In July, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Birmingham Mail following an article that was published about dealing with young offenders:
Lynne Jones MP
25 July 2006
(c) 2006 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
YOUR coverage of Beverley Thomas's call for boot camp regimes (Mail, July 14) refers to 'yobs' and 'young offenders' whilst making little distinction between offences.
Some young people commit violent crimes and have to be detained for public safety reasons. The regime they face should both punish and rehabilitate.
However, locking up non-violent young people makes them worse and impedes their chances of moving away from crime, getting a job and contributing to, instead of taking from society.
Punishment regimes must be about what works and to be effective must take account of the disintegrating and often non-existent family life experienced by many young offenders. I want to see a greater focus on reparation - offenders having to face victims, hear their side and make up for their crimes through hard work in the community.