Too easy to lock children away

21st March 2003 at 00:00
BARNARDO'S shares the concern about the effects of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 on the welfare of vulnerable youngsters (TES, March 7).

As Elaine Williams points out, young people placed in local authority secure accommodation are both highly damaged and damaging. Many will share similar histories, and need intensive support if they are to be helped.

The new powers of courts to use secure accommodation to remand children as young as 12 who are deemed to be "persistent" offenders, but commit non-violent or non-sexual offences, means not only that secure units are under pressure, but that vulnerable young people are increasingly placed in prison department custody, where they are unable to be protected properly.

Only a small percentage of children who offend are charged with serious offences, yet we lock up children in increasing numbers and at an earlier age - more than almost all other European countries.

We would like to see the immediate repeal of parts of the Criminal Justice and Police Act to ensure that no child is kept in secure accommodation other than for their, or others, safety.

Pam Hibbert

Principal policy officer

Sarah Jackson

Media officer

Barnardo's

Barkingside, Ilford

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now