Clegg vows to tackle youth offending on visit to Kent

The Deputy Prime Minister has unveiled radical proposals to stop youth reoffending on a visit to Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institute in Rochester.

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Clegg in Kent: 'Can't leave young offenders on scrapheap'

On his visit to Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institute in Rochester, Nick 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.

“The Coalition 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. “We can do this by helping young offenders develop the skills and training they need to break the destructive cycle of crime."

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Young offenders forced back to the classroom - Clegg

Kent, Rochester, Cookham Wood
Nick Clegg and Chris Grayling at Cookham Wood Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nick Clegg said that as part of his proposals, young offenders would be forced to go back to the classroom to help them develop skills for when they return to the community.

Currently, young offenders spend on average just 12 hours a week in education. That would be more than doubled.

Additionally 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.

'Better education to stop youth offending' - Clegg on visit to Kent

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has been in Kent to unveil radical plans to tackle youth reoffending.

On a joint visit with the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, to Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institute in Rochester, he said that better education and training would help with rehabilitation.

Currently, almost three quarters of youth offenders return to crime when they are released.