Exploring and improving children and young people’s understanding of their legal rights as suspects: A scoping study
June 21, 2017
The criminal process adopts an adult rather than child-focused approach when dealing with children and young people (CYP) as suspects. There has been very little research undertaken which explores suspects legal rights from CYPs’ perspective. In this scoping study, the stories of CYP will contribute to the development of a robust evidence base from which to inform change. Open-ended questions will be asked about what they understand to be their legal rights and how they exercised such rights. How CYP were treated in the criminal process will also be investigated; if legal protections were upheld, and whether decision-making was fair and just. The findings will be used to help inform the design of electronic interventions intended to improve suspects’ understanding of their legal rights.
CYP will also be asked for their views on how complex information about their legal rights can best be presented to assist them in making informed decisions. This will include exploring gamification and the creation of tasks that engage and encourage knowledge and skill development. Discussion with CYP will explore using different formats to help make complex information accessible to CYP of different ages, educational and mental abilities.