The cost of custody: whose responsibility?

Rob Allen

in Children and young people in custody

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9781847422613
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301752 | DOI:
The cost of custody: whose responsibility?

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The government changes of 2007, which restored to the department responsible for children's welfare a share in responsibility for youth justice in the United Kingdom, has reopened an important set of questions about agency responsibility for young offenders at the local level. At the same time, there is a renewed and growing interest in how resources are used in the criminal justice system as a whole and whether increasing use of imprisonment represents a cost-effective response to crime. There seems to be widespread agreement that there is too much use of both custodial remands and sentences, but strategies to reduce it have so far met with limited success. Custodial establishments for juveniles fall broadly into three categories: young offender institutions, which form part of the Prison Service; secure children's homes, largely run by local authorities; and secure training centres, run by private companies. Introducing a radical new way of financing custody for juveniles offers the prospect of substantial reductions in its use, something that other initiatives have failed to produce.

Keywords: United Kingdom; children; young offenders; custody; secure children's homes; youth justice; young offender institutions; secure training centres

Chapter.  4407 words. 

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