The Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ) has created a child and young person friendly guide to Scotland’s new and improved Youth Justice Standards, on behalf of the Scottish Government.
‘How good your care and support should be: Standards for people working with children in conflict with the law’ was co-produced with Hannah Snow, who works with CYCJ, and pupils from The Robert Burns Academy in Cumnock.
Scotland’s Standards for People Working with Children in Conflict with the Law (known as ‘the Standards’) are intended to guide both strategic and operational services’ understanding of what is expected at each stage of a child’s journey through the justice system. The latest version was published in June 2021, replacing those Standards published in 2012.
The ten Standard themes cover Children’s Rights and Participation; Prevention and Early Intervention; Children’s Hearings System; Alternatives to Prosecution; Court and Judicial proceedings; Deprivation of Liberty; Assessing, reducing and managing risk of harm; Transitions; Victims; and Improving Outcomes.
Hannah is a person with lived experience of Scotland’s justice and care systems and services. In her foreword to the guide, she explains why these Standards are so important:
“Up to this point you might feel like you haven’t had a voice, but please know that you do. You have the right to be heard. You also have the right to be treated with care, dignity, and respect. Remember this, it is important.
“If everyone follows the Standards, children’s experiences of the justice system should get better.”
Fiona Dyer, CYCJ’s Director, says:
“This guide is the latest addition to our growing collection of adapted resources and information aimed at children and young people. We are committed to doing everything we can to improve justice for and with children and young people, and a key part of this is ensuring they have a clear understanding of the processes and policies that affect them. We hope this guide will help children, young people and their families learn more about these Standards, and why they matter.
“As always, we are immensely grateful to Hannah and the young people who have helped us to write this and make sure we are getting it right for a younger audience.”