Alliance for Youth Justice briefing: Falling through the gaps, young women’s justice project briefing 

In January 2021, Agenda and AYJ published the Young Women’s Justice Project literature review, mapping the evidence-base around young women (aged 17–25) in contact with the criminal justice system and identifying gaps in knowledge to inform the direction of future work. Girls’ experience of the transition to adulthood whilst in contact with the criminal justice system emerged as a key concern.

Falling Through the Gaps sets out the policy context and key findings of young women’s experiences as they turn 18 and move from the youth to adult justice system, as well as experiencing changes in other kinds of provision, including mental health support, accommodation, reduced safeguarding responses and leaving care.

Drawing on insights from an expert seminar bringing together over 50 professionals from the youth, women and girls’ and criminal justice sectors, research undertaken with girls and young women, and existing literature and data, this briefing paper makes recommendations for researchers, policymakers and those working directly with girls and young women about what needs to change.

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