The government’s track record on dealing with young offenders was
savaged at the campaign launch by ex-offender Bobby Cummines.
The chief executive of ex-offenders’ organisation Unlock, who has
spent a total of 13 years in prison, said very little had changed
from when he was offending more than 20 years ago.
He said that, at the time, he wanted people to listen to him – and
slammed authorities for failing to listen to children today. He
accused the government of paying lip service to offenders as “they
only hear what they want to hear”.
“When kids get it wrong we demonise them, but these are not bad
people,” he said. “This is the 21st century, yet we still have
Victorian regimes in Victorian establishments.”
Cummines described Tony Blair as the “governor of Alcatraz” for
locking-up more people than anywhere else in Europe.
He stressed that more community sentences should be used as
children were leaving prison brutalised rather than
“We want a government that respects and protects human rights, not
neglects and rejects them,” he said.