Child first, offender second…

Having worked with “young offenders” for well over 20 years, I have one unshakeable conviction: They are “young” first, and “offenders” second. Why does this matter? Because who we‘re dealing with, will impact on how we deal...

Reflection: a lost art?…

Last year I had a holiday in France. What a cracking week it was, too! Lots of good grub, sleep, walks and relaxing in the sun. One evening my partner and I – both social workers – got to talking about work. For once, it was a VERY positive conversation… After only a...

Who'd be a magistrate?

In my younger days, I got into trouble with the Court. Not because I’d committed a crime. But because, as a youth justice social worker, I was accompanying a young person to Court, but I wasn’t wearing a jacket! It seems my trendy (I thought!) silk black...

Better justice for young people who offend…

Like everyone else, I hear lots of negative stuff about young offenders. And to be honest, it annoys the heck out of me! Until last week, I worked in a secure children’s home. We looked after 17 children serving custodial sentences for offences. This means that...