Numbers of children in prison set to reduce

YJB chair Rod Morgan

The Youth Justice Board is to slash the numbers of children held in
custody by 10 per cent within the next three years, following a
successful Community Care campaign, writes
Maria Ahmed.

Community Care has campaigned tirelessly for the last
four months, demanding a dramatic reduction in the numbers of
children in prison. The Board has now set “realistic”
new targets for the greater use of alternatives.

In its recently published strategy, the YJB is calling for more
use of intensive fostering, non-secure accommodation and more
flexible use of temporary release.

It acknowledged that the current custodial provision for
children was “less than ideal” and sets out a
“child-centred” approach that would “minimise the
likelihood of harm”.

The board wants to see a reduction of the average daily juvenile
population in custody by about 280 places by March 2007 and is now
formally consulting with professionals working with young offenders
on the strategy  until February next year.

The central aim of our ‘Back on Track’ campaign was
to see a reduction in the numbers of children held in custody and
for greater use of community alternatives for non-violent


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