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Tom Brake: We need a more rounded approach to youth justice

March 12, 2011 4:16 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Commenting, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equality, Tom Brake said:

"Our current approach to youth justice is not working. When thirty percent of children in custody have been in the care of the local authority and a quarter of under-17s have the literacy and numeracy levels of an average seven-year old, you realise that the system is failing the most vulnerable.

"With re-offending rates as high as 80%, it is also abundantly clear that the current system fails to prevent crime and ensure young offenders are rehabilitated.

"We need to look at youth justice in the round. We will not tackle youth crime and re-offending without solutions spanning early intervention through to specialised panels able to address special educational needs, abuse or neglect or mental health issues.

"This is what Conference backed today and this is what I'll be fighting for in Parliament."