by Leaders Unlocked.

Read: Russell Webster

28/10/2021: Sharp Rise In Prison Self-Harm

Today’s (28 October 2021) Safety in Custody Statistics make for particularly grim reading. The figures, which cover deaths in prison in the 12 months up to September this year and assaults and self harm in the year to June, are, frankly shocking.

Read: Russell Webster