Back on Track: Aims and Objectives



Community Care is campaigning for a dramatic reduction
in the number of children and young people being held in custody
and calling for the greater use of community sentences instead.  We
urge that custody is only ever used as a last resort and for the
shortest possible length of time.


Ensuring human rights

  • To insist that the treatment of children and young people in
    custody conforms to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of
    the Child
  • To bring an end to degrading and humiliating practices in young
    offender institutions such as routine strip searching and
    inappropriate use of control and restraint
  • To end the practice of remanding children and young people in
    adult prisons
  • To raise the age of criminal responsibility (currently 10) to
    bring it in line with other European countries

Getting back on track

  • To promote the use of community initiatives such as Youth
    Inclusion Projects to minimise the risk of offending and support
    children and young people on their release from custody
  • To increase the provision of services both in custody and in
    the community, for children and young people who offend and who are
    in need of treatment for mental health problems or problematic drug
    and alcohol use
  • To reduce self-harm and suicides among children and young
    people in custody by encouraging more involvement of social workers
    and removing from prisons those vulnerable young people who are
    most at risk from self-harm and suicide
  • To urge the Government to ensure that the resources allocated
    to providing access to a social worker in young offender
    institutions are being properly administered

Improving policies across the board

  • To call for an improvement in training of staff working in
    young offender institutions to ensure they are properly equipped to
    help vulnerable children and young people
  • To ensure that the prison service order on educational
    provision is honoured in every establishment, not just the
  • To call for youth justice to come under the remit of the DfES
    along with other children’s services
  • To ensure that no fifteen or sixteen year olds assessed as
    vulnerable are sent to YOIs.  If places are unavailable in Secure
    Training Centres or Local Authority Secure Children’s Homes,
    their sentences should be deferred

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