This sort of research is heavily deterministic (and is part of the fairly toxic “risk agenda” favoured by this and the previous government) so read it with caution.

The research asked a straightforward question: “Who are the 2,000 to 3,000 children and young people serving sentences or on remand in Britain at any one time?”

A more complex, and extremely significant, question the study also asked was: “How do these young people come to end up in custody?”

In answer to the first question, research revealed the widespread disadvantage and unstable lives endured by children and young people serving time. It found that

  • 75% had absent fathers
  • 50% came from deprived backgrounds and a similar proportion had run away from home at some point.
  • 33% had absent mothers
  • 25% had been in care
  • 20% had self-harmed
  • 11% had attempted suicide
  • 12% had been bereaved, losing either a parent or sibling

If you want to find out answers to the second question – click on the link.

[Read more: realsociology]