Journal Article

Assuming Responsibility for Incarcerated Children: A Rights Case for Care-based Homes

Kathryn Hollingsworth

in Current Legal Problems

Volume 67, issue 1, pages 99-134
Published in print January 2014 | ISSN: 0070-1998
Published online August 2014 | e-ISSN: 2044-8422 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuu013
Assuming Responsibility for Incarcerated Children: A Rights Case for Care-based Homes

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There is overwhelming empirical evidence that the rights and wellbeing of children incarcerated in penal institutions in England and Wales are inadequately protected, despite some significant rights-based litigation taken by detained children and their advocates. The removal of criminal legal aid from all prisoners, including children, and the potential future repeal of the Human Rights Act will further increase their vulnerability to rights-abuses. This article argues that one solution to this current legal problem is to abolish penal institutions for children sentenced to custody and to place them instead in care-based homes. A rights-based case is made for this solution by conceptualizing the rights of incarcerated children to argue that the State has an assumed responsibility to parent children deprived of their liberty; a responsibility that can be met only in small, care-based homes. The article concludes by setting out the Coalition Government’s recent proposals to introduce Secure Colleges in the juvenile secure estate, and briefly considers whether these new institutions will facilitate the State’s fulfilment of its assumed responsibility to parent incarcerated children.

Journal Article.  16315 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law ; Law and Society ; Politics and Law

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