We believe the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a missed opportunity to address the inequities that exist for children who turn 18 between offence and conviction in the criminal justice system. It is an opportunity to adopt a fair and consistent approach to childhood offending, where those who offend as children are treated as children and can benefit from the youth sentencing framework and shorter rehabilitation periods designed to apply to them. This protection is currently afforded to those who commit offences as children and are convicted as children, but not those who commit offences as children and turn 18 prior to conviction, even where this may be the result of system delays.
Read our full briefing on the potential impact of the Bill on children who were below the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the offence but who turn 18 during the trial or sentencing process. This briefing is informed by our work monitoring implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in England and our direct advocacy and legal casework with children and young people who are in conflict with the law.