The Big Question

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
Young people break Asbos for many reasons and to put them in
custody will not improve the situation. To ruin young people’s
lives by custody without tackling the root causes of the behaviour
just creates more antisocial behaviour because an Asbo may become a
“badge of honour” among young people.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist

No, young people should not go to jail for breaching Asbos. These
orders are more a mark of the failure of others, than of young
people’s own wrongness. The underlying causes of why a young person
behaves antisocially need to be looked at and rectified, at
probably cheaper cost than constant resort to the courts. Support
is better than suppression.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother

Imprisonment may not always be the best solution. Each case needs
to be considered with attention given to all circumstances,
including the youth’s behaviour, and its impact on the lives of
others. But the serious possibility of imprisonment can act as a
deterrent to many youngsters, and may stop bad behaviour before
they become adults.   

Kierra Box – Young people’s activist
If Asbos were to be applied to the population as a whole, rather
than disproportionately to young people, then those breaching
orders would deserve jail. However, in this current climate this
seems largely like criminalisation of the young simply for failing
to conform to adult-enforced standards on non-criminal

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