Thursday, 15 February 2007

Reap what you sow

Reading the UNICEF report comparing children across the world's wealthiest nations makes depressing reading from a British perspective. See below for the full report:

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Society/documents/2007/02/14/UNchildwellbeing.pdf

See below for an excellent article by Jon Fayle, ex head of policy at the Youth Justice Board, who has resigned shortly after Prof Rod Morgan, who was the chair of the board and who has also recently resigned.

http://society.guardian.co.uk/youthjustice/story/0,,2012032,00.html

The article makes the sensible point that we imprison far too many young people at the moment. As a consequence resources are stretched and young offenders do not get the interventions necessary to prevent re-offending. Jon Fayle suggests that there is the possibility of developing a political consensus, across the main political parties, which would reduce the rate that we imprison young people. However the appointment of Louise Casey, the Respect Tsar, to replace Rod Morgan would send totally the wrong signal to sentencers.

It seems to me to be commonsense that the poor way we as a society treat our children is at least partly responsible for the way they behave and mature. So there is a link between the UNICEF findings and the offending of a small number of young people.

See the Compass website for research/ polemics about the way we treat children. On the links section of this blog.

2 comments:

Trevor Philpott said...

Thank you for your contribution to this critical debate. The recent shootings by young people have further highlighted the increasing failure to meet the needs of those living and surviving in our most deprived communities. Sadly increasing numbers of armed police and tougher sentencing fails to meet these needs. Until we address the fundamental question as to why it is that young people feel the need to behave in this way, the situation will simply become worse. Having little or no sense of social understanding, personal self belief and esteem, those involved in gun crime and gang activity often do so in order to overcome their deep sense of insecurity and fear. Until we help them to see themselves in a more positive and confident way and give them the understanding and skills they lack, their behaviour is unlikely to change.

if a child lives with hostility
it learns to fight
if a child lives with ridicule
it learns to be shy
if a child lives with shame
it learns to be guilty

Croslandite said...

Yes I agree Trevor, see Tony Blair's foray into this issue - let's increase sentncing and nothing else. Which is very disappointing.