CYCJ publish reports on youth justice and secure care in Scotland

Category: Children in conflict with the law

17th November 2017

The CYCJ have released two new reports, one written by their Youth Improvement Board on young people and custody and another which features the voices of young people with direct experience of secure care.

Children and Young People in Custody in Scotland

'Children and Young People in Custody in Scotland: Looking Behind the Data' was produced in partnership by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Prison Service, and the CYCJ.

It is aimed at those providing services and support to vulnerable children and young people, and those who come into contact with children and young people in the justice system. The report offers insights into what we know about children and young people and what is happening within youth justice, as well as incorporating the story of 'Danny' whose experiences reflect many young people's in custody.

Key findings of the report include:

  • There has been a dramatic reduction over the last decade in the level of offending by children and young people in Scotland, and a general decline in the number of under 18s in custody since 2009.
  • A period of custody - no matter how short - may disrupt the child or young person's life with consequences which go far beyond the sentence without effectively addressing issues and needs.
  • Early school exclusion is one of the strongest predictors of making the transition from the Children's Hearing System to the adult criminal justice system and ending up in custody. School exclusion before age 12 significantly increased the odds of imprisonment by age 22.
  • Download 'Children and Young People in Custody in Scotland' here.

Secure Care in Scotland

'Secure Care in Scotland: Young People's Voices' presents key messages from care experienced young people. The young people were interviewed during group conversations which we held at secure care units and which explored 'transitions', the secure care experience, and mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

These accounts from care experienced young people also were part of evidence that formed the basis of the CYCJ's 2016 report Secure Care in Scotland: Looking Ahead.

Accompanying the publication of 'Secure Care in Scotland: Young People's Voices' is a blog by a young person with direct experience of secure care, reflecting on what's changed over the past 20 years and why giving young people a voice is so important in bringing about change.

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