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How the prison system can fail young people

Sometimes you strike up a special relationship with a young person surprisingly fast. It is almost impossible to unravel the chemistry of such moments but you don't have to work at it in the same way as you do to develop more routine youth work relationships.

Editorial: Mentors give hope to young people in custody

Among the myriad challenges of transforming young lives, rehabilitation of young offenders will always be among the toughest. The number of 16- to 25-year-olds behind bars has soared by one-third in the past decade while the majority go on to reoffend, reflecting the enormity of the task.

A new approach to tackling knife crime

"It's what you do. It's what your friends do, isn't it?" Jay is 16, has been involved in gang culture and is one of the many young people who feel it is necessary to carry a weapon for protection.

Youth crime demands a mature approach

The Youth Crime Action Plan was being drafted frantically as CYP Now went to press. This keenly anticipated document is the most high-profile piece of children's policy this year.

Help young people learn the right three Rs

There are always attempts at slick alliteration in the policy field, such as the four Ps that inform The Children's Plan. And there are plenty of alternatives to the traditional three Rs. Two sets are currently pertinent: the Responsibility, Restoration and Re-integration that has framed youth justice over the past decade; and the Respect, Revenge and Revenue that are sometimes used to explain the rise of gang culture and the use of knives and guns. They are not quite mirror images but they are, arguably, close.

Editorial: A tough decade for the youth justice system

The youth justice system is under heightened scrutiny as we approach the tenth anniversary of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, which created the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) alongside local youth offending teams (YOTs).

Where are all these gangs we hear about?

What are these gangs that everyone is so preoccupied about these days? There was a time when there was some consensus that the UK, with the early exception of Glasgow and the later exception of paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, did not have gangs, at least not by the established American definition of the term.

Will sanctions or support ward off trouble?

One element of the "triple track" response in the new Youth Taskforce Action Plan is the idea of non-negotiable support. Some will immediately baulk at the concept: surely support has to be wanted to be effective?

Commissioner for Wales is up to the challenge

It was an "exceedingly drawn-out" appointments process, according to one Welsh politician. But Keith Towler came through the interviews, both with young people and politicians, to secure the position of children's commissioner for Wales, just under a year after the untimely death of his predecessor Peter Clarke.

This game of funding musical chairs must stop

The principle is a good one and absolutely right: early intervention in childhood, providing support to children and their families, carries the best prospect of reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors for children and young people further down the track.

The amoral panic surrounding juvenile crime

The conviction of three young people in mid-January for the awful murder of Garry Newlove was followed by a moving and poignant plea from his widow Helen for society to reclaim the streets from violent and yobbish youth.

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