Research will study links between looked after children and crime

The fractious relationship between looked-after children and the criminal justice system will be the subject of a new research project by The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT) and the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The 18-month research project, Looked after children and offending: identifying risk and protective factors, is the first to focus specifically on the links between the care system and criminalisation. Kevin Williams, chief executive of TACT, said the organisation was concerned that being in care “may act as an inappropriate accelerant into the criminal justice system”.

He said he hoped the results from the project would be “invaluable” in formulating effective policy on care and crime.

Figures recently published in the Prison Reform Trust’s Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile report, show 71% of children in custody have either been involved with social services, or in care, before entering custody, while 75% of children in custody have lived with someone other than a parent at some time in their life.

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