Examination of Witnesses (Questions 340-342)|
23 JUNE 2008
Q340 Mrs Hodgson: And how many,
as a ballpark figure, do you think are on the youth offenders
Dr Hart: I do not think that those
data are collected. I think that that is an omission.
Chris Callender: One of the recommendations
in our memorandum was that that information should be collated.
It is not at the moment.
Q341 Mrs Hodgson: What I am trying
to drive at is that I have looked at the figures in our background
13 See Ev 195
information on the cost per place in a secure children's
home, which is £185,000 a child, and there are 230 places.
The cost per place in a secure training centre is £172,000
with 275 places. In young offenders institutions the cost is £5,300
per place with 2,800 places.
Chris Callender: I think that
the cost is around £50,000 per place, per annum in a young
Q342 Mrs Hodgson: Right. That
is the average cost for one child. The sums of £185,000 and
£175,000 per place per child are huge. The time line that
struck me was that when we focus that funding, I cannot help but
think that the impact of those children on voters may release
the funding, and that when they start to offend, people say, "You
must do something about these children." We do not have time
to discuss it now, but we must bring that time line and the funding
forward. Will you make a quick comment on that?
Bob Ashford: There have been some
good moves. I said just now that the youth offending teams are
working with a number of young people on a preventive basis, and
that is because, thankfully, the Youth Justice Board has been
given new money by the Home Office, DCSF and MOJ to work with
those young people. That has been a huge advance over the past
five or six years. Other preventive elements are coming in, such
as targeted youth support and the Positive Activities for Young
People programme, which DCSF has introduced. There have been
numerous initiatives with significant funding to try to move that
time line further upstream and to identify young people who will
offend. Clearly, that is like turning the tanker around in some
respects, and we still have young people in the system for whom
we must do more, as we have tried to outline today, not just to
prevent them from offending, but to prevent them from reoffending.
Again, the best way of doing that is with a strong rehabilitation
and resettlement scenario.