Saturday, February 07, 2009

A journey of 'Change' for our Young Offenders and our Justice System

This week young people of the UK were described as the most unhappy in the western world. Against that background, the Finish justice system (with only 3 of its children curently locked up) and Denmark's innovative deployment of highly trained Pedegogs were featured as leading the way in work with marginalised young people and young offenders. Similarly, those who have read this blog before will have noted the short article I wrote on 5 Dec 08 covering a recent trip to Slovenia and the inspiring work being delivered with many of its young offenders. If you have not read it yet, please do; just scroll down this page.

Whilst acknowledging that many of our Youth Offending Teams are attempting to deliver innovative work, with all the evidence from other countries I am again left asking why it is that as a country we appear unwilling to acknowledge that, for the most part, we have got it wrong. Do we really think that our children and young people are so different to those in other countries that punishment and ciminalising them is the only way to promote personal change? When will we find the courage to bit the bullet and start to increase our investment in our marginalised and excluded young people, empowering them to become future net contributors to our society rather than future long-term debtors?