SCYJ response to the MoJ ‘Secure Schools: How to Apply Guide’ Consultation

SCYJ has responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on draft ‘Secure Schools: How to Apply’’ guidance. The guide sets out the expectations of Secure Schools and the procedure that prospective Secure School providers must take.

SCYJ applauds the detail included in the draft guide and welcomes a number of elements, including the recognition of the vulnerability of children in custody and the need to develop a child-focused, individualised provision with a specialized workforce.

However, we do have some concerns, particularly with regards to the place of cost in the assessment process, and we would welcome further details on aspects not yet covered by the guide. We have made a variety of recommendations and offered practical guidance to ensure that Secure Schools will be developed with a child-focused approach.

Read our full response here.

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SCYJ submission to YOI inspection ‘expectations’ consultation

SCYJ has responded to a HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) consultation on the third edition of its ‘Expectations for children’ document, aimed at locating its criteria for assessing the treatment of children and conditions in prisons within the context of international human rights standards.

We believe their approach is largely very successful, and we congratulate HMIP on this. There are, however, both some gaps in the document and also some weaknesses in adopting a mainly outcome driven focus that we believe could be easily accommodated within this overall framework, and we would urge HMIP to consider doing this.

Read our full response here.

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SCYJ submission to consultation on domestic abuse

SCYJ has responded to the Home Office consultation, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse.

SCYJ has concerns around the measures proposed in the consultation insofar as they impact on children (16- and 17-year-old) alleged and convicted perpetrators of domestic violence:

  • Many child perpetrators of domestic abuse and children in the criminal justice system more widely face multiple vulnerabilities, with many being victims of domestic abuse themselves, either directly or indirectly. The proposals in the document do not address this.
  • The consultation pays no attention to the fact that 16- and 17-year-olds are children and must be treated differently to adults, with specific child-focussed responses.
  • The consultation pays very little attention to how children who are victims of abuse can be better supported, even when they go on to become alleged or actual perpetrators of abuse.
  • The proposals contained in the consultation may make it more likely that children will be caught and penalised as perpetrators of domestic abuse, increasing the criminalisation of children.

You can read our full submission here.