BBC Today Programme
3 children imprisoned in Finland 3000 children im prisoned here in England. The age of criminal discrimination in Finland is 15 years but in practice no young person is put in prison under 21 years. Here it is 10 years ; in Scotland 8 years.
In Finland the emphasis is on welfare, education, psychiatric and medical help.60% of our childrenin prison have mental health problems.Rod morgan, youth justice board pointed out that it costs £2000 pre annum to keep a child in prison. Alternative options such as those used in Scandinavia would cost much less.
Michael Howard, however , felt that magistrates here are doing the right thing.The courts are only detaining them appropriately, children are not locked up for the first offence. According to him prison is only used as a last resort. Firm policies work; we must protect the British public.
Rod Morgan would like to see a seperate British Justice System for children and guess what- there is some interest from Ministers for looking into this.
The families of children who have suffered from the punitive violence of the state need much more action than this Why are they not being consulted?
Another piece of information on the same programme was that prisons are being used as a dumping ground for the adult mentally ill How often did Pauline say that?