27 Jan 2007

Unsustainable long term consequences of failure in the Youth Justice system

"Over the past three years, the number of juveniles in custody has shot up by 25 per cent to almost 3,000 and, as with adult jails, there are hardly any places left.

Prof Morgan, 64, a former chief inspector of probation, is highly respected in the criminal justice world and his criticisms will strike a chord among penal reform groups and children's charities."

So says Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor in The Telegraph today.

Prof Rod Morgan is calling for more emphasis on "early prevention" rather than locking up young people, where he says the criminal justice system is more likely to develop their taste for criminality than cure it.

He suggests concentration on:

  1. School attendance
  2. Academic achievement
  3. Pupils at risk of exclusion from school.

He talks about the unsustainable long term consequences of failure in the Youth Justice system.

Prof Rod Morgan's resignation adds weight to the argument that the issues around school attendance should be monitored and measured.

However, it does not yet appear to have dawned upon the authorities that nothing less than sustained measurement of the development of the non-cognitive skills will enable schools to accurately report on personal, social, and emotional progress.

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