News story

Education reform to youth custody

Radical plans that focus on young offenders receiving better education and training so they turn their backs on crime have been published.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Radical plans for reforming youth custody, that focus on young offenders receiving better education and training so they can turn their backs on crime for good, have been published.

At present:

  • 73% of young people reoffend within a year
  • £245m is spent on the detention of young offenders
  • Around 1,700 young people are in custody at any one time

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:

‘Some youth custodial places cost £200 000, five times the cost of sending a child to a top private school.  But nearly three quarters of young people leaving custody reoffend. 

‘We cannot go on just doing more of the same, pouring more money into a system doesn’t work in the hope of a different outcome.  That doesn’t make any sense to the taxpayer, or to the young people who we should be trying to get back on the straight and narrow.

‘I want to see new models, perhaps something like secure colleges, providing education in a period of detention, rather than detention with education as an after-thought.’

Professionals from the education sector, custodial services and organisations with an interest in young people are among those being consulted on a complete transformation of youth custody.

The Green Paper looks at how to improve outcomes for young people in custody - drawing on experience from Free Schools and Academies and bringing new expertise and providers into the market.

Press notice

Consultation - ‘Transforming Youth Custody - Putting education at the heart of detention

Published 14 February 2013