Drug tests for young offenders

Teenage offenders are to be tested for drug misuse under a new
programme being set up by the home office, writes Katie

The youth crme programme will target young offenders and use new
powers proposed in the Criminal Justice and Sentencing Bill to
test 14-17 year-old offenders for heroin and cocaine misuse.

The programme,  which will also use arrest and referral powers,
will be piloted in some of the 30 areas identified as being
affected by drug related crime.

It is intended to help young people break the link betrween
drugs and crime, and, if successful, will be rolled out elsewhere.
The £40 million programme is part of a range of measures
totalling £107 million announced by home office minister Bob
Ainsworth at the second national conference on young people and
substance misuse.

Others measures include £22 million over the next three
years for local authorities to provide specialist workers and
training services for young people at risk of drug misuse; £15
million over three years for 50 new ‘Positive Futures’ projects,
which help keep young people away from drugs misuse through sport,
and a further £30 million over the same period for prevention,
treatment and follow up care in juvenile custodial institutions
with the aim of having drug workers in all of them by December this

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