Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime
Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Youth justice in the UK: children, young people and crime

Session 5: It’s different for girls?

Introduction

One of the enduring features of criminal justice systems is that they deal largely with men and men’s offending behaviour. Throughout the world, over 90 per cent of prison populations are composed of men. In the UK, females comprise less than five per cent of young people in custody (YJB, 2019) although they constitute 49 per cent of the general population. This means that most of our knowledge about how to work most effectively with young people to help them stop committing crime comes from work with young men.

Under-representation or over-representation on this scale in many areas of social policy and government provision of services would normally set alarm bells ringing. Is there an issue of unfair or unreasonable discrimination at work? Should there be targets to achieve parity in youth custody so that there are the same numbers of young women in custody as there are young men? Thankfully, no one is suggesting this because most people understand that issues about gender are more complicated than simple symmetry and that equality does not mean treating all people the same.

Understanding the differences between girls’ and young women’s experience of crime and youth justice is the focus of this session. It will examine how girls and young women fare in youth justice systems and procedures where they are often a small minority compared to boys and young men. This session will introduce you to how youth justice systems work with girls and young women.

Download this video clip.Video player: Session 5 introduction
Skip transcript: Session 5 introduction

Transcript: Session 5 introduction

ROD EARLE
This is the first of three sessions in which you get a chance to explore how a young person's experience of crime, youth justice, policing, and punishment might vary according to their gender, their ethnicity, or their class background. In this session, you'll consider whether girls and young women get treated differently in youth justice systems that seem to be designed more for boys and young men.
You'll also get to consider your first case study. That's a fictional character designed to help you think about real events and real people. You'll ask questions and seek answers about whether stereotypes about girls and young women result in unfair outcomes for them in youth justice systems.
End transcript: Session 5 introduction
Session 5 introduction
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • identify ways in which girls’ and young women’s experience of crime and youth justice may be different to that of boys and young men
  • recognise when and how these differences are significant and what is being done to address them
  • understand how gender stereotypes impact on youth justice practice.
YJ_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371