the obsessions with antisocial behaviour and crime have been responsible for 53 law and order bills since 1997, the creation of 3,000 new criminal offences and a rise in the prison population to a record 80,299.Elsewhere, we see that:
The last three years has seen a 26% increase in the numbers of children and young people criminalised and seven times as much is spent on youth custody as on prevention schemes. We lock up 23 children per 100,000 population, compared with six in France, two in Spain, 0.2 in Finland.We have to question why we are locking up so many people, specifically, so many young people.
We should expand youth training projects, and work intensively and proactively with fewer young offenders. We need to bring ideas such as restorative justice into the heart of the criminal justice system.