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Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels BOYS – JUSTICE – COUNCILS IN TROUBLE! “The trouble with boys” 5 December.

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Presentation on theme: "Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels BOYS – JUSTICE – COUNCILS IN TROUBLE! “The trouble with boys” 5 December."— Presentation transcript:

1 Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels BOYS – JUSTICE – COUNCILS IN TROUBLE! “The trouble with boys” 5 December 2011

2 Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels Howard League Commission of Inquiry into Violence in Penal Institutions for children under 18 “Banged up, beaten up, cutting up!” (1995) Suicides (hanging) Self harm (cutting) Injuries to children (from restraints) segregation 76% reconviction rate Councils’ failures to provide (and use) secure children’s homes

3 only a minority of children grow up without ever misbehaving in ways which are contrary to the law and The aims of protecting society from young offenders and helping children in trouble to grow up are complementary and not contradictory [“Children in Trouble” (Home Office 1968)] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

4 1969 Children and Young Persons Act Raised the age of criminal responsibility to 14 Increased minimum age for custody to 18 Replaced custody with children’s homes Replaced remands in custody with local authority accommodation and secure children’s homes and youth treatment centres (YTCs x2) Social workers took over from probation officers Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

5 The Bureaucracy of Youth Justice Government reviews Green Papers White Papers Action Plans Initiatives Projects Political slogans Commissions Advisory Boards Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

6 Transportation with adults in prison service cellular vehicles The use of pain compliant restraint techniques The practice of searching naked children The continued use of segregation and adjudication Inadequate vulnerability and health assessments Seriously underdeveloped safeguarding arrangements [Joint Inspectorates’ “Safeguarding Reports”, HM Coroners, Prison and Probation Ombudsmen] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

7 Education was occasional Food unacceptable hours per day in a cell Boys slept (and ate) in unventilated cells with their heads (and food) just 3 feet from open, filthy lavatory bowls Contrasts with SCHs & STCs [Prof. Sir Al Aynsley-Green, former Children’s Commissioner (2010)] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

8 1.The Prospects for Change? “The time has come to roll back our heavy use of criminal justice interventions and stop talking up the potency of criminal laws to solve our social ills… the major cuts in public spending provide an opportunity for us to stop doing things we should never have done… chief among them, criminalising and locking up so many children, thereby grooming a new generation of long term adult criminals whose depredations we will all suffer.” [Rod Morgan, former YJB Chair, 2010] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

9 2. The Prospects for Change? “We cannot arrest or imprison our way out of this.” [Ian Duncan Smith and Theresa May, September 2011] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

10 3.Prospects for Change Children in custody – primary offence ?22% Violence20% Robbery17% Burglary13% Vehicles5% Racially aggravated activity4% Theft4% Drugs3% Sexual offences2% CD & Arson2% [Source: Prison Reform Trust 2010] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

11 © Alan Evans/ newsteam/Daily Mail 4. Prospects for Change Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels The Case of Danielle Corns (aged 18) “Britain’s Dopiest Rioter”

12 A letter of apology “to illustrate the mindset of criminals…” “I don’t know why I am writing a letter to you. I have been forced to write this letter by ISSP. To be honest I’m not bothered or sorry about the fact that I burgled your house. Basicly it was your own fault anyways… I don’t feel sorry for you and I’m not going to show any sympathy or remores…” [West Yorkshire Police REUTERS – 4/12/11] Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels

13 Innovative Practice Examples SOS - interagency anti gangs project, West London Pimlico Academy – inclusion and integration European Secure ‘Integration Centres’ – short film Discuss Malcolm Stevens UK Commissioner International Juvenile Justice Observatory, Brussels


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