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Opinion / Youth Justice

We must humanise youth justice system

By Alison O'Sullivan |

27 August 2019

Recent weeks have seen stark reminders of the shortcomings in our youth justice system.

Social workers in schools can prevent youth crime

By Derren Hayes |

27 August 2019

Research by What Works for Children's Social Care has identified the benefits of placing social workers in schools.

Time is the key in secure school reforms

By Nathan Ward |

30 July 2019

The government announced last month that Oasis Charitable Trust will operate the first secure school in the country on the current site of Medway Secure Training Centre (STC).

Action needed to help girls in custody

By John Drew |

25 June 2019

A decade ago, there was an average of 166 girls in custody at any one time. Now there are only 28, a more rapid fall than that for boys. This is good news, of course, but a recent report by Pippa Goodfellow, director of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, highlights why there is no room for complacency. Here are three reasons why.

Build communities to tackle knife crime

By Denise Hatton |

26 March 2019

Over the past few weeks YMCA has been approached by a number of different media outlets asking the same question: Is the rise in knife crime among young people due to youth service cuts?

Naming child offenders harms rehabilitation

By John Drew |

26 March 2019

The recent naming of the 16-year-old child who murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Isle of Bute raises once more very uncomfortable issues about the naming of child defendants in criminal cases.

Relationship training key to custody reform

By Derren Hayes |

26 February 2019

The chief inspector of prisons' most recent annual report paints a worrying picture of relationships between young people in custody and officers.

Be bold and make youth custody education-focused

By Howard Williamson |

14 March 2017

Justice Secretary Liz Truss has, in recent weeks, made a sweeping range of decisions in relation to the prison system.

Improve job opportunities to turn around young offenders

By Howard Williamson |

13 September 2016

I have spent a lot of time in approved schools, remand homes, assessment centres, young offender institutions and prisons.

Rarely has the effect of a change in policy and practice been so evident as that seen in the youth justice system over recent years.