Magazine article Public Finance

Children's Charity Calls for a Curb on Detention of Minors

Magazine article Public Finance

Children's Charity Calls for a Curb on Detention of Minors

Article excerpt

A fivefold rise in the number of ten- 14-year-olds being locked up in England and Wales in the past decade is the result of an expensive and ineffective' criminal justice strategy, says children's charity Barnardo's.

In a report - Locking up or giving up - is custody for children always the right answer? - published on September 22, the charity says the surge in detention between 1996 and 2006 arose despite there being no rise in serious crime committed by minors.

Barnardo's notes that the annual cost of keeping a young person in a secure children's home is £185,000, equivalent to the cost of an education at Eton for six years.

Martin Narey, Barnardo's chief executive and former director general of the Prison Service, said: 'It is often the most vulnerable young people in society who end up in the criminal justice system and, despite this, only 5% of the £445m spent by the Youth Justice Board was invested in preventative work. …

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