Child Incarceration: The statistics.

To begin research in this area, here are some of the most recent statistics on child incarceration in England and Wales:

From Prison Population Statistics – House Of Commons Library – Feb 2012

At December 2011 there were:

–       1444 juveniles in prison – Juveniles are aged 15-17 years

–       Of these 1444, 250 were awaiting trial and 85 were awaiting sentence

–       268 12-15 year olds in privately run secure training centres (STC)

–       158 12-15 year olds in local authority secure children homes (SCH)

England and Wales has a Youth Justice System (YJS) which aims to monitor youth offending and reduce the number of young people under the age of 18 offending and re-offending.

Their report, published in January 2012 said:

–       The number of people in the YJS has reduced in the last few years.

–       Since 2007/8 there are 55% fewer young people coming into the system.

–       Since 2000 re-offending by young people has reduced 17%

–       10-17 year olds accounted for 17% (241,737) of all arrests in 2009/2010

–       There were 39,407 youth cautions given in 2010/2011

–       There were 176,511 proven offences by young people in 2010/2011 and 45,519 were first time entrants to the YJS

“While the overall rate of re-offending has remained broadly stable the number of young people in the re-offending cohort has gone down, with particular reductions among those with no previous offences and those receiving pre-court disposals. Because of this, those young people coming into the criminal justice system are, on balance, more challenging to work with. This is reflected in the higher predicted rate of re-offending and the higher average previous number of offences for each young person.”

                                                Youth Justice Statistics, 2012, Executive Summary

The YJS also monitor ‘risk factors’ in children. This would represent any added difficulties that may be associated with re-offending e.g. substance abuse, living arrangements. Those young people with more risks re-offended more often: 34% with 0-2 risks re-offended compared with 81% of those with 11-12 risks reoffended. This is why some of the children coming into the system may be more challenging to work with, despite an overall reduction in young offenders.

Prison Population Statistics report can be found in full HERE

Youth Justice Statistics report can be found in full HERE