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    Final Report: Disrupting the Routes between Care and Custody for Girls and Women

    Fitzpatrick, Claire, Hunter, Katie ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7811-5666, Shaw, Julie and Staines, Jo (2022) Final Report: Disrupting the Routes between Care and Custody for Girls and Women. Project Report. Centre for Child and Family Justice Research, Lancaster University.

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    This report explores the over-representation of care-experienced girls and women in the youth and criminal justice system. The majority of children in care do not come into conflict with the law (Prison Reform Trust (PRT), 2016), but a minority continue to do so, and risk being abandoned when they do (Coyne, 2015). The Laming Review highlighted the lack of research on the experiences of girls in care within the criminal justice system and recommended a particular focus on their needs (PRT, 2016; Staines, 2016). Furthermore, the Lammy Review (2017) subsequently showed how ethnic identity adds an additional layer of disadvantage for some, highlighting the need to also focus on Black and minoritised women. The research underpinning this project aims to explore how to reduce the number of girls and women who move between the care system and prison custody. It focuses on the experiences of imprisoned women from care, as well as those of care-experienced girls and young women in the community who have had youth justice system contact. Because official views overwhelmingly focus on the deficits of individuals and their families (Fitzpatrick & Williams, 2017), there is a vital need to amplify the voices of those with lived experience of care and criminal justice to provide more nuanced and balanced understanding. Our research includes interviews with professionals who work with care experienced women and girls, with expertise stemming from across a range of professional spheres.

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