Short prison sentences for young 'should be axed'
Dec 24, 2009
All short-term prison sentences for young adults convicted of non-violent offences should be abolished, a charity has said.
The Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance made the call as it launched a report on young adults and the criminal justice system.
The report says thousands of vulnerable young adults with mental health problems, learning difficulties, drug and alcohol addictions, and backgrounds in homelessness and care, are being funnelled unnecessarily into the criminal justice system.
The T2A Alliance argues the majority could use support services in the community before they have to enter the criminal justice system and, if sentencing is appropriate, they should be given community sentences.
....The independent research, commissioned by the T2A Alliance, found that that if all low-level, non-violent young adult offenders in a typical year were made to engage with their victims and make amends via restorative conferencing rather than being sent through the criminal justice system, £275 million could be saved over their lifetimes.
The research also found that if all adult offenders between 18 and 24 given short term prison sentences in a year received community sentences instead, £12 million could be saved over their lifetimes.
In a separate piece of independent representative polling for the T2A Alliance, 151 MPs were also asked their views on the issues related to the policy paper.
It found 62% of the MPs asked support replacing all short-term prison sentences for young adult offenders convicted of non-violent and non-sexual crimes with community alternatives.