UK Family Law Reform

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Inquiry demanded into 'vengeful' punishment of vulnerable children

by Maxine Frith 11th August 2004

Some of the most vulnerable children are being failed by the criminal justice system, ministers have been warned. The extent of the crisis was revealed last night in the wake of the apparent suicide of the youngest prisoner to die in custody in Britain. Record numbers of young people are being locked up, with child jails and young offenders' institutions operating at maximum capacity. The number of children held in secure accommodation has risen by 50 per cent in the past 10 months alone, according to figures from the Youth Justice Board. Staff are struggling to cope with soaring rates of self-harm and mental health problems among detainees.

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