GOVERNMENT PLANS FOR YOUNG OFFENDERS in particular, for tbel; of the problems faci"the children and adults likely to cotfj before them." They would deal Wi1 boys and girls who get into trouble! show anti-social behaviour. Bacon said of them: "Their task be not to prove guilt or innocence ^ to determine why the child has g011' wrong, what help he or she needs a"1 how it shall be given."
"in Britain today, crime is our greatest social problem." This was how Miss Alice Bacon, M.P., Minister of State for the Home Office, opened her crowded press conference on the Government's White Paper, "The Child, The Family and The Young Offender".* She commented that we must not just "wait and hope for an improvement in the crime wave" but "take positive steps to combat crime
and, most important, adopt measures to prevent young people becoming
This White Paper sets out proposals which the Government will place before Parliament in legislative form. But, before a Bill is introduced, the Government will consult organisations interested in problems of delinquency, and particularly those who would have
operate any As far
concerned, the major responsibility for the preventive side would rest on the
local authorities. A law based on the White Paper would require each county, county borough and Greater London Borough, through its children's committee, to set up local family councils. These councils would consist of "social workers of the children's service and other persons selected for understanding and experience of chil*
Where necessary, both the child ' his parents will be required to go the family council, and all the inforfl1? tion available about the child and background will be considered. Paper points out: "In some cases would be clear that the parents co themselves deal adequately with L", situation. In others it might be that the matter should be disposed by the parents paying compensate to anyone who had suffered loss f1?, the child's delinquency. In yet 0$ cases, agreement might be reached ,1 the desirability of placing the under the supervision of an officer the children's service, or of sending.?' for some form of residential This may follow the kind now P ^ vided in junior detention centres, ^ mean that the child is a foster home, or placed in a resid tial school. But the only compulsory given to the councils would be
Cmnd. 2742, H.M.S.O., Is. 6d.
child be sent to an centres These be established by local authoriles. and provide facilities for the lamination of children still living at and where the facts brought
we are determined to do... the young offenders' institutions will be strict with a strong emphasis on discipline and training. Those sent to them will be taught that crime doesn't
and this ...
b0rne, ,efore a family council are disputed by child or his parents, the case can ^e t6 referred for a decision to
arr>ily courts, constituted from panels J Magistrates, "selected for their capa-
For offenders in this group who are sentenced to training, there would be periods of statutory after-care, lasting between a year and two years according to the length of the training period. The Paper gives parents especially a great deal to think about. As Miss Bacon pointed out: "Only a very rash person would be dogmatic about the cause of crime. Clearly, home conditions have a great deal to do with it. Some children are deprived and they exhibit criminal tendencies in later life due to this, but many young people today come before the courts who are not deprived and not neglected, but perhaps have over-indulgent parents. Parents themselves today are puzzled and worried." The Paper now awaits the jury of public opinion. It will receive close scrutiny from members of both Houses when it is debated in Parliament? almost certainly in the next session, and from children's committees of the local authorities, all voluntary societies concerned with the welfare of young people, and everyone working in services which care for children and young offenders.
y to deal with young
^eventive aim whole purpose of the Paper is (o^he trV prevent the juvenile delinq.
becoming the criminal As far as offenders of age-group 16 to 21 are concerned, is certainly no question of giving treatment?quite the reverse. In )t) the White Paper's section y?un? offenders' courts, which be established to hear cases for ^ young adults, Miss Bacon said: ls possible to be more tough with teenager than with older people. A Ng offenders' court will contain with special knowledge of people and will know, when ^. encing, the various types of insti'on available. I would stress that to k6 Seri?us offences will still be able -Sent to a higher court. This group s the hard core of those who 'Id i u'ge in hooliganism and those who 5r set on the road to a life of crj ^eThey must be pulled up sharply
'$ere Qj^ducing W
Government Plans for Young Offenders.
Government Plans for Young Offenders. - PDF Download Free