'Not cut out for prison': Depriving children of their childhood

Claire Lightowler, Bruce Adamson, Maria Galli

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Children in Scotland continue to be deprived of their liberty in prison like settings. The majority of these children have not been convicted or sentenced, known as being on remand. In 2020 the proportion of children in a young offenders' institution or prison has further increased, with additional concerns for those experiencing remand during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article explores the data about remand and the human rights experiences of children on remand. We also reflect on why such a high proportion of children who have not been tried or have not been convicted are deprived of their liberty in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-121
Number of pages14
JournalScottish Journal of Residential Child Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • remand
  • deprivation of liberty
  • young offenders' institutions
  • youth justice
  • human rights


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