The Howard League for the Abolition of Punishment continues its campaign to abolish imprisonment, starting with the poor oppressed youth.
Apparently 70% of 'youths' between 18 and 20 - in other words people who are considered (by liberals) to be adults in all other contexts - reoffend and are convicted within two years. I think it's a fair assumption that others won't get caught, given our detection rates.
The reason ?
"A jail sentence made youths think of themselves as criminals, as well as making it very difficult to find jobs and homes on their release, the research found."
That might be because they ARE criminals.
"Sending them to prison, instead of reducing crime, actually makes it all the more inevitable" says the Howard League. There's no doubt that we don't want to upset these chaps.
Naturally this "don't send them to prison" message is loudly amplified by the Howard League's friends at BBC News, the Today programme (RealAudio), Guardian, Indie, and the state-funded caring community.
The campaign to abolish punishment continues with Youth Justice Tsar, Master-lookalike and hippie academic Rod Morgan's campaign against Asbos, loudly amplified by etc etc. Not only are we suffering from ""misplaced hysteria over teenage crime", but we're "demonising" as well as criminalising "high-jinks" and "normal adolescent behaviour 15-20 years ago".
In totally unconnected news, "Britain is perceived as one of the most loutish countries in Europe, according to a new survey published today".
"The survey also revealed a sharp contrast in national attitudes to tackling unruly behaviour. It found that in Germany, six out of 10 people would challenge a group of 14-year-olds vandalising a bus shelter, but in Britain six out of ten would not."
The BBC reports "The under-25s were most associated with anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and rowdiness". Demonising again, I guess.