By Norman W Miwambo
The United Kingdom is to build a “Secure College” where young offenders will serve their sentences while being educated in an attempt to stem the “sky-high” rate of reoffending by young criminals. British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling revealed the plans last Friday whilst unveiling radical proposals to rehabilitate young offenders through better education and training.
Mr Clegg said: “Criminals can’t go unpunished, but young people who’ve made mistakes and committed crime can’t simply be left on the scrapheap. If we expect them to turn their lives around, we have to put their time inside to good use.” He added: “The [British] Coalition [government] has reduced the number of young people in custody. But reoffending is sky high in this country and the answer lies in education and opportunity to change. We need to make sure that time spent in custody is time well spent – an opportunity to turn lives around.”
Under new plans to transform youth custody, a pioneering Secure College will be built in the East Midlands. The fortified school will provide young offenders with strong discipline, while focusing squarely on rehabilitation and education. The Secure College will have a head teacher or principal at the core of a leadership team made up of educational professionals and offender managers.
The Secure College will be purpose-built and designed around a fully-equipped education facility, with modern living blocks to accommodate young offenders. According to the package, every young person will have an Individual Learning Plan that they will be expected to achieve while in custody and which will continue after release in the community. This plan will ensure that upon leaving custody the local Youth Offending Team can continue the programme of work started in the Secure College.