Youth Crime Stress on Making Amends; WRITING LETTERS TO VICTIMS PART OF A NEW 'RESTORATIVE JUSTICE' MOVE

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), November 30, 2001 | Go to article overview

Youth Crime Stress on Making Amends; WRITING LETTERS TO VICTIMS PART OF A NEW 'RESTORATIVE JUSTICE' MOVE


Byline: HAYLEY CUTHBERTSON, Crime Reporter

SWEEPING changes in the way teenage offenders "pay" for their crimes are due to come into force in the New Year.

The reforms will see young offenders meeting or writing letters to their victims, carrying out community placements in the areas they committed their crimes, and completing courses to educate them about the consequences of their crimes.

Acting head of Coventry Youth Offending Team Andy Pepper says that from January, the courts will be able to order youngsters to take part in the restorative justice programme.

And by the middle of next year, it is expected that every single youth offender will be involved in the scheme, which puts the emphasis on making amends.

Mr Pepper explained: "It is one of the six key objectives of the Youth Justice Board that every young person should undertake some type of reparative work, but that is moving away from the old-style community service of having kids paint fences and dredge canals."

Individual packages for each offender will be drawn up by the Youth Offending Team. And "education panels" for each type of crime have been put together.

For example, the "shoplifting" team includes representatives of the City Centre Company and store detectives, who will show young thieves the CCTV systems in place in stores and throughout the precinct, and explain the consequences of stealing. …

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