Prison regimes need to change

Re-offending by young men will only drop if prison regimes change, says the Howard League for Penal Reform  in a new survey published today.

The charity found that little constructive work takes place in prison or on release and that jail confirms a criminal identity on young men, rather than helping them reject it.

The criminal justice system “does little to ensure that young adult offenders make amends for what they have done, or recognised the impact of their behaviour,” says the report.

Improvement in regimes for juveniles have in many cases been at the expense of young offenders aged 18 to 20-years-old, according to the Howard League.

Recommendations in the report include improving substance misuse services and educational and job opportunities for young offenders and offering access to advocates, and to family mediation. The League also wants to see young offenders make amends for their crimes and greater use of community sentences.

Eighty six prisoners at three young offender institutions took part in the research. Interim findings were published in 2004 and 2005 and the final ‘Out for Good’ report was launched today.


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