Change the situation
Most people who get involved in crime when they are young grow out of it as they get
older. They find a job, a settled home and a relationship. Others don’t and go on to commit
more and more crimes.
As a general rule, the more heavily involved someone is in offending when they are young,
the harder it will be for that individual to move on from crime. The worse they do at school,
the less work experience they are likely to have; the more time they spend associating with
those from the criminal world, the more likely they are to commit crime. This, combined
with alcohol and drug misuse and a growing acceptance that crime and violence is an
effective way to solve everyday problems, confirms the offender in a life of crime.
With some offenders it can be hard to change their situation. But it can be done - with the
right combination of measures and the right motivation to stay the course. This means
tackling many problems all at the same time: getting offenders job ready; providing them
with a home and helping them to keep it; tackling anger and aggression; teaching
problem-solving skills; reducing dependence on alcohol and drugs; challenging attitudes
and behaviour; and opening up new opportunities and interests for them.
Changing offenders’ lives is money well spent. It reduces the likelihood of them
reoffending, and each step that they take towards rehabilitation and towards moving their
lives on is a step that the wider community will reap the benefits of as they start to play a
positive role in their communities.