Source: Alliance for Youth Justice First published 21st April 2021
In January 2021, Agenda and AYJ published the Young Women’s Justice Project literature review, mapping the evidence-base around young women (aged 17–25) in contact with the criminal justice system and identifying gaps in knowledge to inform the direction of future work. Girls’ experience of the transition to adulthood whilst in contact with the criminal justice system emerged as a key concern.
Falling Through the Gaps sets out the policy context and key findings of young women’s experiences as they turn 18 and move from the youth to adult justice system, as well as experiencing changes in other kinds of provision, including mental health support, accommodation, reduced safeguarding responses and leaving care.
Drawing on insights from an expert seminar bringing together over 50 professionals from the youth, women and girls’ and criminal justice sectors, research undertaken with girls and young women, and existing literature and data, this briefing paper makes recommendations for researchers, policymakers and those working directly with girls and young women about what needs to change.
Recommendations include at point 9 (page 29):
9. The Youth Custody Service and HM Prison Service to develop and promote good practice guidance for practitioners supporting girls transitioning from the youth to adult criminal justice system which:
a. is developed in partnership with young women and the statutory and voluntary sector services
b. is responsive to the needs of Black and minoritised girls and young women and recognises the impact of racialised inequalities on their experiences of transition;
c. is responsive to the needs of care-experienced girls and young women and outlines young women’s entitlements to support as care leavers; and
d. directs criminal justice professionals working in the youth and adult estates to create opportunities
for girls who are transitioning to access Leaders Unlocked’s forthcoming Transitions Guide for Girls,
with appropriate time and support to engage with this resource.
Download the full report at source: Falling Through the Gaps: Young Women’s Justice Project Briefing