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Editorial: YJB chair must stand up to political heat

The government has at last ended its search for a permanent chair of the Youth Justice Board (see p7). Frances Done's appointment rounds off a turbulent 12 months for the YJB, for it was this very week last year that Rod Morgan resigned the post.

The beautiful game has started to turn ugly

In one of the first discussions on youthful antisocial behaviour during the 1990s, I noted in a speech that most of the lads' magazines tended to be preoccupied with half-naked women and bad-boy footballers.

Alternatives to custody need to be found

In April this year, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice adopted the resolution that national action plans should be formed to reduce the imprisonment of juveniles.

Break the cycle of neglect and reoffending

Media portrayals of "hoodies" and concerns that antisocial behaviour orders are seen as badges of honour have strengthened the perception that young people and crime are inextricably linked.

Let's be clear about deaths in custody

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. The other week, on the radio during primetime news, I listened to one of the most disingenuous debates I have ever heard that confirmed this mantra to a tee. Regrettably, it concerned the sensitive and emotive topic of deaths in custody.

We need a community approach to custody

The recent pressure on the "juvenile secure estate" - the young offender institutions, secure training centres and secure children's homes where remanded and convicted young people are sent - should have concentrated many minds.

Prevention, not detention, must come first

Children's Secretary Ed Balls last week told CYP Now that he wants to "strengthen the role the youth justice system can play in preventing youth crime." His words were welcome. But they need to be backed up with action.

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