• Looked after children and custody: a brief review of the relationship between care status and child incarceration and the implications for service provision

      Bateman, Tim; Day, Anne-Marie; Pitts, John; University of Bedfordshire; Nuffield Foundation (University of Bedfordshire, Nuffield Foundation, 2018-01-01)
      Although there are some important limitations with the data, the available evidence demonstrates conclusively that children who are in the care of the local authority are consistently over-represented among those who come to the attention of the youth justice system. A similar disproportionality is also evident within the children’s custodial estate. While it appears that the relationship is long-standing, it has only recently become the focus of policy attention which has begun to explore some of the reasons for the patterns discernible in the figures (see, for example, Schofield et al, 2012: Laming, 2016). In particular, an independent review of the relationship between the care system and the criminal justice system, led by Lord Laming, commissioned an extensive exploration of the available literature that provides a useful baseline for future research (Staines, 2016). The current review aims to provide a context for research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, that aims to identity the particular pathways of looked after children into, through and leaving custody and to establish in what ways, and to what extent, these might differ from those of children who do not have care experience. It does not accordingly aim to replicate the earlier work identified in the previous paragraph; instead the intention is to draw on previous reviews, and relevant additional material, through a lens that focuses on the existing evidence base as it relates specifically to the likelihood of children being incarcerated, to their subsequent custodial experience and to the provision of effective resettlement once they have been released.