Welcome for new community programme for young offenders

Offender rehabilitation agency Nacro has welcomed the changes to
the youth justice system announced by home secretary Jack Straw
last week.

Publishing the Youth Justice Board’s £250 million four-year
strategy, Jack Straw revealed the first phase of the new Intensive
Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP).

The community programme for hard-core persistent young offenders
will see offenders in 22 locations in Britain’s most deprived areas
monitored by electronic tagging, voice verification, or youth
offending team staff from April 1.

Nacro’s spokesperson on youth crime Chris Stanley said: “It is
widely acknowledged that prison does not work for young offenders
and we need to make much more use of community-based programmes
such as the ISSP.”

Straw also announced the addition of referral orders to the
existing range of orders available.

Under referral orders, to be introduced nationally from April
2002, offenders aged 10-17 who appear in court for the first time
and plead guilty will be referred to a panel of local people who
work with the young person, their parents and victims to prevent
future offending.

The reform of the juvenile secure estate includes an expansion
of independent sector provision and a reduction in the dependence
on prison service places.

It also promises better provision for young women and vulnerable
men, an improvement in standards, and an even distribution of
secure places around England and Wales.

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