We've heard plenty about youth crime lately and some of the "in your face" tactics that are being taken to reduce it, but a panel of criminal justice experts are proposing a new approach to help sort out young'uns who have already got a record. The idea has been put forth for "academies" for young offenders to help them sort themselves out and hopefully reduce the number of repeat offenders. The government backed academies would offer classes, health services, and family support for children aged 10-18. Access would be available before, during, and after their time in custody, and housing would be provided for children serving custodial sentences and those on remand. The first trial centre is due to open in east London with accomodation for 200 children.
There are, of course, critics of the proposal. The Youth Justice Board told the BBC it isn't sure of the
ability of a single establishment to adequately provide for the entire ranfe of age, gender, risk, safety, vulnerability and sentence length issues.
Perhaps true, but then again, it seems a bit more productive to actively encourage young offenders to turn their lives around rather than to keep slapping them with ASBOs.
Image courtesy of _imax via the Londonist Flickrpool.