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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