Youth Justice Voices is a joint collaboration between the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) and the Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (Staf), funded by the Life Changes Trust.
What’s the story?
Set up in April 2019 to amplify the voices of young people aged 16-25 with experience of the care and justice systems, this youth justice advisory group is using creative ways to enable young people to be heard in the justice system, and explore and share their experiences with policymakers, managers, corporate parents and the Scottish Government.
Why ‘Youth Just Us’?
The project steering group made the decision to call themselves ‘Youth Just Us’. In addition to being a clever play on words, they felt it gave “justice” to justice experienced young people by dropping the label.
What have they achieved so far?
Although only in existence for a few months, Youth Just Us has already:
- Taken part in a consultation about digital rights, considering why incorporating digital rights into the UNCRC might be beneficial
- Questioned Scottish Government Ministers Humza Yousaf (Cabinet Secretary for Justice) and Maree Todd (Minister for Children and Young People) about issues at the 2019 National Youth Justice Conference.
- Recorded a podcast. Group member Kevin Lafferty participated in ‘The Forum’ podcast with Deputy First Minister John Swinney, discussing why he thinks the care-experienced bursary should be made available beyond 26.
- Met with the Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP, to discuss their views and ask questions about the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill in September.
- Held a film screening of ‘Trouble’ and reflected on personal journeys through the care and justice systems.
Where’s the entertainment?
In addition to influencing change, Youth Just Us is equally serious about having fun! The group have enjoyed games of bowling, Lazer Quest and football, whilst enjoying the odd pizza, Mexican food and games night. Oh, and not forgetting Giant Jenga…
Why should I get involved?
Youth Just Us is open to those aged 16-25, who have experience of the care and/or justice systems. If you want your views to be heard (and acted on), and to play your part in changing the future of youth justice in Scotland, plus meet new people and do something a wee bit different with your time, then this is the group for you. Meetings take place in Glasgow on most Monday evenings. You are very welcome to bring along your support worker.
Contact Ruth Kerracher on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss and find out more. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest information: @Ruth_Kerracher @CYCJScotland @StafScot
Youth Justice Voices joins forces with Articulate
Youth Justice Voices has embarked on a new partnership with Articulate Cultural Trust and Glaswegian artist Scott Lang.
With the support and guidance of Scott and Articulate, Youth Just Us will creatively explore their experiences, encapsulating what care and justice means to them. They will also have the opportunity to further the project’s identity and communicate key messages with their own exhibition.
Having grown up in one of Glasgow’s housing schemes, Scott Lang uses spray paint, stencils and photomontage to explore the intrinsic link between this and his own sense of identity. His work deals with themes such as cultural identity, the oppressive brutalist architecture prevalent in the city’s schemes, stereotypes and gang culture. More info here.
Blogs and other stuff
Pictured below: members of Youth Just Us with Maree Todd