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  • February 14th, 2013

Secure Colleges Proposed for Young Offenders

Secure colleges have been proposed for young offenders in a bid to educate them whilst in custody rather than leaving them to sit and brood each day.

The average cost of a youth custodial place is £100,000 a year however, 73% of young offenders who leave custody reoffend within a year.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, said “I want to see new models, perhaps something like secure colleges, providing education in a period of detention, rather than detention with education as an after-thought. I want young people to get the education and skills they need to turn their backs on crime for good.”

He continued to say “We cannot go on just doing more of the same, pouring more money into a system doesn’t work in the hope of a different outcome. That doesn’t make any sense to the taxpayer, or to the young people who we should be trying to get back on the straight and narrow.”

Emily Thomas, governor of Cookham Wood Prison in Kent, said: “Education absolutely is vital and having a conversation about what that education should look like and how much of it there should be is at the heart of the conversation we should be having.

“But I think we also need to be ensuring about how we manage very difficult behaviour from young people, how we help them to change that behaviour using offender behaviour programmes and I also think we need to be thinking about some of the external factors that lead to reoffending.

“What we do see from young people is an enthusiasm for education and a recognition from most young people that education is important and a real sense that they want to engage but that actually they find it difficult to engage, so their own behaviour lets them down.”

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