An article examined the protection of rights and well-being of children in custody in England and Wales, arguing that by abolishing the use of penal institutions and placing children instead in care-based homes the state would be better able to safeguard rights and to meet its assumed responsibility to parent children whilst in custody. The article also discussed, in this context, the coalition government's proposals to introduce secure colleges for young offenders.
Source: Kathryn Hollingsworth, 'Assuming responsibility for incarcerated children: a rights case for care-based homes', Current Legal Problems, Volume 67 Issue 1
A report examined the state of youth justice in Scotland, and how the Kilbrandon Report (1995) had influenced policy and practice. The report looked at: trends in youth offending patterns over the past ten years; how politics, policy, research, and practice shaped youth justice in post-devolution Scotland; and the influence of values in shaping the current youth justice system. The report made recommendations for practice and policy improvements, including a call to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 12, for more age appropriate custody facilities, and for expanding the 'whole system approach'.
Source: Claire Lightowler, David Orr, and Nina Vaswani, Youth Justice in Scotland: Fixed in the past or fit for the future?, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice
A report examined the general principles of what worked in resettlement with young people as they left custody, and considered the specific needs of girls and young women. The report considered the existing policy context, and examined: reasons behind female youth offending; judicial responses; the characteristics of young females in custody; and lessons from interventions with older females and from any existing studies or interventions that focused on the needs of girls or young women. It concluded that interventions should be based on the gender-neutral lessons that applied to the resettlement of all young people, but that a 'gender-prism' should be applied, to consider the potential, more gender-specific, impact of vulnerabilities, relationships, and empowerment of females in the system.
Source: Tim Bateman and Neal Hazel, Resettlement of Girls and Young Women, Beyond Youth Custody
An article examined recent developments in the use of 'out of court' disposals in youth justice in England and Wales, and recent trends towards decreased use of formal procedures.
Source: Roger Smith, 'Re-inventing diversion', Youth Justice, Volume 14 Number 2
An article examined diversion from formal criminal proceedings for young people who had offended. It said that, unless the young person was willing to admit to the offence, it was not possible to divert them from the formal process, and the article considered whether new provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 was a lost opportunity to reconsider the need for an admission of guilt.
Source: Karen Cushing, 'Diversion from prosecution for young people in England and Wales ï¿½ reconsidering the mandatory admission criteria', Youth Justice, Volume 14 Number 2
A paper examined the practice of children's rights in youth justice.
Source: Kathryn Hollingsworth, Re-Imagining Justice for Children: A new rights-based approach to youth justice, Working Paper 10/2014, Howard League for Penal Reform
An article examined the role of the Youth Justice Board for Wales (YJB Cymru) in developing youth justice policy and practice in the partially-devolved context of Wales. It said that YJB Cymru had an increasingly important role in policy and practice development structures and processes in England and Wales, as well as in the Welsh national context specifically, fulfilling a role of 'dual influence' to mediate and manage youth justice tensions in the partially-devolved context.
Source: Stephen Case, 'Strategic complexities and opportunities in Welsh youth justice: exploring YJB Cymru', Safer Communities, Volume 13 Number 3
A report examined the police use of stop and searches on children and young people and the police custody facilities in place for this age group. It said that there were examples of police forces working well to develop positive relationships with children and young people, but there were a number of concerns: about the extent of stop and searches conducted on children in the past five years (over one million across 26 police forces); that some of these children were under the age of criminal responsibility; that, in some areas, disproportionate numbers of children from black and minority-ethnic groups were stopped; that just under half of forces did not provide separate custody facilities for children; and that there was a lack of specific statutory guidance for the police regarding these issues. The report was from an ongoing wider inquiry into the experiences and relationships of children and young people in contact with the police.
Source: All Party Parliamentary Group for Children Inquiry into 'Children and the Police': Initial analysis of information request to police forces, All Party Parliamentary Group for Children
An article examined the policing of anti-social driving by youths in a built-up urban environment in Scotland, in the context of concern and pressure from businesses, residents, the local authority, media, and government. It said that policing practices were shaped by the introduction of anti-social behaviour legislation that had redefined behaviours as deviant or anti-social, and considered the success of the use of this legislation and the impact this had on police relations with young drivers.
Source: Karen Lumsden, 'Anti-social behaviour legislation and the policing of boy racers: dispersal orders and seizure of vehicles', Policing, Volume 8 Number 2
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill was given a third reading. The Bill was designed to make a range of provisions regarding sentencing, youth justice, and the courts, including: restriction of the frequency and circumstances of the use of adult cautions; provisions regarding early release; tracking offenders while on licence; recovery of costs in criminal cases; the creation of secure colleges for young offenders; requiring the presence of an appropriate adult when giving a caution or conditional caution to 17 year olds; continuation of a breached or superseded referral order to allow the restorative justice element to be completed; removal of the requirement for some offences to be heard by magistrates in open court; the extension of provisions for some cases to 'leapfrog' the Court of Appeal (directly to the Supreme Court); provisions to change the requirement for relief, and the provisions for costs and cost capping, in judicial review cases; drugs testing of prisoners; and offences of sending letters with intent to cause distress and anxiety.
Source: Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, Ministry of Justice, TSO | Debate 17 June 2014, columns 962-1083, House of Commons Hansard, TSO
An article examined individual, social, and environmental factors that differentiated gang-involved youth and non-gang youth in Britain. It said that gang-involved youth were likely to be older, and that individual delinquency and the presence of neighbourhood gangs predicted gang involvement. Using structural equation modeling, the article found that parental management, deviant peer pressure, and commitment to school had indirect relationships with gang involvement. The article discussed implications.
Source: Emma Alleyne and Jane Wood, 'Gang involvement: social and environmental factors', Crime & Delinquency, Volume 60 Issue 4
An article examined the evolution of street gangs, based on fieldwork with gangs and gang members in London. It said that gangs evolved from adolescent peer groups within neighbourhoods, and that recreation, crime, enterprise, and extralegal governance represented sequential actualization stages in their evolutionary cycle. The article discussed the factors that influenced the cycle, such as financial pressures or threats of violence, and the transition in some cases from 'crime that was organized' to 'organized crime'.
Source: James Densley, 'It's gang life, but not as we know it: the evolution of gang business', Crime & Delinquency, Volume 60 Issue 4
An article examined the relationship between young people and practitioners in the youth justice setting, drawing on the concepts of dyadic relationships and praxis to consider the research agenda in this area. It argued that centralizing the practitioner-young person relationship remained the key to successful practice, and called for more research to enable the rethinking of youth justice.
Source: Deborah Drake, Ross Fergusson, and Damon Briggs, 'Hearing new voices: re-viewing youth justice policy through practitioners' relationships with young people', Youth Justice, Volume 14 Number 1
An article examined two young people's experiences of transition from secure accommodation, using an interpretative phenomenological approach in the analysis of their accounts. It considered the implications for policy and practice.
Source: Catherine Beal, 'Insider accounts of the move to the outside: two young people talk about their transitions from secure institutions', Youth Justice, Volume 14 Number 1
A report examined the operations, outcomes, and value for money of secure children's homes in England and Wales. It said that there were 17 SCHs, mostly run by local authorities but with nationwide catchments. Ten homes held young people aged between ten and eighteen who were committed to care on a secure welfare placement, were remanded to custody, or were serving a criminal sentence. The others solely held young people on a secure welfare placement. The report examined the educational, therapeutic, and support activities of the homes, and the outcomes achieved. It made a range of recommendations, including that SCHs should be recognised as a national resource requiring central coordination, and that there should be a national strategy to improve the collecting and sharing of information, and to assess ways to centralise resources in order to provide economies of scale.
Source: "They Helped Me, They Supported Me": Achieving outcomes and value for money in secure children's homes, Justice Studio/Secure Children's Homes
A new book examined the practices of 'soft' policing through the perspective of different front-line agencies (including the police, social work teams, and the youth justice service), and their collaborative response toward young people involved in low-level anti-social behaviour.
Source: Daniel McCarthy, 'Soft' Policing: The collaborative control of anti-social behaviour, Palgrave Macmillan
A new book examined the youth justice system, the risks and problems posed by society for young people, and the opportunities for changes in policy and practice under the United Kingdom coalition government.
Source: Anne Robinson, Foundations for Youth Justice: Positive approaches to practice, Policy Press
A report examined the needs of young adults (18 to 24 year olds) in contact with mental health and/or learning disability services and the criminal justice system. It identified core components of effective engagement with young adults, including: a primary focus on emotional well-being and communication difficulties; building consistent and continuous relationships, with 'open door' policies to capitalize on those relationships; services that were ex-offender or service user led, accessible, and available; and tailored, personalized support to meet individual needs, address offending behaviour, and connect them to resources and opportunities. The report made a range of recommendations.
Source: The Bradley Commission: Young adults (18-24) in transition, mental health and criminal justice, Briefing Paper 2, Centre for Mental Health
A study examined policy and practice on anti-social behaviour in Wales. It examined: the practices of social landlords; areas in which landlords might improve practice; and the effectiveness of Welsh government policy and guidance in supporting this work. The report highlighted the importance of partnership/collaborative working, early intervention, communication (with victims and perpetrators), and consistency, and noted the difficulty in evaluating both the scale of the problem and the effectiveness of outcomes. The report made recommendations.
Source: Anne Delaney, David Hedges, Simon Inkson, and Joanne McNally, Wales Anti-social Behaviour: Policy and practice review, Welsh Government
An article examined interpretations of the meaning of 'anti-social behaviour' among adults and young people, drawing on a study in Greater London. It said that interpretations varied according to the age of the person naming the behaviour, as well as the age of the perceived 'victim' and 'perpetrator'. The article considered how perceptions of risk influenced interpretations.
Source: Susie Hulley, 'What is anti-social behaviour? An empirical study of the impact of age on interpretations', Crime Prevention & Community Safety, Volume 16
A report examined the progress made on the implementation of recommendations that were made following the deaths in custody of sixteen boys in England and Wales since April 2000. Around 120 recommendations had been received and the report said that changes had been made, but further work was required on: the care and support of looked-after children; reducing the incidence and impact of bullying in secure settings; listening to children and acting upon their concerns; information sharing; and better support for children at risk of self harm and suicide.
Source: Deaths of Children in Custody: Action taken, lessons learnt, Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (Ministry of Justice)
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill was published. The Bill was designed to make a range of provisions regarding sentencing, youth justice, and the courts, including: restriction of the frequency and circumstances of the use of adult cautions; provisions regarding early release; tracking offenders while on licence; recovery of costs in criminal cases; the creation of secure colleges for young offenders; requiring the presence of an appropriate adult when giving a caution or conditional caution to 17 year olds; continuation of a breached or superseded referral order to allow the restorative justice element to be completed; removal of the requirement for some offences to be heard by magistrates in open court; the extension of provisions for some cases to 'leapfrog' the Court of Appeal (directly to the Supreme Court); and provisions to change the requirement for relief, and the provisions for costs and cost capping, in judicial review cases.
Source: Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, Ministry of Justice, TSO
An article examined possible mechanisms linking adolescents' offending to that of their peers, using data from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime. It investigated whether offending behaviour by the peer group of adolescents shown in one context was related only to adolescents' own offending in the same context or also to offending in other contexts. Evidence was found for context-specific peer effects of theft in different contexts. This supported learning as an important mechanism explaining peer similarity in offending, possibly alongside opportunity, while contradicting selection was an alternative explanation.
Source: Harald Beier, 'Peer effects in offending behaviour across contexts: disentangling selection, opportunity and learning processes', European Journal of Criminology, Volume 11 Number 1
The government published its response to a consultation on youth custody in England and Wales. The report said that the government would now legislate to create secure colleges, a network of educational establishments providing learning, vocational training, and life skills, as part of the rehabilitation programme for young offenders. The first secure college would be piloted in the East Midlands from 2017. The report also outlined plans to improve education and training provision within existing public sector young offender institutions, with better assessment of special educational needs and each YOI having a principal to oversee education. The Youth Justice Board would take overall responsibility for education in custodial settings. The report discussed the importance of resettlement plans, which would now be considered throughout the custodial sentence and would include planning for better support on release, and for re-entry into education, training, or employment.
Source: Transforming Youth Custody: Government response to the consultation, Ministry of Justice