SCYJ Publishes Joint Briefing with SEC for House of Lords Report Stage of the Children and Families Bill

The Children and Families Bill will have it’s third day of House of Lords Report Stage on 7th January 2014.

SCYJ are working in conjunction with the Special Education Consortium to brief Peers around Clause 70 – a portion of the Bill which meant children in custody were exempt from having their SEN needs met. Since the inception of the Children and Families Bill we have been working with the Government to provide a suitable alternative to ensure that children in custody can have their EHC plans follow them right through custody and into resettlement with minimal disruption.

The Government have since laid their amendments. We warmly welcome the Government’s intention to now delete Clause 70 from the Bill, however, we believe the Government isn’t putting a strong enough duty on local authorities to ensure children in csutody have the right to access the educational provision specified in an Education, Health and Care plan.

Our House of Lords Report Stage of Children and Families Briefing is available here.

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SCYJ and Partners Produce Joint-Briefing for House of Lords Report Stage of the Anti-social Behaviour Bill

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill (ASB Bill) will have its first day of House of Lords Report Stage on 8th January 2014. We anticipate that all the issues of concern to SCYJ will be covered on this day.

SCYJ, along with JUSTICE, Liberty, The Children’s Society and CJA, is working with Peers to table and support amendments to the Bill.

The Earl of Listowel has tabled amendments which would prevent children from being imprisoned for breach of the IPNA (the new ASBO) or failure to comply with the new police dispersal power.

Lord Dear has tabled amendments which would change the definition of ASB for the purposes of the IPNA. His amendments would return the definition of ASB to that used in the ASBO – conduct causing “harassment alarm or distress” – except in housing situations where the definition would remain as conduct causing “nuisance and annoyance”.

Last week the Government tabled some a series of amendments to the Bill, including:

  • Amending the definition of ASB for the purposes of the IPNA. Instead of “conduct capable of causing nuisance and annoyance to any person” the government proposes to change the definition to “conduct that could reasonably be expected to cause nuisance or annoyance to any person”.
  • Linked applications:  amendments would allow IPNA applications against adults to be heard in the youth court where the application is linked with to an application against a child.
  • Power to exclude someone from their own home:  amendments would prevent powers to exclude people from their own home from applying to under-18s.
  • Police dispersal powers: amendments specify that the police must consider the right to freedom of expression and assembly when using the new police dispersal power.
  • Guidance: amendments would give the Guidance accompanying the Bill a statutory underpinning

. The briefing is available here.

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SCYJ Respond to the Transforming Management of Young Adults in Custody Consultation

Recently the Ministry of Justice begun consulting on proposals that would remove 18-20 year olds from the young adult secure estate. This would mean that children turning 18 in prison will go straight from the youth secure estate to an adult prison. SCYJ are concerned about the effects this will have on young people and have outlined those concerns in a letter to the Ministry of Justice.

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