Living it

Young people and politicians discussed changes to the criminal justice system and support for families at a game-changing event at the Scottish Parliament.

'Living it: children, young people and justice' involved MSPs, youth justice and childcare practitioners and young people and considered questions raised in the Scottish Justice Matters magazine issue of the same title.

The event was jointly organised by the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), the Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice, and Venture Trust, and hosted by Kenny MacAskill MSP, cabinet secretary for justice at that time.

Five young people described what it is like to move on from a childhood affected by involvement in the criminal justice system. Kim, Shaun, Amie, Brian and Susie talked about growing up with violent parents, being a child witness, and coping with a close family member's imprisonment. You can read more about their stories in the CYCJ blog. www.cycj.org.uk/blog/. They also suggested how things can be improved.

Claire Lightowler, director of CYCJ, which is funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by the University of Strathclyde said, 'Young people whose lives are affected by the policies that are made at parliament got to speak directly to the policy makers and share the reality of their lives. We are extremely proud of Kim, Shaun, Amie, Brian and Susie for their bravery in sharing what were often painful memories of their childhoods. We have heard their call for change and now we must work with them and other children and young people to improve things with them and for the next generation.'

More information, photographs and podcasts: www.cycj.org.uk/news/bringing-the-voices-of-young-people-to-parliament

To get involved: email cycj@strath.ac.uk

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