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Throughout the years there have been many discussions regarding the link between education and delinquency/crime (West, Farrington, Monahan, Rodolfo, Torres, Raymond, Michalowski and Abrahamsen), the link is strong but is often shown in various ways. Education is important for all children in terms of limiting the opportunity for participating in the criminal activity. It can affect the selection of friends, and the places that you frequent. When children attend school it encourages them to develop many skills and acquire knowledge and training.
Ryan had a poor education whilst at school, as he fell in with the "wrong crowd" and would often play truant. Sutherland and Cressey (1970) suggest that one's own delinquent behaviour develops according to the extent of his exposure to the other people delinquent behaviour and attitudes.
Ryan did not finish senior school, he left when he was fifteen, that means that he took no GCSE's or other forms of qualifications. In later life this will have a big impact on him. Lochner (2007) indicates that if individuals leave school before the age of sixteen, they may be 'influenced by a negative set of peers, which may exacerbate any tendencies to engage in crime'. He also suggests that young individuals who join gangs may be actively encouraged to leave school by the gang.
Ryan also admitted that he has begun using illegal drugs from the age of fifteen. This identifies with the findings of Newcomb et al (1986), in which ten risk factors were used to analyse drug use among adolescents. The ten risk factors: low grade point average, lack of religiosity, early alcohol use, low self-esteem, psychopathology, and poor relationship with parents, also a lack of social conformity (deviance), sensation seeking, perceived peer drug use, and perceived adult drug use. When reviewing Ryan's case at least five out of those ten factors are present.
In recent years the government have been looking at different ways to address the links between education and crime, the Home Office commissioned a number of organisations such as Crime Reduction in Secondary Schools (CRISS) Programme, and the Children Missing from Education, Alternative Education Initiatives (AEIs), and the Behaviour Management for Looked After Children in Residential Care.
'Crime Reduction in Secondary Schools (CRISS) programme - CRISS was a large-scale programme which sought, through a series of development projects, to identify school-based measures which serve to reduce actual and potential offending amongst secondary school pupils. A total of 38 projects were funded to operate for two years, involving over 100 schools in England and Wales with an average level of funding of £100,000 per school.' (Home Office 2002)
Ryan admitted he had problems as he was growing up, that may lead to his poor behaviour and lack of education. His own brother Dean is serving a nine month sentence for the supply of a Class C drugs. A number of old English studies, by Burt, Bagot, Mannheim and Carr-Saunders (reviewed by Wotton 1959), showed that a boy was more likely to become a delinquent if other members of his family had criminal records.
Ryan and his friends who are misusing drugs, and not attending school would be candidates for a new agency that now runs throughout over a hundred of the most deprived or high crime estates in England and Wales. The Youth Inclusion Programmes (YIPs), this multi agency organisation was established in 2000, for children aged between eight and seventeen year olds, who are identified as being at high risk of involvement in offending or anti-social behaviour.
The YIPs programme will target the most fifty at risk children - which they call the core group, however it can be opened to any child. It provides them with somewhere safe to go where they can learn new skills - almost like a youth club. The children take part in fun activities with others, anything from going on computers to making CD's to days out. It provides a place where children can get help with their education. More importantly it gives them positive role models in the workers and volunteer mentors, and shows them ways to get help. YIP's wants to change youth's attitudes to education and crime by educating them. However it can be opened to any child.
One of the best and most cost-effective ways to reduce youth crime is to prevent young people from getting into trouble in the first place, by dealing with the problems that make it more likely they will commit crime or anti-social behaviour. Early intervention to prevent young people offending could save public services more than £80 million a year, according to the Audit Commission's report Youth Justice (2004): A Review of the Reformed Youth Justice System
Homelessness has been a major problem for many years and the different governments had opposing views on the subject and how to manage it. However when Labour came into office in 1997 Tony Blair made a series of new agendas, one of which was to focus on homelessness. The previous legislation that dealt with homelessness was Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. However Labour did not change this Act altogether, they amended certain parts or extended it in certain sections creating The Homelessness Act 2002.
Labour introduced some big changes in the new provisions one was that for the first time people who have served time in custody will be classed as vulnerable, and therefore be classed a priority. Labour also stated that was that all local authorities must review their own homelessness records, and publish a homeless strategy explaining Prevention of homelessness, Provision of appropriate accommodation, Provision of support to ensure sustainment of tenancy and avoid repeat homelessness (ODPM guidance) by 31 July 2003. Due to the fact that there was little or no recorded information on homelessness during the Conservatives reign, Labour declared that every five years it must be reviewed.
Unfortunately Ryan was amongst the 380,000 people estimated by Crisis that the government classed as 'hidden homeless'. The Home Office (2003) indicated that more than half (51%) of prisoners had housing problems prior to imprisonment.
In 2002, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister produced "More than a Roof: a report into tackling homelessness." It concluded there needed to be a shift from a reactive approach to homelessness provision, towards a greater emphasis on preventing homelessness. Labour also introduced Homelessness 2005 document "Homeless Strategy Sustainable Communities: settled homes: changing lives," along with the "Code of Guidance - Local Authorities" from 2006, which gives local authorities advice and assistance on measures for tackling homelessness.
Ex-offenders face a variety of challenges on leaving prison, especially if they did not have stable housing prior to starting their sentence. Poor co-ordination between prison services, local authorities and housing services can lead to ex-offenders being released with no accommodation, and with the relevant agencies unaware they have even been released.
Since the government introduced The Rough Sleepers Initiative, it has helped lead to a 70% reduction in the number of people sleeping rough and there has been a 99.3% decline in the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families with children since March 2002. However, the number of people living in temporary accommodation remains high, with 130,000 households accepted as homeless by local authorities in 2002/03.
Ryan has admitted that he has been taking illegal drugs regularly since the age of fifteen, and he is now twenty three, he has been regularly misusing substances for five years although he protests that he is not addicted, but the questions would be - has he ever tried to stop misusing illegal substances? If the answer is no, then how does he know that he is not addicted. Also what substances does he take? These would need to be answered before any help could be given.
National Offender Management (NOMS) is a new approach to offender management. An offender manager is now responsible for overseeing the offenders whole sentence and arranging an "end-to-end", seamless, and integrated sentence plan. If the offender has tested positive for drugs, or admits to having a 'drugs problem', an offender manager will liaise with the appropriate agencies to arrange the treatment will At any one time about one third of all drug users throughout England and Wales under the care of NOMS.
NOMS works with the agencies such as the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP), and local multi-agency Drug Action Teams (DATs) and Criminal Justice Integrated Teams (CJITs). Within prisons, communication and liaison with CJITs is through Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare (CARAT) teams who are the key workers to work with offenders through drug treatment in prisons.
On average, 55% of prison entrants are classed as problematic drug users and some local prisons report up to 80% of entrants testing positive for Class A drugs on reception. We estimate that there are similarly large numbers around 40,000 of drug misusers under probation supervision in the community although not all of these are problem drug-users. (The National Offender Management Service Drug Strategy 2008-2011)
Drug misuse is one of the major social, legal, and public-health challenges in the modern world. In the UK, the total burden of drug misuse, in terms of health, social, and crime related costs, has been estimated to be between £10 billion and £16 billion per year (foresight.gov 2005)
Substance misuse is a major problem faced by many offenders. Around half of the correctional services caseload has a drug misuse problem, representing about one third of all problematic drug users in England and Wales. NOMS Drug Strategy showed 69 per cent of arrestees tested positive for drugs (of which 38 per cent tested positive for opiates or cocaine). In another study of 1075 admissions to treatment services, 61 per cent of new admissions reported that they had committed a total of 70,728 crimes.
Now that Ryan has been released he is looking for a new start, he express that he would like to go to college to train as a chef. The offender manager help Ryan look into this. They will also discuss with him the attendance and compliance and possible recruitment. College would be very good for building up a new law abiding social network for Ryan, and obtaining qualifications that enable him to get a job.
However Ryan must be prepared for occasional setbacks, the last time he was at college, he left in the third week due to the fact he was falling behind the other students. He must remember he might need extra help with the written work as he has no GCSE's.
Also due to the fact that he now has a criminal record for assault, and he served eighteen months in prison under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (which enables criminal convictions to become 'spent) it would be 10 years before he would not have to declare his conviction. Some employers might not be willing to take an employ him with a record of assault. The Joseph Rowntree foundation and other organisations such as Nacro warn he might face a lot of discrimination.
Ex-offenders are substantially more likely to remain unemployed in the long term rather than taking a number of short-term jobs. An Association of Chief Officers of Probation (ACOP) survey, for example, shows that in the first six months of 1997 around 60 per cent of the people under the supervision of the Probation Services were unemployed. (Del Roy Fletcher, David Woodhill and Alison Herrington on behalf of the JRF)
Help is available for offenders though, and when Ryan is at that stage his worker will provide him with information such as: booklets from Nacro called Applying for Work with a criminal record. With the help of his offender manager, Ryan will feel supported in his new career choice and although it will not be easy for, he now has the chance of a future.