National Youth Justice Conference 2019

The 12th annual National Youth Justice Conference took place at the Stirling Court Hotel on June 19 & 20, 2019.

Hosted by the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), the National Youth Justice Advisory Group (NYJAG) and the Scottish Government, this popular as always event brought together practitioners from across Scotland to hear about the latest youth justice research and developments, share best practice and reflect on the views of young people who have experienced the youth and criminal justice system.

The theme for 2019 was ‘Youth Justice through the Ages’, focusing on the ways in which systems respond to young people at conflict with the law at different stages of their lifespan, as well as looking back at the changes that have occurred, and ahead at what’s to come.

In a conference first, two Scottish ministers delivered a joint panel. Humza Yousaf (Cabinet Secretary for Justice) and Maree Todd (Minister for Children and Young People) answered questions on youth justice from young people and practitioners. Speakers also included  Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland; The Right Hon Lady Dorrian, Lord Justice Clerk; Dr Tim Bateman, Deputy Chair of the National Association for Youth Justice; Nancy Loucks (Chief Executive, Families Outside); Fergus McNeill (University of Glasgow), with a musical performance of songs written by prisoners Donna Maciocia (Distant Voices, Vox Liminis).

This year’s conference introduced ‘lightning talks’ – with inputs from Community Justice Scotland, Police Scotland, Includem, the HGM Inspector of Prisons and others giving the audience chance to for discussion. There was a particular focus on the Independent Care Review and secure care in Scotland.

Delegate also enjoyed two short films – The Close (an interpretation of The Crucible acted out by children at Kibble Education and Care Centre supported by Scottish Ballet), and the first public screening of MOTION, a film made by the young men in HMYOI Polmont.

Thank you to everyone who attended – will we see you in 2020?


Listen to the conference podcast.

Download the Info Sheet on key messages and themes

Read the conference evaluation report.

Roundtable with Dr Tim Bateman on Keeping Children out of Young Offenders Institutions – June 18

Programme for Day 1.

Programme for Day 2.

Workshop summaries

Presentation slides – speakers


The Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending by Children and Young People (lightning talk)
Stuart Allardyce, Stop it Now! Scotland

The imprisonment of children: an English perspective
Dr Tim Bateman, University of Bedfordshire


From Care to Crime: A Continuum
Professor Nancy Loucks (Families Outside) and Vonnie Sandlan (Care Review)

Secure Care Standards (lightning talk)
Debbie Nolan (CYCJ)

Secure Care through the ages: 2002 to 2005 & 2018 (lightning talk)
Ross Gibson (CYCJ)

Alternatives to Custody (lightning talk)
Martin Dorchester (Includem)

Speaker podcasts (please note that we are only able to share podcasts where this is possible) 

Sentencing Young People
The Right Hon Lady Dorrian

Children’s Human Rights in the Criminal Justice System
Bruce Adamson (Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Scotland)

The imprisonment of children: an English perspective
Dr Tim Bateman (University of Bedfordshire)

From Care to Crime: A Continuum
Professor Nancy Loucks (Families Outside) and Vonnie Sandlan (Independent Care Review)

Deprivation of Liberty
Wendy Sinclair-Gieben (HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Scotland), Ross Gibson (CYCJ) and Debbie Nolan (CYCJ).

Alternatives and Inclusion (lightning talk) 
Chief Inspector Lex Baillie (Police Scotland) and Martin Dorchester (Includem)

Alternatives and Inclusion
Pamela Graham and Kevin Lafferty (Staf)

Presentation slides – workshops

The Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill

Formulation in Practice

Reflect and Learn – Inclusion as Prevention

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy in Residential Child Care: Thinking about responsivity and the relationship

Developing Capacity and Improvement in a Youth Justice setting

Changing Culture – Building Relationships – A Structured Sentencing Court for Young People

Talking Hope, Building Bridges – Sharing reflections about hope, voice and interagency working with and for young people at key points of transition

NKBL @ 10 –  A youth work approach to violence

STOP (Sacro Tackling Offending Prejudices): dealing with discrimination and Hate Crime issues in Schools

Power Threat and Meaning in Youth Justice

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

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