Another step forward was taken we believe, at Youth Justice Voices, as the Scottish Government announced they had introduced the Children’s Care and Justice bill, a bill that our members consulted on earlier in the year.

They announced a raft of measures that align with the manifesto of The Promise and gives encouragement that the government are beginning to realise that it is worth respecting the rights of the country’s children in care and addressing the traumas many face that results in them coming into conflict with the law.

Being consulted on when you have had your liberty removed or when you were smashed to the ground in a physical restraint brings up a lot of feelings to me. Is it paradoxically a good thing because the responses of how damaging it actually was, will mean other young people won’t face the same treatment? Time will tell!  But a step forward none the less, on paper, and real encouragement that young people’s voices are being listened to and our members at Youth Just Us continue to influence the actions of the decision makers at the top.

Key points in the bill 

  • 16 and 17-year-olds will no longer be placed in young offenders institutions (whether on pre-trial or pre-sentencing remand, or following sentencing)
  • All under-18s can be referred to the children’s hearings system, helping to keep children out of criminal courts, where appropriate
  • Increased protection and information for victims in cases involving children’s hearings
  • New powers for Scottish Ministers to help regulate the placement of children from elsewhere in the UK into secure and residential care in Scotland

Access the Children's Care and Justice Bill