Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/535/4167

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 May 2008

Comment

'Youth justice'

Repressive measures do not work

Despite spending billions on 'youth justice' the government has failed to stem youth crime, a new report shows ('Ten years of Labour's youth justice reforms: an independent audit', Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 21/05/08).

Pete Mason

Nearly all the government's targets have not been met, the report says, while "far more children have been criminalised and imprisoned". Yet spending has increased by nearly a half while other vital services have faced cuts.

This was predicted and surprises no-one who has studied the problems of crime. The number of children locked up increased by 8% since March 2005. Imprisoning young people or sending them to "boot camps" ensures in eight out of ten cases they re-offend, higher than amongst the adult population according to the government's own figures. Labour's new initiatives have a 90% re-offending rate. Prisons in particular are 'universities of crime'.

There are people suffering as victims of crime every day and we are all horrified at the rising number of deaths of young people due to knife attacks. Yet when right-wing newspapers, judges and the Thatcherite Labour and Tory parties demand revenge for youth crime, their solution of longer and harsher sentencing creates the hardened master criminals of the future. This 'revenge' brings about a more violent society.

Community sentencing

In a government sponsored survey of attitudes to non-violent crimes last year, an overwhelming majority of respondents (94%) said the most important thing to them was that the offender did not do it again.

The Ministry of Justice - showing that one hand contradicts the other - said: "These findings support the view of eight in ten (81%) victims in the UK who would be in favour of community sentences if they prevent an offender from re-offending. And there is data to suggest they do; evidence has found that offenders who commenced a community sentence in the first quarter of 2004 had lower re-offending rates than predicted" (Victims of crime want punishment, 16 November 2007).

In the 1950s the youth 'boot camps' of the day, borstals, produced the master criminals of that generation, such as the Great Train Robbers. Like today's attempts, borstals were a failure and were closed down.

Crime rates were much lower in the post-war boom period and the reasons are transparent. Employment was more secure and conditions at work were improving. There was more social welfare provision and other 'safety nets' in place - the 'nanny state' so loathed by the right wing press - if people suffered a sudden loss of employment or family break up.

In the 1960s young people grew up with brothers and sisters who had good, secure jobs or apprenticeships. There were works' football teams and social clubs, as well as youth facilities, less pressure from testing at school, and so forth. Crime always falls if the conditions of the population as a whole improve.

But methods of providing convicted young criminals with skills and experiences which help to raise their sights, despite their high success rates, are castigated by the press and the 'criminal fraternity' running society - the ruling class.

The mother of the murdered teenager Jimmy Mizen said: "There's so much anger in this world and it's anger that's killed my son. If I am angry then I am exactly the same as this man. We have got to get rid of this anger, we have just got to." How can this be done?

Capitalist society rules by the rod to guard its legalised theft of the products of our working lives. It cannot even provide the decent jobs and services without which crime will always be with us. Only a socialist world will end the violent capitalist world of exploitation, wars and terror which, as though through a distorted lens, in various ways increases the violence on the streets today.


We must demand:

Note: Since 2002, actual spending on the 'youth justice system' in England and Wales has totalled 2.9bn, including a total spend in 2006-7 of 648.5m.(http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/ 2008/05/22/108253/labour-misses-youth-crime-targets.html)

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 28 May 2008:

Build A New Workers' Party

Crewe and Nantwich 'no-win' by-election: Why New Labour lost

I told my union: "We need a new workers' party"

Westminster parties are remote from life

Campaign for a new workers' party: conference 2008

MPs' expensive expenses


Socialist Party campaigns

Tax the rich not the poor!

Exeter bomb explosion: Workers' unity needed against terrorism, war and deprivation

Johnson's Prince of Darkness

Them & Us

Greenwich - save our centres


Socialist Party women

Women welcome abortion rights victory: Now fight to extend rights


Youth and crime

Home secretary: "Tough on crime"...but not the causes

'Youth justice': repressive measures do not work


Socialist Party feature

'Counter-terrorism' legislation threatens our democratic rights


International socialist analysis

South Africa: Attacks on refugees and migrants reveal capitalism's barbaric underbelly


Socialist Party review

The Wire - Reviewed by Michael Wrack


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: More battles ahead on pay and jobs

Usdaw general secretary election: Members want democratic debate

Industrial news in brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 May 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Crime:

triangleRate of black imprisonment worse than US

triangleRacist smears won't stop child sex abuse

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Jobstown victory - protest is not a crime!

triangle200-year miscarriage of justice exposing ruling class

triangleJobstown victory: protest is not a crime!

Youth:

triangleFight for free education

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

triangleInterview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleHull youth festival

Young people:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Young people need socialism!

Capitalist:

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2