CRAE, HL & SCYJ Submits Written Evidence to Criminal Justice and Courts Public Bill Committee

The Children’s Right Alliance or England (CRAE), Howard League for Penal Reform (HL) and Standing Committee for Youth Justice (SCYJ) are seriously concerned by several aspects of the plans for Secure Colleges.  We have outlined these in our written submission to the Criminal Justice and Courts Public Bill Committee. Some of the aspects we are concerned about are:

  • The effect large institutions will have on the safety and outcomes of the most vulnerable children placed there.
  • The safeguarding implications of accommodating girls and younger children  with a large number of older boys.
  • The permitted use of “reasonable force… to ensure good order and discipline” on children within secure colleges despite this being deemed illegal in 2008 and therefore removed from STC rules.
  • The lack of a strong duty to assess and pursue each child’s best interests to protect their welfare needs
  • The high cost of the untested pathfinder secure college – £85 million – when youth justice budgets are tight and the lack of detail about Secure Colleges.

CRAE, HL & SCYJ Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – Public Bill Committee Submission

We have also given oral evidence to the Criminal Justice and Courts Public Bill Committee

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SCYJ Give Oral Evidence To Criminal Justice and Courts Bill Committee

Today our Chair, Penelope Gibbs, gave evidence to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.  Penelope outlined the concerns we raised in the Second Reading Briefing we produced alongside the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.

The below video shows the SCYJ’s oral evidence session as well as other sessions from from SCYJ Members The Howard League for Penal Reform, the Prison Reform Trust and the Prisoners Education Trust as well as our two observer organisations: The Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Criminal Justice Alliance.

Session 1

Session 2

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SCYJ, Howard League & CRAE Publish Briefing on Criminal Justice and Courts Bill Second Reading

The Standing Committee for Youth Justice, alongside the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England have produced a briefing outlining our concerns with the Secure College proposals in the Criminal Justice & Courts Bill.  The main points we are concerned about are:

  • The size of secure colleges and the negative impacts this will have on child safety and secure children’s homes
  • The inclusion of children and girls as young as 12 in Secure Colleges and the impact this could have on their rehabilitation and safety
  • The use of restraint in Secure Colleges to “ensure good order and discipline”

The full briefing can be viewed here: SCYJ, Howard League & CRAE Briefing on Criminal Justice and Courts Bill Second Reading

More detail about the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is available on the parliament website.

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