Our legal work

Independent advice

The Howard League legal team provide free, independent and confidential advice, assistance and representation on a wide range of issues to young people under 21 who are in prisons or secure children's homes and centres. Young people can call us free of charge on our free advice line, even if they are locked up.

Lots of people in the criminal justice system often do not realise that the problems they deal with every day might have a legal answer. If in doubt, young people and their workers can speak to our legal team through our access or 'get a lawyer' service.

Our legal team will offer help on legal issues affecting young people who are locked up. We are able legally to represent our clients and in some situations we are able to get funding through the legal aid system. If we cannot help, then we will work hard to find someone who can.

The only legal service of this kind

We are the only frontline national legal team specialising in the legal rights and entitlements of young people who are locked up. The work we do covers many areas of law and different problems faced by young people, including help with accommodation on release and help with parole. The way we work also includes representing young people before the parole board or before the courts in judicial reviews and criminal appeals and making representations to organisations such as social services or the prison service.

Where possible we try to develop the law by bringing about improvements for our clients and all other young people in the criminal justice system. We are proud of the holistic approach we offer our clients and the expertise we have developed as a result. We publish articles about the areas of law we specialise in to help inform other lawyers and professionals. Our past achievements have included bringing cases about accommodation and support from social services for children, the way the parole board deals with young people and the way young people are treated and cared for in prison.

Lawyers with a difference

We are lawyers with a difference. We take forward issues raised in our legal work to inform policy, lobby the government, hold seminars and talks, and lead the way on policy development. Some of this work can be seen in our publications and general policy responses to consultations from the Howard League. In addition, you can view specific responses on legal policy from the legal team.