Lessons from Beyond Youth Custody

Topic Selected: Crime and Justice

General Article icon Type: General Article

“People don’t appreciate how much it can feel like you are being set up to fail”

In January 2015, the number of children in custody was 981. The first time on record the population has fallen below 1,000. Numbers have been falling steadily over the past decade, which is welcome, but it poses new and significant challenges for services.

Those sentenced to custody are more likely to display an entrenched pattern of offending behaviour. They’re more likely to have committed serious offences and have a higher concentration of problems.

Reoffending rates remain stubbornly high. Over two thirds of children reoffend within 12 months of release from secure institutions. Reoffending rates are also substantially higher amongst young adults in the criminal justice system than older adult offenders. This shows the destructive cycle of crime that some young people fall into and struggle to get out of.

Many of these young people have had compl

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