Today the Bow Group is kindly publishing my new pamphlet, Revolving Door. My experiences in the Courts over many years have made me increasingly concerned about the value for money of our Young Offender Institutions.
The cost of a place in one of these is well over £30,000 per year and, in terms of re-offending rates, they are a dismal failure. For example, 79% of 16 year-olds released from Young Offender Institutions in 2006 re-offended within one year, committing an average of 4.3 offences each.
Of course, in reality the situation is far worse, because only perhaps 20%-25% of crimes are actually detected in the first place. So in effect the taxpayer spends over £30,000, and in return is left with youngsters who go on to commit perhaps twenty crimes within a year. Quite aside from all the moral and social issues involved, Young Offender Institutions provide appalling value for money.