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Extra resources for Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System
In the midtwentieth century, most approved schools were open institutions used as a non-custodial alterna- tive to Borstals, run on more welfarist principles. However, as a word of warning, it is worth noting that such ‘open’ institutions still suffered with many of the same problems as ‘closed’ prisons, including abuse and child death scandals. Neal Hazel Related entries Abolitionism; Children in custody; Curfew orders; Decarceration; Electronic monitoring; Fostering; Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP).
There are further distinctive features of the All Wales Youth Offending Strategy. The strategy is clearly embedded within ‘Extending entitlement’, and both these strategies are explicitly drawn from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is clear recognition that a range of social factors are often linked to offending behaviour by young people. Thus the response to young people who commit offences and to the more general prevention of offending by young people is based on the principle of ‘Children first’ – that is, the needs of young people and the social causes of offending are the primary targets of intervention; responding directly to the offence(s) committed is a secondary consideration.
The National Audit Office concurred with this strategy in its 2004 report on youth justice, arguing that increasing the credibility and effectiveness of high-tariff community sentences is the best way to reduce the numbers of children in prison. Since 2001, the primary high-tariff alternative to a prison sentence developed in England and Wales has been the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP). The intensity of the supervision has been seen as a ‘positive punishment’, while the surveillance and restrictions on the offender’s movements have offered social control.