On 16 September 2020, the Secretary of State for Justice brought before the House of Commons a White Paper titled ‘A Smarter Approach to Sentencing’. While JUSTICE commends the aims of certain policy proposals, there nevertheless remain several points of concern which we would invite the Government to address through consultation.
By way of background, JUSTICE convened a working party in November 2019 to examine the causes of disproportionality in the Youth Justice System of England and Wales for black and minority ethnic children and young people. It will make practical recommendations with a view to reducing that disproportionality. In addition, it will seek to ensure that children are not needlessly criminalised by improving the attitudes, processes and procedures in the YJS. In this submission, JUSTICE offers the Ministry of Justice, with the benefit of the experience of the working party, a number of interim recommendations on aspects of the White Paper concerning reforms to remand and bail in the Youth Justice System.