25 Sep 2009

1,000,000 Children with Criminal Convictions


Nick Clegg commented today that 1,000,000 children undeer the labour government have criminal convictions.

Discussion on the post range from aggressive deterence mindsets to challenge offending rates to the injustice of prosecuting children.

While we can accuse Labour of nurturing a disenfranchised generation, it is important to note that these figures MAY reflect higher policing success or a detrimental society of maladpative families.

On Asbos

50% of ASBOs given to young persons (below 25) are breached within 3 years

The majority of ASBOs issued are given to men aged between 42 and 65, generally for neighbourhood dispute (University of Kent Criminology PhD Research).

Finally getting an ASBO is not being convicted of a criminal offence It is the equivilent of a
penalty fine.

Therefore the report that 1ml children have been convicted is children that have gone thru the youth court system. Perhaps it also identifies a police force catching youth criminals. Or perhaps it represents a society that is lacking respect and conditioning, morality and civilised behaviour.

On Punishment

Conviction of child criminals results in poorer sanction which does not act as a deterent, due to the changes to the Children and Young Persons Act, following the introduction of the Youth Justice system.
Rehabilitation in Youth Institutions is one of the most productive systems for reforming social malaise in young people BUT ... Read moreLabour decided the funding wasn't worth it (although it had a 4% reoffence rate as opposed to normal youth institutions 95% reoffence rate).

Some youths are prosecuted 15 times before they face custodial sentence.

Further to this, because of afore mentioned Act, as soon as a child criminal turns 16 their record is abolished, intending to give them a clean start but IN FACT allowing them to build up further indictable offences with lower sanctions for first offences.

On the injustice of prosecuting children

The law defines a child as below the age of 10 years. These cannot be prosecuted. The two boys who stabbed Damiola Taylor had 169 offences between them.

The law IS lenient on children/youth offenders - this is why the Jamie Bulger Killers were released in 2004 and given new identities after abducting, sexually abusing and murdering a three year old. These cases and a million others identify why we need stringer sanctions against "children" and their parents.

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