Preventative approach needed to keep young people out of criminal justice system – Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has called for a preventative approach to be taken towards reducing offending by children and young people.
Speaking ahead of launching a NIACRO (N Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) seminar to discuss the impact of criminal records on young people, the West Belfast said:
“Preventing young people getting involved in offending in the first place is where we need to focus our efforts.
“It isn't just the responsibility of the criminal justice agencies. We need a better multi-agency approach working to prevent them entering the criminal justice system.
“Early intervention programmes that deal with family circumstances and social and economic problems in communities, can help address the contributing factors that might lead to offending.
“We must take a strategic approach in terms of interventions and it must be an approach that empowers young people to channel their energies in a positive way. This will not only make communities safer but it also makes economic sense.”