In care, out of trouble: summary

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Prison Reform Trust
Prison Reform Trust
Date of publication
23 May 2016
Criminal Justice Services, Children and Young People, Disabled people, Families, Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

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How the life chances of children in care can be transformed by protecting them from unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice system.

This review had the benefit of a broad advisory panel including leading experts in the field, experienced practitioners and, above all, children and young people with first-hand experience of care and the criminal justice system.

Key findings:

  • 94% of looked after children in England and Wales do not get into trouble with the law.
  • Nonetheless, children in care are significantly over represented in the criminal justice system and in custody, where many have a particularly poor experience.
  • Children in care who are at risk of offending need consistent emotional and practical support from their carers and other professionals and are likely to be especially vulnerable when they leave care.

The review’s findings and recommendations are the product of a year’s intensive inquiry and are intended for practitioners as well as policy makers.

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