This concluding chapter summarises the important policy questions on three overlapping areas: the prevention of serious violent crime by early intervention with children at risk; the assessment of young people once they are in the criminal justice system; and the management and treatment of young offenders in the community and institutions. On early prevention intervention, the chapter concludes that instead of targeting propensity to commit crimes, agencies should strive to provide better services to children and young people. Skilled, accessible help and support for groups overseeing children should be provided under the aegis of properly funded children's services that integrate the prevention of crime alongside the essential outcomes for children pursued by the Every Child Matters agenda. A wide range of preventive programs needs to be developed wherein the focus is on preventing offending, harm and vulnerability among young people rather than focusing on crime. On the assessment of risk of serious harm, the chapter concludes: that training and awareness for the YOT staff should be intensified: that the focus in assessment on dynamic factors that can be mitigated through an appropriate programme of work should be heightened; and that attention should be given to the voices, needs, wishes and aspirations of children. On the management of young offenders, the chapter concludes that regimes applied to young people should produce positive outcomes and that the Parole Board should apply approaches to decisions on release that are appropriate to the specific needs of the young people. It also concludes that the skills of those working with young offenders should be enhanced to address the needs of the children and that government and agencies should work hand-in-hand to develop a properly joined-up set of measures for young people.
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