Survey of 603 professionals who work with young offenders
Carried out by Community Care, February 14th-23rd 2005.
1. Eight out of 10 say politicians are ill-informed about the reality of youth crime.
|Prisons minister Paul Goggins|
But professionals think politicians
are ill informed about youth crime
2. 76 per cent believe that politicians’ comments about young people and youth crime make it harder to work constructively with young people
3. More than eight out of 10 respondents agree that political leaders’ comments around youth crime have instilled an unnecessary fear of young people in the general public.
4. 99 per cent believe neglect, abuse or bereavement is a significant factor in young offenders’ behaviour.
5. Nine out of 10 believe the political debate is too focused on punishing young offenders – rather than tackling the underlying causes of their behaviour
6. Three quarters say the facts about offending by young people are not well known enough.
7. More than eight out of 10 think that, on their own, ‘get tough’ policies on youth crime are counter-productive and do not prevent re-offending:
8. 83 per cent think that custodial sentences are not suitable or effective for the majority of young offenders.
|83 per cent of people think prison|
is ineffective, suggesting a preference
for more alternatives to custody
9. Two thirds believe that most deaths of young people in custody could be prevented if there was sufficient political interest.
10. 89 per cent say young people’s contribution to society is largely overlooked
11. 97 per cent say that if young people’s social problems were tackled early, they would be less likely to become offenders
12. Nearly half think that the majority of crimes committed by young people are trivial and are part of growing up.