End Child Imprisonment

On 22 November 2018, Article 39, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Howard League for Penal Reform, INQUEST, Just for Kids Law and the National Association for Youth Justice launched the first-ever collaborative campaign to end child imprisonment in England. Many other organisations and individuals have since pledged their support.

The campaign is run by a steering group of the above organisations, the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, Child Rights International Network and several leading children’s rights and youth justice campaigners. If you support our aims, and wish to be listed on this page, please sign up below.


  • Press for the closure of England’s child prisons and raise awareness of the harms of child imprisonment.
  • Propose a child welfare-based and human rights compliant secure model for the small number of children who cannot be safely looked after and supported in the community.
  • Push for responsibility for detained children to be moved out of the government department that deals with adult imprisonment. At a local level, responsibility for the care and support of detained children must lie with children’s social care services.
  • Seek changes to law and practice so that deprivation of liberty is an absolute measure of last resort, leading to substantially fewer children being detained.
  • Remove punishment and deterrence as reasons for locking up children.


Writing on the wall

Home page image: we are very grateful to the prison art charity the Koestler Trust for permission to use The Writing’s on the Wall, HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Cookham Wood.