Young Women in the Criminal Justice System Report Launch

The Alliance for Youth Justice and Agenda: The Alliance for Women and Girls at Risk have published a joint report into the experience of young women in the criminal justice system, titled “We’ve Not Given Up”. The report was launched in a well-attended Committee Room 10 on 29 June 2022 at an event chaired by Florence Eshalomi MP. 

We heard the first hand experience of two young women who have been through the system, Razia and Danny, and reflections on the report by Agenda Chief Executive Indy Cross, which is the outcome of two years of research working directly with young women. 

The Report sets out the need for young women in the system to be recognised as a distinct group at all stages of policy making, consistently involving young women in the process. It advises that policy making should take a long-term view and implement preventative work and stop a “spiral of disadvantage, criminalisation and imprisonment”.

Staff in the system must be supported to recognise and respond to the need of young women, including the distinct needs of BAME and care-experienced young women. The Report recommends that a gender-sensitive and trauma-informed approach is developed in partnership with the voluntary sector.

The Report highlights that funding which is commissioned to improve the lives of young women and girls must have clear targets and performance measures and robust accountability mechanisms, and that ring-fenced funding must be available for specialist services for particular communities. 

“We’ve Not Given Up” is available in full here: