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Children and Sentencing: a toolkit

We worked with young people to develop resources to ensure better outcomes for children facing sentence in the criminal courts.

Children in trouble with the law are often some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities.

Young people in contact with the Howard League legal service for children and young adults in prison identified the sentencing process as an especially troubling stage of the criminal justice system.

Calls to the Howard League legal advice line for children in and at risk of prison reveal that children experience high levels of confusion and anxiety about sentencing.

In response to these concerns, working directly with about 80 young people, the Howard League developed a sentencing toolkit to ensure better outcomes for children facing sentence in the criminal courts.

This toolkit includes three resources:

  • Child friendly resources: a poster that converts into a leaflet for children facing sentence.  The leaflet sets out key things children 17 years old and under should expect from the sentencing process. This resource can be downloaded as a poster only or a leaflet only.  Some hard copies are available on request.  An App has also been developed, available both on Android devices and iOS (Apple).
  • A comprehensive guide for adults supporting children: The toolkit Guide for adults is aimed at professionals such as lawyers, youth justice professionals and social workers – as well as supporting adults such as parents and carers. Using the toolkit, adults will be able to support children at different stages throughout the sentencing process by giving them practical advice and information that responds to their needs and vulnerabilities.
  • Useful resources: a list of other links and useful resources on sentencing children.
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