‘Under-reporting’ of care leavers in prison

    An 18-month study into care leavers in prison has revealed
    government confusion about the number locked up.

    A study by the National Children’s Bureau finds that, although the
    Department for Education and Skills claims just 4 per cent of
    children in prison have been in care, the Youth Justice Board
    claims 18 per cent.

    Meanwhile, a separate survey of a young offender institution on one
    day found that half of the 280 inmates had been looked after, the
    charity claims. The care status of a further 25 per cent was
    ambiguous and nearly one in five was entitled to social services
    support.

    Diana Hart, principal officer at the NCB’s children’s residential
    care unit, warned: “There is systematic under-reporting, with DfES
    questions about inmates not getting the real numbers and the YJB
    asking the wrong questions about care status.”

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