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Howard League Toolkit for sentencing children

Children and sentencing: A guide for adults supporting children facing sentence in the criminal courts in England and Wales

Following workshops with 80 children who have been through the criminal courts, the Howard League for Penal Reform have published a toolkit for adults working with or supporting children through the sentencing process.


The guide is for all adults who are working with and supporting children who are being sentenced in the criminal courts in England and Wales. It is aimed at lawyers, youth justice professionals, social workers, experts and other supporting adults, including parents and carers. It is hoped that this guide will enable professionals and supporting adults to better understand each other’s roles and responsibilities and to know what to expect during sentencing, in order that they may then work together to achieve better, fairer sentencing that is better for the child and reduces the likelihood of prison and reoffending. The 87 page  guide comprises of the following sections:

  1. Getting ready for sentence
  2. Making sure the court is able to impose the least restrictive sentence
  3. Supporting children through sentencing in court
  4. Outcomes and moving forward after court