The promised radical shake-up of the youth justice system was announced last week by Jack Straw, the Home Secretary. The White Paper, No More Excuses: a new approach to tackling youth crime in England and Wales, aims to nip crime in the bud, make children and parents face up to their responsibilities, speed up court procedures and focus on prevention.
The paper, which is based on three consultation papers published in September and October, was welcomed by the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, as many of its proposals would significantly improve the chances of steering young offenders away from further crime. But NACRO has reservations about the parenting order which, it believes, could prove counter-productive. And it is opposed to plans to lock up 12 to 14-year-olds in local authority secure units. No More Excuses, The Stationery Office, Pounds 7.10.