Ellen Broome, Policy Director at The Children's Society said:
'Everyone loses out if children are unnecessarily dragged into the criminal justice system. So we’re delighted to see the Committee echo calls we have made for a threshold for custody enshrined in law. It is imperative that only the most serious and prolific offenders are placed in custody. We urge the government to listen to the Committee’s recommendations.
'We should all be concerned if normal childhood behaviour is being criminalised. It’s shocking to hear about the police being called to a children’s home for a trivial incident, like a child breaking a piece of crockery.
'This is symptomatic of a youth justice system which places too much emphasis on criminalisation and punishment. Custody is ineffective and expensive and does little to reduce reoffending. More emphasis needs to be placed on restorative justice, which works with both the victim and the offender to address the root causes of the behaviour.'
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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.