Earlier this year, we invited Howard League members in prison – and members with a loved one in prison – to share their experiences of imprisonment during the pandemic. In April, we built on this by asking young people on our advice line what the past two years had been like for them.
When a child is in trouble, we should do all that we can to give them the care and support they need. This may sound obvious, but as the Howard League has seen through its legal work, and as a long line of official inspection reports makes clear, prisons holding children fail routinely to reach this standard. Prison is no place for a child.
This week the Ministry of Justice published a long-awaited review of custodial remand for children. This important document responds to concerns raised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Justice Committee, and echoed by many others including the Howard League, about the ever-increasing proportion of children on remand in prison.
As we come to the end of another challenging year, I would like to thank all Howard League members for your support in 2021.
Christmas is a difficult period for many, and particularly so for people in prison and their families. The calls this week to our legal advice line, from children and young adults, are a stark reminder of how life inside is very different from life outside at this time of year.
A guest post from the national charity, Missing People, looks at a consultation the charity carried out with children in care as part of their ongoing work to improve professionals' responses to children going missing from care which will improve safeguarding and reduce unnecessary criminalisation.
There have been huge reductions in child arrests over the last ten years. In this blog, Claire Sands looks at how initiatives in Dyfed-Powys, including work with residential children's homes, have contributed to sustained low levels of child arrests in that area.