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Out of Trouble: Reducing Child Imprisonment in England and Wales - Lessons From Abroad

NCJ Number
Enver Solomon; Rob Allen
Date Published
72 pages
This report from the Prison Reform Trust in the United Kingdom discusses the problem of child imprisonment in England and Wales by focusing on efforts in other countries to reduce the use of imprisonment for young offenders.
The primary focus of this report is to explore international examples of child imprisonment policies and practices used in other countries to successfully reduce the number of young offenders being remanded or sentenced to custody. The report looks at practices that have not yet been implemented by a large number of policymakers. The following alternative to custodial remand are discussed in the report: methods for dealing with breach of disposals that do not result in the use of custody; alternative approaches for dealing with children under the age of 15 who have committed violent offences; alternative approaches for dealing with children under the age of 16 who have committed non-violent offenses or offenses involving low levels of violence; non-custodial penalties that have been used for nonviolent offenses such as burglary, theft, car crime and drug dealing; and non-custodial options for children with diagnosed mental health disorders. Two chapters of the report present examples of jurisdictions that have successfully implemented wide-ranging reforms: Canada and the State of New York, while a third chapter looks at fiscal incentives implemented in three States in the United States: Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Two additional chapters of the report discuss key issues that arose in course of the research for the report. Based on the research, the authors concluded that the effectiveness of the policies depends equally on the implementation of the policies as well as type of alternatives implemented by officials. Figures, appendix, and references