Tough sentences

29th September 2000 at 01:00
THE Youth Justice Board reports that almost 3,000 12 to 17-year-olds were in custody in July this year, an increase of 11 per cent from 1999.

Many are being held under the new Detention and Training Orders, in force since April, which require half of the sentence to be spent in custody and the rest in the community.

The board says the ise is partly due to a faster court system, but the Howard League for Penal Reform argues that no more than 10 per cent of those in prison need to be there.

The National Association of Probation Officers says magistrates' sentencing varies around the country with the North-east and North-west more likely to put people in custody.

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