Narey broadside at stand-alone Asbos

Antisocial behaviour orders are “catapulting” some children into custody who would not otherwise be behind bars, the former head of the prison service has claimed.

Speaking to Community Care, Martin Narey, now chief executive of Barnardo’s, said he was concerned about aspects of the government’s latest Respect plans, although he was encouraged by others that placed emphasis on improved parenting.

Narey said Asbos were a “hopeless waste of time” unless they came with additional support for young people and their families.

Antisocial behaviour legislation had been part of a “demonisation” of young people that had been “very damaging”, he added.

In his former role as chief executive of the National Offender Management Service, Narey said he had been “very troubled” by the rise in the prison population, particularly the “ludicrous” number of children in custody.

“I would love to say that short terms of custody for children can have an effect but they simply cannot,” he added. “Dumping someone in Feltham where there

just aren’t enough staff to do any more than keep order cannot possibly be in the interests of the young person or the society which he’s offended against.”

See the full interview with Martin Narey.
See also Just recycling old prejudices ; Putting their house in order and Great goals

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