In response to recent analysis of youth justice system figures, Nacro Chief Executive, Campbell Robb, said:
“These shocking re-offending rates show how broken our youth justice system is. With over 40% of young people that are convicted or cautioned reoffending within one year, it is clear we need to change our approach and recognize there is so much more we need to do to support young people being swept into a system that does little to help them. It is completely unacceptable that the proportion of children that are convicted of a crime from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds has almost doubled over the past eight years.
“We already know that 85% of young people within youth custodial settings in England have been excluded from school, therefore much needed investment across the entire youth justice system must include a focus upon educational support and opportunities to help divert young people away from crime. At Nacro, we have seen first-hand how students at our Education and Skills Centres across the country have been able to ‘break the cycle’ with the right educational, work experience and life support interventions, to follow a path of positive behaviours, leading them to achieve educational success and embark upon a career. Punitive measures alone will not prevent offending behaviour. Support to help resolve issues such as poor mental health, trauma, family breakdown and poverty are essential if we are to make a real difference to help young people move on and succeed.”