Up to three-quarters of children who are locked up before they appear in court do not subsequently receive a jail sentence, a report says.Now, most people looking at that will draw the conclusion that perhaps the fault lies in the too-lenient ‘justice’ system, and we aren’t getting the jail sentences right.
But not the Prison Reform Trust, of course:
The Prison Reform Trust says children should only be remanded before trial if there is evidence they may commit a violent offence if released on bail.Or, to put it another way, make it cheaper not to jail young thugs…
It wants budget reforms to remove the incentive to jail children on remand.
The report, Children: Innocent Until Proven Guilty, says that of those children placed in remand by magistrates' courts, three quarters will be found innocent or will not receive a prison sentence for their crime.Look, ask any member of the public if the punishment for youth offenders is too lenient and you’ll get a resounding ‘yes’.
This, the report says, means they were locked up without ever being convicted.
It’s only the do-gooders (who don’t have to live with the effects of rampant youth misbehaviour) who think that this report ‘proves’ what they claim it does…
The report also states that because child custody is paid for by central government, "there is a perverse incentive which encourages local authorities not to provide specialist remand accommodation as an alternative to prison".So, cash-strapped councils will face another burden on their budgets, purely in order to stroke the egos of the ‘spare the rod, improve the child’ brigade?
It calls for the budget for remand to be delegated to local authorities, stating that "if local councils had to foot the bill for every child in their area who goes to jail they would have a greater incentive to prevent offending and to offer robust alternatives to custody".
This is utter madness.