The Young Advocates for Youth Justice
The Young Advocates project was established in 2020 in partnership with the Alliance for Youth Justice graciously made possible by Children in Need. The Young Advocates for Youth Justice are a group of 12–21-year-olds, from across England and Wales that have had experience of the youth justice system under the age of 18. This include but is not limited to having experience of being a survivor, school exclusion, exploitation, policing, arrest, courts, custody and more. The project places these children and young people with experiences at the heart of decision-making, by collaboratively developing the knowledge, skills, and platform to influence youth-justice policy and practice from local to parliamentary level.
The Young Advocates choose areas of focus within the justice system that are most important to them and have regular meetings – face to face and online – to plan and review the progress of their work. In the first year the group spoke to 120+ children and young people across England and Wales about Stereotyping, Education and Warning Signs, and Jails, and co-authored their first report, which was released in January 2022 and contains all the findings from the first phase. For the second phase the group has chosen: Policing, Criminalisation, Trauma, and Intervention and Diversion and peer research for these topics began in March 2023.