‘They should have jailed me the first time’ Redbridge young offender on justice

Young offenders feature
Memebers of the young offenders with spray painting they did at the loca

Young offenders feature Memebers of the young offenders with spray painting they did at the local community centre with their young offenders support worker, the owner of the community centre and the artist who helped them create their work. - Credit: Archant

After committing more than 10 offences ranging from robbery to blackmail, one 15-year-old said that being given a custodial sentence was when he decided to put an end to his crime spree.

Jack – not his real name – was put in the young offenders institute for about six weeks and says he will do anything not to go back.

According to children’s charity Barnardo’s, seven in 10 children released from custody go on to commit another offence within a year.

Jack said: “I got done for blackmail. I don’t want to go back to jail. One of the boys said, ‘I’ve got something for you’ and punched me in the face. The court said if I fought I wouldn’t get out so I didn’t hit back.”

He said since going to the institution and working with the youth offending team, he is starting to deal with his anger and drug problems.


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“If the court had given me custody the first time I would not have continued,” Jack said. “I missed my family so much. I’ve given up smoking drugs as well as if I start I may as well start walking back to jail.”

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