Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas, said:
“Nacro very much welcomes the Government plans to pilot two secure schools and increase health and psychological support.
“More now than ever, a focus on education, skills and health is vital to enable young people to succeed and to reduce repeat offending. Consistent education and skills training can make all the difference for disadvantaged young people and offer a passport to future success. However, this must be delivered in partnership with increased health and psychological support at the earliest opportunity to ensure that young people are at the right stage in their lives to learn and make the most of future employment opportunities.
“Nacro works with young people across the country, often with complex needs, supporting them to gain education and skills and providing the additional support they need to build positive independent futures. It is clear from our own experience and research that prevention and early intervention are critical to transforming our youth justice system. All too often, we see vulnerable young people with mental health needs or those recently released from custody struggle, leading to an increased likelihood of them committing further crimes. Our recent research also reveals that young people in the criminal justice system often have a background of a disproportionate amount of childhood and adolescent trauma, ranging from emotional, physical and sexual abuse, to neglect, bullying, violence, bereavement and abandonment. This must be identified and responded to effectively.
“Time and time again, Nacro staff have worked with young offenders and have seen them turn their backs on a life of crime after being given the right support and a real chance to do better. Providing our young people with genuine opportunities for improvements must now be the primary focus.
“We look forward to working with the Government to improve young people’s life chances and reduce offending.”
Read Tom’s story to find out how Nacro’s work in education positively impacts on young people’s lives.