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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229630 
Title: Children and Young People in Custody (From Youth Justice Handbook: Theory, Policy and Practice, P 132-141, 2010, Wayne Taylor, Rod Earle, and Richard Hester, eds. - See NCJ-229620)
Author(s): Rod Morgan
Date Published: 2010
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: After providing data on the population trends and characteristics of children and youth in penal custody in Great Britain, this chapter discusses why they are in custody, their custodial conditions, and the prospects for making the custody of children and youth a last resort.
Abstract: Currently, at any point in time there are approximately 3,000 10- to 17-year-olds in penal custody at pretrial, presentencing, or serving a sentence after conviction. This population increased slightly after the millennium, but almost doubled during the 1990s. The latter increase was related to public concern about habitual, dangerous young offenders, a concern heightened by the murder of a child by two 10-year-olds. The children and youth in custody are overwhelmingly 16- and 17-year-olds (78 percent) and male. Of the convicted, sentenced population, robbery, violence against the person, burglary, and vehicle theft or unauthorized taking of a vehicle are the most common offenses. All young offender institutions (YOIs) are regularly, independently inspected, and each of the YOIs has an independent monitoring board of lay persons. The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has provided child advocates and social workers in every institution in order to assist the young inmates and ensure their protection. There is a serious debate about the proportion of young children in custody who might be processed through family proceedings rather than criminal proceedings. YOIs are often located far from the communities where residents lived, making it difficult for supervisors of youth offender teams to maintain regular, quality contact with their custodial caseload and prepare residents for resettlement. The Youth Crime Action Plan presented by the British Government in 2008 made no reference to youth custody numbers or conditions, and offered no immediate prospect that the number of children and youth in custody might be reduced or conditions improved. 22 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Deinstitutionalization; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile inmate statistics; Juvenile inmates; Prison conditions
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