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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

September 23, 2004: Abolish ASBOs for children, say Howard League

The Howard League for Penal Reform has called for the abolition of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) for children.  The charity said that when ASBOs were introduced it was intended would rarely be used against young people – but children have become the focus of the orders.

In its submission to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into anti social behaviour the Howard League suggested that to tackle anti-social behaviour resources should be put into activities for children that engage them in positive and constructive ways rather than using ASBOs that isolate, exclude and stigmatise them.

According to the Howard League, ASBOs may exacerbate social exclusion, compound problems; and increase social tension. Furthermore, some local authorities are putting children at risk by publishing leaflets with the names and photographs of children alleged to be involved in anti-social behaviour.

Excessive and inappropriate use of ASBOs has resulted in significant numbers of children being imprisoned; and it is argued that ASBOs may contravenes the government’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Nuisance behaviour by children has been criminalised, for if a child breaches an ASBO they may end up in prison for behaviour such as littering or spitting in the street.

According to Howard League Director Frances Crook:

“The Howard League for Penal Reform believes that the government is obsessed with low level anti-social behaviour by children.  This legislation damages children and their communities, but it also distorts the efforts that can be put into dealing with and preventing more serious crimes that have a greater social cost. Using anti-social behaviour legislation on children is a nasty political trick.  The government is seen to be doing something – but the real challenges are left unmet.  So much more could be achieved if the resources were used in a positive way to engage with children and provide services for those who feel they have nowhere to go and that nobody wants them.”