• Child imprisonment: exploring injustice by geography

      Bateman, Tim; University of Bedfordshire (HM Prison Service, 2011)
      The risk that a child might be confined to the secure estate depends to a large extent on the post code of the court in which he or she is sentenced. At the level of individual youth offending team (YOT) area, the difference is 1 in 5 cases leading to a court disposal in Merthyr Tydfil to 1 in 150 in Dorset. This variation cannot be explained by local patterns of youth crime, but is indicative of a form of injustice. The article demonstrates that sentence decision-making at the local level is sensitive to a range of factors which distinguish the areas with a high use of detention from those which deprive few children of their liberty. These factors are: the extent of pre-court diversion; the distribution of sentencing options below the level of custody; and the manner in which youth justice practitioners respond to children who come to the attentions of YOTs. The article concludes that areas where the level of child imprisonment remains relatively low retain elements from an earlier era of youth justice committed to decriminalisation, diversion and decarceration. In contrast, localities with higher rates of incarceration show more features associated with the punitive turn of the early 1990s.
    • Children in conflict with the law: an overview of trends and developments – 2010/2011

      Bateman, Tim; National Association for Youth Justice (National Association for Youth Justice, 2012)
      The youth justice system is an ever changing landscape. Shifts in legislation, policy and practice generate corresponding transformations in the treatment of children who come to the attention of criminal justice agencies. Substantial variation in responses to youth crime owes little to changes in children’s offending behaviour or to a growing awareness of ‘what works’ (itself a contested issue) 1 but is largely a function of political and financial considerations. The National Association for Youth Justice (NAYJ) believes that an understanding of these changes provides an important contextual base for those who wish to argue for reform of the current arrangements for dealing with children in trouble in favour of a child friendly youth justice system. Such an understanding is also a prerequisite of providing child friendly services within that system.
    • Effective practice with young people who offend

      Bateman, Tim; Nacro (Nacro, 1999)
      Recent debate about how to intervene with young people who offend has increasingly focused on what constitutes effective practice. Such practice has been defined by HM Inspectorate of Probation as that which produces the intended results 1 and most contributors to the debate have assumed that the desired outcome to which effective practice should aspire is the reduction of offending. Section 37 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a duty on all those working within the youth justice system to have regard to a principal aim of preventing offending by children and young people and, by implication, to ensure that interventions within that system are informed by an evidence base as to what is effective in these terms.
    • Ignoring necessity: the court’s decision to impose an ASBO on a child

      Bateman, Tim (Jordan Publishing Limited, 2007-11-09)
      The anti-social behavior order has proved to be one of the more controversial elements of the Government’s agenda for law and order. On the face of it, however, little of that controversy is reflected in the court process, where the ‘success rate’ of applications for such orders is extremely high. Drawing on recent research on the use of ASBOs against children, this article aims to explore some of the factors that determine whether an application against a young person below the age of 18 years is granted. It is argued that while courts generally require strong evidence to establish the young person’s involvement in anti-social behavior, less attention is paid to the issue of whether an ASBO is necessary to prevent further incidence of misconduct. It is further contended that necessity is overlooked, in part, because magistrates and district judges (and defence solicitors) tend to assume, sometimes erroneously, that applications for ASBOs against children are only initiated where other measures have been tried and failed.
    • Keeping up (tough) appearances: the age of criminal responsibility

      Bateman, Tim (Taylor and Francis, 2013-03-22)
      Whatever else may have changed with the election of the coalition government, the new administration shares with its Labour predecessor a resolute opposition to any suggestion that the age of criminal responsibility should be raised from its current ten years of age. Indeed, the similarity of responses, on this issue, either side of the election is striking.
    • Patterns of sentencing: differential sentencing across England and Wales

      Bateman, Tim; Stanley, Chris; Nacro; Youth Justice Board; British Quality Foundation (NCJRS Publication, 2002)
      This report presents findings from a research study commissioned by the Youth Justice Board to identify the relative seriousness of offenses leading to custody and other high level penalties in a range of areas where differential patterns of custodial sentencing prevailed. Criminal statistics for England and Wales reveal substantial geographic variation in the pattern of youth sentencing. Statistics to the Youth Justice Board (YJB) provides evidence of this variation. This research study, commissioned by the YJB, explored any relationship between the use of high tariff disposal, with a particular emphasis on custodial penalties, and a range of possible influences upon patterns of sentencing. The study specifically investigated the distribution of sentences below the level of custody, case gravity, including the seriousness of current offending and previous convictions, the perceived range and quality of local youth justice services to support court orders short of custody, and the effectiveness of communication between the youth offending team and the court and the exchange of information between agencies involved in the delivery of youth justice. Highlights of key findings on distinguishing characteristics typical of high and low custody areas include for low custody areas: (1) greater use of lower level penalties; (2) lower use of community sentences; (3) greater use of unconditional bail; (4) magistrates express greater confidence in delivery of services; and (5) pre-sentence reports more effective as a mechanism for provision of information. Highlights of key findings for high custody areas include: (1) lower use of lower level penalties; (2) higher use of community penalties; (3) lower average case gravity scores for community sentences; (4) magistrates express reduced confidence in delivery of services; and (5) pre-sentence reports less effective as a mechanism for provision of information. Appendixes 1-5
    • Payment by results and the youth justice system: an NAYJ position paper

      Bateman, Tim; National Association for Youth Justice (National Association for Youth Justice, 2011-07)
      The coalition government has given notice of a ‘rehabilitation revolution’. At the heart of the proposals is a commitment to the widescale introduction of ‘payment by results’ (PBR) that will inform ‘all work on offending’, including that with children below the age of 18 years. The government argues that such an approach will deliver a range of benefits, but the rationale is largely rhetorical with few arguments of substance adduced in support. The NAYJ is concerned that the rapid introduction of a new, largely ideologically driven, model of service delivery for children in trouble that emphasises market mechanisms will: encourage a risk averse practice at the expense of interventions intended to enhance the wellbeing of children focus on short term reoffending at the expense of other longer term, developmental, outcomes require that issues of proportionality and children’s rights are sidelined as material rewards come to take priority over matters of principle, and generate a range of unintended consequences without delivering the promised reductions in offending behaviour.
    • Real bad girls : the origins and nature of offending by girls and young women involved with a county youth offending team and systemic responses to them

      Williams, Jeanette Deborah (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-10)
      Amidst growing concerns about a rise in girls entering the Youth Justice System and official data highlighting increases in girls violent offending this doctoral thesis focuses on girls in the Youth Justice System. Drawing on case files and in depth interviews with a cohort of girls supervised by a Home Counties Youth Offending Team (YOT), and interviews with YOT practitioners it explores their needs and offending patterns and examines contemporary system responses to them. It aims to contribute to practice knowledge and understanding about girls offending, and to identify approaches and interventions most likely to be effective with them. Findings point to girls having multiple and interrelated needs and troubled backgrounds. Exclusion from school and non attendance, experience of severe family conflict and violence, heavy alcohol use and poverty and disadvantage are all cited as key risk factors for girls’ involvement in offending and other types of behaviour which can lead to social exclusion. Minor assault and the influence of alcohol emerge as key features in girls offending patterns. Assaults commonly arise from disputes with friends or family members, or occur whilst girls are in a mixed peer group where assaults are perpetrated against another young person or a Police Officer. The impact of more formal responses by Police and YOTS are evident and show that the highly regulated and male oriented Youth Justice System hampers the likelihood of successful interventions with girls. This study cites the importance of gender specific responses and interventions which are holistic, informal and flexible to meet the distinct needs and offending patterns of girls in the Youth Justice System. More widely early identification of girls at risk, information sharing across children, health and adult services, and the provision of a range of support and positive opportunities to girls which extend beyond the life of a Court Order are identified as key aspects of strategies aimed at improving future outcomes for girls.
    • Reoffending as a measure of effectiveness of youth justice intervention: a critical note

      Bateman, Tim; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010)
      Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show significant progress against New Labour's targets to reduce reoffending by young people within the youth justice system. The outgoing government was, unsurprisingly, quick to infer that such findings constituted corroboration of the improved effectiveness of youth justice practice under their administration. This article considers whether such an inference is warranted and discusses other potential explanations of the data.
    • Resettlement of young people leaving custody: lessons from the literature

      Bateman, Tim; Hazel, Neal; Wright, Sam; University of Salford; University of Bedfordshire; Nacro; ARCS (UK) Ltd (Beyond Youth Custody, 2013-04-15)
      This literature review presents the findings of an analysis of research literature about resettlement services for young people when they leave custody. The review has been produced as part of the Beyond Youth Custody programme funded under the Big Lottery Fund’s Youth in Focus programme.
    • The RHP companion to youth justice

      Bateman, Tim; Pitts, John (Russell House, 2005)
    • Youth justice news

      Bateman, Tim (Sage Publications, 2012-07)
    • Youth justice news

      Bateman, Tim (SAGE, 2013-02)
      round up of news in youth justice compiled by Tim Bateman
    • Youth justice news

      Bateman, Tim (Sage Publications, 2012-11-13)
      The imposition of curfews in cases involving children below the age of 18 years has become increasingly popular in the recent period. As indicated in Table 1, the number of curfew orders rose from 1293 in 2002/3 to 8367 in 2008/9, the last full year that such a disposal was available as a stand-alone order. Over the same period, curfews as a proportion of all sentences imposed also increased from 1.4 to 7.6 per cent. For offences committed after 30 November 2009, all existing community sentences for children were replaced by the youth rehabilitation order to which a range of requirements − including a curfew − could be attached. Figures for subsequent years are not accordingly available in a comparable format. However, in 2011/12, the total amount paid to contractors providing electronic monitoring services to the Ministry of Justice (in respect of both adults and children) stood at £116.9 million. Of those children sentenced to a curfew order during 2009/10, 67.6 per cent were reconvicted within a year, a recidivism rate higher than that for any other non-custodial youth disposal.
    • Youth justice: on raising the age of criminal responsibility

      Bateman, Tim (LibDemVoice.org, 2011-03-08)