England

New scheme aims to cut re-offending in Derby

Academics have helped design a new scheme aimed at cutting re-offending among teenage criminals in Derby.

The city's Youth Offending Service worked with Nottingham Trent University to develop The Acquisitive Crime Programme sessions.

They will be offered during sentencing to 15 to 17-year-olds convicted of burglary, robbery and vehicle theft.

The programme addresses issues such as morality and empathy, and will be available to courts later this year.

It is hoped the sessions will help get to the root of why an individual is offending, as well as providing them with the knowledge and necessary skills to help them to make better decisions.

'Cognitive programme'

The project was headed by David Ellicott, a senior lecturer in youth justice and youth studies at the university's school of social sciences.

Mr Ellicott said: "The programme will target those offenders who are at most risk of receiving a custodial sentence, and are believed to pose a threat of serious emotional or physical harm to either themselves or others.

"At the moment many court orders involve intensive surveillance and supervision such as tagging or curfews, whereas this is a cognitive programme which, while complementing that, will seek to promote a positive change in attitudes towards offending and behaviour.

"We believe this additional measure will significantly help to address the government's aim of reducing the number of young people in custody."

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