Locked In, Locked Out

By Angela Neustatter
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
ISBN 0 903319 88 8

Written by the journalist Angela Neustatter, this book does
exactly what it says on the cover – it relays “the experience of
young people out of society and in prison”. Neustatter begins with
the observation that “we lock up more young people than any other
country in Europe”. Through interviews with prison governors and
officers, youth offending teams and young people themselves, she
then outlines the consequences of this shameful act.

The book couples up-to-date information about the system including
relevant legislation and the nature of different parts of the
“secure estate” for children and young people with the personal
stories of those involved in it. Reference is made to the
experiences of, for example, ethnic minorities, young women and
young people on remand and alternatives to imprisonment are

As I write this review, news has just broken that the number of
young people sentenced to custody has increased yet again, a rise
attributed to the recently introduced detention and training
orders. Locked In, Locked Out is therefore a timely and welcome
overview of the reasons this policy should be exposed for the
monumental error, not to say act of cruelty that it is.

David Porteous is lecturer and research fellow, University
of Luton.

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