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Project information

Young Women in the Criminal Justice System

The Young Women in the Criminal Justice System Project (YWCJS) is a new 12 month, youth-led programme that will empower 10 young females (aged 16-25) to inform and influence how the police engages works with young females with mental health problems while being users of the criminal justice system.

January 2011 - January 2012

Charity information: The IARS International Institute

The IARS International Institute logo
  • Need


    It has been 3 years since Baroness Corston’s report (Home Office, 2007) on women in the criminal justice system. One of the gaps identified was the lack of support for girls and young women with mental health problems.


    Our project will develop practical solutions to the problems, gaps and needs identified in the Cortson and Bradley reports and by Together UK. The project’s girls and women will be supported to carry out robust research with girls aged 16-25, who are currently or who have recently had an experience of a criminal justice procedure.This research will be turned into practical resources that can be used by the local forces, strategic level MPS staff, the MPA and mental health organisations.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Engagement of marginalised young Londoners (females)


    » Volunteers will be recruited from our wide range of referral networks.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...measured through the recruitment of female volunteers from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds.

    Aim 2

    Volunteers will be trained to conduct the research


    » The volunteers will receive research methods training, peer mentoring and support.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...demonstrated through the research that the young volunteers carry out after their training.

    Aim 3

    1 short project report to be produced with recommendations for the Metropolitan police.


    » The volunteers' research will be turned into a written report that will distributed to the police and mental health organisations.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...demonstrated through the production of the report and recommendations.

    Aim 4

    To provide a voice to marginalised young women with experience of the criminal justice system.


    » The sample that will be recruited for this project will be young women who have experience of being in police custody in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...demonstrated through the young women included in the project's sample.

  • Impact


    Borough police forces that have stronger community links
    Borough police forces that better understand the needs of girls and young women.
    An Metropolitan Police Service that is better able to engage with girls and young women


    The only risks associated to the project relate to the fieldwork activities being carried out by the volunteers and their safety when doing so. However, we have a very clear research protocol in place which all volunteers are briefed on and strictly adhere to.


    We publish ongoing updates of the project on our website and circulate these in our monthly newsletters which will be sent to all donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Total cost of project Total cost including, training programme, volunteer expenses, research costs and staff salaries

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Metropolitan Police Authority £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is based in London and focuses on improving the support and services provided to young women with mental health problems at police custody level in the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets.


    The immediate beneficiaries of the project will be the young people involved in develop a range of skills in undertaking research work, working in a team and presenting their findings to professional policy makers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    As the only youth-led social policy think tank in the UK IARS is perfectly placed to deliver this project. We have ten years of experience of supporting young people through mentoring, training and skills development to undertake robust research projects.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Holly Challenger

    Volunteer Coordinator

    Rachel Cass

    Research and Policy Coordinator

    Matina Marougka

    Research Associate, Together UK