More than one in 10 young offenders contemplate suicide

Eleven per cent of young offenders have contemplated committing
suicide and one in 10 have deliberately hurt themselves, according
to a Youth Justice Board report, writes Clare

Around half of young offenders said they felt miserable or sad,
a quarter had difficulties eating or sleeping and a third of
offenders felt worried about their health or would like help on a
health issue.

“The report underlines the board’s concerns about
the mental health needs of young people in the youth justice
system,” a statement from the YJB said. Its annual review
published last week showed that access to services such as child
and adolescent mental health services can be patchy across England
and Wales.

The ‘Speaking Out’ report also identified that 70 per cent of
young offenders had been excluded from school at some time, and a
third said they needed help with reading or writing. Fourteen per
cent said they had needed special help with education, but had not
received any.

Almost two thirds of young offenders came from broken families,
and 58 per cent admitted that a family member had a criminal
record. Young people saw themselves as labelled by their area, the
report found, and while half felt it was easy to access drugs, 68
per cent said they had friends who got into trouble.

Almost all young offenders in young offender institutions wanted
to stop offending, but shortly before they left, 37 per cent said
they had received no help in finding accommodation, and over half
had no job or college place to go to. Most young people felt they
had not received any preparation for returning to life in the

Report from 0870 1207 400

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