22 May 2012

Enver Solomon, Policy Director at The Children’s Society and Chair of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, said:

'There is no doubt that sometimes difficult behaviour, particularly by teenagers, remains an issue of great concern in many neighbourhoods. But youth engagement programmes, community mediation and interventions that address the whole family rather than just the child are far more effective than rushing to rely on court orders.

'There is a real danger that the government's proposals will unnecessarily fast track children into a legal process which we know from experience is not successful at addressing the root causes of their behaviour.

'At a time when the numbers of children entering the youth justice system and going into custody is falling, and so saving large sums of money for the taxpayer, the last thing that is needed is to propel more children through the courts. Not only would this cost the taxpayer large sums of money, we already know that prisons have a poor record of reducing re-offending and anti-social behaviour.'

Ends

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Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.