Scottish project for young offenders to get a funding boost

A pioneering Scottish scheme aimed at rehabilitating rather than locking away young offenders is set to receive a new round of funding after being hailed "invaluable

by independent evaluators.

A further £400,000 of three-year government funding is now in the pipeline and children's charity NCH is considering extending the scheme to other parts of the UK.

NCH developed the Glasgow Partnership Project two years ago in conjunction with the city council and local business, and is now believed to be the biggest alternative to custody for young offenders in Scotland.

An NCH spokesman said: "We make young people take responsibility for what they have done. The tendency is to lock them away, but we make them face up to what they have done through role playing and offering solutions such as anger management."

Researchers from Stirling University found 61 per cent of people who did not complete the project ended up back in prison compared to just 18 per cent who did. Also, treatment cost £7,000 per offender compared to the £14,000 it would cost to house them in a secure unit for an equivalent six-month period.

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