Is the criminal youth justice system retraumatising vulnerable young people?


A new report from Beyond Youth Custody states that young people in the criminal youth justice system have a disproportionate amount of trauma in their backgrounds – ranging from emotional, physical and sexual abuse, to neglect, bullying, violence, bereavement and abandonment – which must be identified and responded to effectively.
The report presents findings from a review of the research and practice literature concerning trauma in the backgrounds of young people who offend. It highlights what is currently known about trauma and identifies the importance of this knowledge for effective resettlement practice.

Pippa Goodfellow, Beyond Youth Custody Programme Manager, says:

“Young people who have experienced trauma need appropriate support to guide them through the criminal justice system in order to address their offending behaviour and change their lives. Only by ensuring trauma is identified and equipping staff to respond effectively can we ensure the system does not compound the impediments to young people’s chances of moving on from crime.

With appropriate support and guidance young people with some of the most negative stories of childhood and adolescent trauma can be helped access opportunities and to re-shape their futures.”

Supporting materials include a blog, case studies and two practitioner’s guides all available here