Clarke urges more community sentences

A lack of confidence in community sentences is leading to a rise in young offenders entering custody, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said today.

When questioned by Community Care as to why the number of under-18s in custody has risen to record levels of nearly 3,000, Clarke pointed to the need for more community sentences and restorative justice schemes.

He said it was “unclear” as to whether the lack of confidence in community sentences was justified.

Addressing the Youth Justice Board annual conference in London, Clarke said schools needed to play a greater role in preventing re-offending.

But Clarke refuted suggestions that rewarding police for the numbers of arrests they made was “contradictory” to encouraging a greater emphasis on prevention.

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