The responses to the Welsh Assembly Government Green Paper on improving youth justice services for young people in Wales were submitted on the 11th December 2012.
My own view is that this should take a more overtly welfare and treatment-related approach.
Children and young people don’t usually offend, and certainly not prolifically, if they’ve had a stable and caring upbringing. We can assume, therefore, that these children (and children they are!) have not had the usual advantages that divert the majority from crime. Thus, if we are to help them to recover and apply the interventions necessary to avert re-offending, we must target the developmental factors that fuel aberrant behaviour.
I have posted my own response to the green paper, separately here. This outlines specific proposals to strengthen youth justice interventions, orientate services on a more welfare/developmental footing and base all work around fuller, more clinical assessments.
In addition, I have decided to post on Twitter (@JonnyMatthew) a series of data posts. These are data bites about a cohort of 303 Welsh young people who offended prolifically; this means they committed more than 25 offences. The facts are taken from Annex A of the green paper – based on a study undertaken by the Welsh Division of the Youth Justice Board. My hope is that these will help to emphasise the imperative for a more needs-based, multi-agency approach…
© Jonny Matthew 2013