Review of youth justice system urgently needed

A substantial, high profile review of the youth justice system
in England and Wales is urgently needed, with a distinct focus on
children, according to a coalition of organisations,
writes Clare Jerrom.

A report from Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society,
Howard League for Penal Reform, Nacro, National Children’s
Bureau, NCH, NSPCC and the National Association for Youth Justice
calls for an effective child-centred system to be established to
sustain national and international scrutiny.

The current system has a poor record of compliance with legal
obligations regarding children’s human rights, is not
sufficiently distinct from the adult criminal justice system, and
is not designed or administered with a sufficient focus on
children’s needs.

It also said custody is not used as a measure of last resort,
responses to children in trouble have become increasingly
prescribed, reflecting an overly punitive ethos, and there is a
tendency to criminalise children unnecessarily and at younger

‘Children in trouble: time for change’ can be purchased

01268 520224

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