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My New Goal by P.S. ( Rainsbrook Secure Training Center)

Everyone searches for a hero. My closest person is my shadow. I need to go to a special place, to help me understand, why I was brought to this land for a new start. To ask them did they waste their time bringing me here, because all I do is crime. I don’t understand all this: why my mum cut her wrist, why my dad walked out, why I don’t have a family What is it all about? For 16 years I have kept strong. Where did my life go wrong? Am I ever going to see that new start or am I going to end it with a broken heart? My life is never going to be the same, is it all just one big game? My name is P.S: and I do have a soul. To find it again is now my goal. reference: Lockdown magazine : the voice of young people in custody, No.5

project overview. The Problem

Young offenders are influenced by their background and the environments they grow up in.

2. Discha rge

Prisoners Violen ce e 1. O f f e n c nme n t & Im p r is o

Educat ion deficit


Friend s


Abuse Drugs

Unemp loymen t

The current prison system seems to exacerbate the conditions that lead to young people becoming offenders. It doesn’t give them the chance to break out of a negative cycle and change their lives for the better. reference: fact file UK, Population,

3. Re-Of fend

V ICIOUS CYCLE r di ng af te n e f f o e r f g Th e rate o t o f yo u n n e m n o is im p r e l y h igh m e r t x e p e o p le is

% a b o u t 75 in h t i w d n re - o f f e ye a rs . t wo

The Mission

To give young offenders the chance to break negative cycles and enable them to create a new environment in which a better life is possible, by reinforcing positive behaviour.


Eve r y ye a r a n esti 70,00 m a te d 0 s c h chi ldr e n e n t o o l-age e jus t ic e r t h e yo u t h s ys te m !

England and Wales have particularly high rates of youth crime, with more young people in custody than other European countries (besides Turkey) Sentences given to 10-17 year olds in 2007-8:

Pre-court order: 162,755 Community service sentence: 37,355 Custody: 6,853 Number of under-18s in Custody in 2010: 2,209 Nearly half (42%) of first offenders are young adults. The number of 15-17 years old in prison has more than doubled over the last ten years. More than 1/5 of under 18 year olds in custody were there on remand. reference: Civitas 2010; Ministry of Justice, Youth Justice Statistics 2009/10

“One of the saddest things I saw in Reading Jail recently was a prison officer who said he’s now locking up the children of those fathers and uncles he first locked up when he came into the service. ” - Martina Milburn.chief executive of the Prince’s Trust

EDUCATION Risk factors in the school context include low achievement levels beginning in primary school, i.e. aggressive behaviour (including bullying), lack ofcommitment to school (including truancy) and school disorganisation. The presence of these factors increases the likelihood that young people exposed to them will become involved in crime. There is evidence to suggest that there are significant differences in levels of ‘school readiness’ when children reach school going age, defined by parental income and mother’s education.

Causes RISK FACTORS FAMILY AND FRIENDS Family risk factors include poor parental supervision and discipline, family conflict, a family history of criminal activity, parental attitudes that condone anti-social and criminal behaviour, low income, poor housing and large family size.

45 % o f y o f f e n de o u ng f o r me r rs we re l y k no w n h ave b e e n re g u t o t r uan t i lar l y ng .

Substantial gaps already exist in school readiness at ages 3 and 5 between children from poorer and childeren from richer families.

At w h i c

h poin t o f li fe o f a yo sh o u ld ung o f we i n t f e n de r e r ve ne ?

Of 29 young offenders interviewed, 45 % across the entire sample said they had offended with family or friends Only 28% of 29 youth offenders lived with their parents.

Differences in assessment of children by age and background:

Almost half of the entire sample of young people had suffered some form of recorded abuse. 25% of boys and 40% of girls in custody say they have experienced violence at home. Victimisation and offending are closely linked. Children and young people who are victimised are more likely than others to break the criminal law, and young offenders are also more likely to have been victims of crime. Large family size has been found to be a relatively strong predictor of delinquency.

ETHNICITY About 1 in 40 white young offenders are sentenced to custody compared with 1 in 12 black young offenders and 1 in 10 of those who are of mixed race. reference: Local Governemnt Association 2009; Civitas 2010; Persistent YOung Offenders, 2005; Civitas 2010; Youth Justice 2004

reference: An atonomy of Economic Inquality in the UK, 2010: Youth Justice Board Rosk and Protection , 2005



Friendships with peers involved in drug abuse/misuse increase risk.

young people face an uncertain future, as they are not in employment, education or training.

More than 1 million crimes involved alcohol last year. Drug offences increased by 20% (2002-2010). The increase in drug offences may partly reflect the increased severity of cannabis possession, which was changed from Class C to B in January 2009. Of 29 young offenders interviewed, 48% admitted to heavy cannabis usage.

Of prisoners aged 16 -10, around 85% show signs of a personality disorder, 10% of a psychotic illness. In 2007, there were over 1,000 self-harm incidents among children aged 15 and 17. 2/3 of those in prison lose their jobs, 1/3 their homes and most crucially 40% lose contact with their families.

EXCLUSION FROM THEIR COMMUNITY More than 1/3 of young people (37%) feel judged on their family background, while more than 2/3 (69%) believe those from wealthier families will be more successful in life.

Ment al Health and wellbe ing are HUGELY important factors...

More than 1 in 3 young people (36%) do not feel part of their community. Almost a third (30%) do not think there is a future for them in their local area. More than half of young people(54%) “rarely” or “never” speak to people over the age of 40 in their local community; while more than 2/3 (68%) “rarely” or “never” speak to those over 60. Almost a quarter(23%) feel ignored by older people.

Do we i n

te g r a te t h e s e fin w i t h ‘P di ng s ro je c t K s ome h o a r l a’ w?

reference: Local Governemnt Association 2009; Civitas 2010; Persistent Young Offenders, 2005; Civitas 2010; Persitstent Young Offenders, 2005

reference: Young people and their community, 2010

What helps? Some factors that could protect against involvement in youth crime, even in the presence of the risk factors listed earlier:


e a l l y t hi n k r le p o e p g Do yo u n u t u re? abou t t he f wi t h t he le ac t p o e p g n u o Do y e f u t u re? h t f o s s e awa re n

23% said that when they go out with friends, they stop feeling unhappy.

- A resilient temperament - A sense of self-efficacy - A positive, outgoing disposition - High intelligence. - Social bonding and the promotion within family - School and a community of healthy relationships - Trust and consistency - Opportunities for involvement - Social and reasoning skills 80% of the youth polled said that having lots of close friends is very or somewhat - Recognition and due praise important.

The top 5 personal values cited as extremely important doing fun things 51 % having freedom in action and thought 55%

having stable personal relationships 54 %

protecting the family 65%

enjoying life 54%

(short - term)


(long - term top life expectations) make my family proud 71 %

lead a stable life 63% get married 58 %

be financially secure 70 % travel the world 64 %

O n ly 34 pe rc en t of te en s ci te d am bi ti on a n d a sp ir in g to ge t ah ead a s pe rs on a l v a lues .

reference: ThinkMTV 2007;

reference: ThinkMTV 2007;

Costs TAX PAYMENT / PUBLIC SERVICES Re-offending by thousands of criminals serving short prison terms in England and Wales costs the taxpayer up to 10 billion a year. The estimated cost of youth crime for Great Britain was in excess of 1.2 billion in 2009. This is £23 million a week Cost of jailing one young offender to the taxpayer are up to £100,000 a year. Plus further £40,000 in indirect costs to society incurred after release. Early intervention to prevent young people offending could save public service more than 80 million a year

FUNDING More than £18m funding to tackle knife, gun and gang crime has been announced by the Home Secretary. The funding will be given to police, local agencies and the voluntary sector to tackle serious youth violence and prevent young people entering a cycle of crime.


for the three police force areas where more than half of The country’s knife crime occurs - London, Manchester and the West Midlands (Funding runs from April 2011 to March 2013)

reference:;; Civitas 2010; T he cost exclusion, Prince’s Trust 2010

The System EXAMPLE OF A YOUTH OFFENDER Age: 15- 17 years for males and 17 years for female Location held: Prison Service Custody (provides secure accommodation for young people), held in YOI

What happens next: - health check on arrival - issued with ‘first night’ pack (phone card, reading and writing material) - given opportunity to contact family/carers within two hours of arrival - assigned a personal officer who they can build a relationship with

EXAMPLE OF A JUVENILE OFFENDER Age: 18 - 20 Location held: Young Offenders Institution ( this isn’t very different to prison life for adult prisoners)

What happens next: - induction sessions for the first days (opportunities to talk through concerns and discuss opportunities for education and training during prison stay) - a sentence plan (working towards a plan for after release) - personal officer schemes that help to follow the sentence plan - YOI offers education classes and practical training, led by prison officers to tackle problems like accommodation, drug abuse and family issues after release. - Some YOI provide Community Service Volunteers programmes (working with children, disabled or elderly people) - Interaction and recreation with other offenders - Leisure time activities at the weekends (sports, voluntary work, arts, crafts)

Overview of the current youth justice system:

KEY FEATURES OF STANDARDS FOR YOUNG OFFENDER INSTITUTIONS: - A child centered approach reflecting the spirit of the Children Acts of 1989 and 2004 - A special emphasis on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children - The provision of a safe environment for all young people at all times - Special attention to every young person’s physical, mental and social health, including the promotion of healthy lifestyles. - Daily involvement in a variety of activities in keeping with individual needs, abilities and potential (with education and training forming an important and vital part of the young people’s custodial experience) - Staff who have received appropriate training and can act as ‘significant adults’ and role models. - Applications for temporary licences to undertake activities in the community is possible - Juvenile Awareness Staff Program (JASP) to provide child focused training. Activities: - Education and training, drama, dance, music and clubs, - Include reward and sanctions schemes


A young person commits a first or second offence and admits guilt or is behaving anti-socially.

Pre-court Court

Sentences given to 10 - 17 year olds in 2007-08 Community Sentence


17,7% 3,3%

Pre-court order


A young person is at risk of offending.

D: VE L O INV ice, Pol , T YO S CB

INVOLVED : YOT, Solicitor, CPS, Youth Court / Crown Court

INV Pol OLV YO ice, ED : Loc T, al A uth ori ty

A young person is charged by the police after committing further offences, or a young person is charged with a more serious offence. A young person is bailed or remanded in custody. The young person appears in a Youth Court

INVOLVED: Youth Court / Crown Court

YOT Custody

: tion duca LVED INVO A (local e Services, l LE YOT, ity), Socia r o auth e Polic

INVOLVED : Police, YOT, CPS, Solicitor, Youth Court

If the young person is charged with a serious offence, the Youth Court refers to the Crown Court.

If the young person pleads guilty or is convicted of the charge, they are sentenced. Sentences to the community OR Sentences to custody

reference: Youth justice Board,

GAMING IN PRISON The Prison Service spent £221,726 in providing games consoles during the period 2005 – 2008. For YOIs alone the total spend for console games and DVDs for the 2008/2009 financial year was £15,185.57. However, on 23 July 2008, the National Offender Management Service issued a Prison Service Instruction specifying that, for prisoners aged 18 years and over: - no more games or consoles were to be bought with public funds. - Only prisoners on the ‘enhanced’ level were allowed games consoles in possession - no 18-rated games were permitted

Trends that affect Young Offenders CHANGING FAMILY STRUCTURES Family structures changing today. “Family instability appears to negatively affect a child’s well-being in the short- and long-term.”

Divorce rate in England & Wales:

(Persons divorcing per thousand married population)

15 12 9 6 3 o

reference: Civitas 2010












The education level of young people in the UK is rising.

99% of teenagers have a mobile phone and most are quite up to date phones.



50 40 30

Is t he r e a gro w o f fe nd e rs a n d i ng e duc at i o n g no n- o f f e n de r a p b e t we e n s?


16-18 year old - Most interested in music - nearly 50% list it in their top 5 activities - Nearly 80% own a mobile

20 10 o





Around 20 per cent of Brits aged between 15 and 24 use their mobile phones to access the internet, which is a greater percentage than in any other country across the rest of Europe.


1/4 of teens aged 16-18 report they can’t live without their mobile. And mobile phone owners are getting younger and younger - 65% of 12 year old and younger have their own mobile phone, rising to 79% for 13-15 year old.

UNEMPLOYMENT The unemployment rate for 16-to-24 year olds for the period April 2009 to March 2010 was 19.7 per cent in the UK. The unemployment rate has increased significantly since before the recession. For the period April 2007 to March 2008, the rate was 13.7 per cent.

A UK research firm found that most UK. teens don’t use location targeting social media websites such as Foursquare or Facebook Places. 48% of teens have not heard of Places, Foursquare, or other location services 58% of teens who have heard of location services don’t see the point

Youth unemployment has increased, with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work up by 18,000 to 941,000, the joint highest since records began in 1992. 12th May 2010

Th e ge ne ra l circumst an ce s fo r yo ung of fe nders is ge tt ing wor se . Ho w ca n th ey com pe te w ith m as se s of ot he r unem pl oyed pe op le w ho do n’t have th e di sadv an tage of a cr im in al re co rd on th ei r CV? reference: The cost of Exclusion, Prince’s Trust report 2010; jobless-totaltops-25m-1971604.html;

reference:,;; http://www.;



Norway’s Halden posh prison

Elite University starts schooling prison inmates

Norway’s new Halden Prison is being billed as the “most modern” prison. It’s adorned with Banksy-style stencils and its facilities could rival those at a nice private college dorm. The brand new facilities include a gym, a training room, a sound studio, a chapel, a library, several workshops, a family visiting unit, a football pitch and a school, where inmates will get the opportunity to study and gain a range of professional qualifications aimed at facilitating their release into society. The cells themselves are bright, and are arranged in small units of 10 and 12 cells, joined to a common living area, where inmates will prepare food and socialise in very much the same way they would in any communal building. All cells have flat screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms, and some kind of view – what’s more, the windows don’t have iron bars.

Inmates at Cheshire Correctional Institution, a UK state prison are all part of a daring, privately financed experiment in higher education that takes murderers and drug dealers and other inmates with histories of serious crime and gives them an opportunity to get an elite college education inside their high-security prison. Though community colleges and others, like Boston University in the USA, have long had inmate programs, the two-month-old Wesleyan program is one of a few in the country where the selection process is highly rigorous. Academic potential is the primary criterion and past criminal conduct, however heinous, is not considered in admission. 120 inmates applied at Cheshire for 19 spots in the program. The process required them to submit essays on weighty matters like Frantz Fanon’s view that language helped “support the weight of a civilization” or Sigmund Freud’s thoughts on happiness.

The art of Yoga project “The mission of The Art of Yoga Project is to lead teen girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and community by providing practical tools to effect behavioural change.” “When I practice yoga I feel whole, I feel nothing is beyond my reach. I feel beautiful, strong and perfect, and fortunate that I am me” MAKENDRA, AGE 17

reference:, - A report on the 2009 General Lifestyle Survey Trends in Severe Disability Among Elderly People: Assessing the Evidence in 12 OECD Countries and the Future Implications


Context and trends in youth re-offending