Letter: Children betrayed

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It has taken far too long but, at last, a government has admitted that we, as a society, have failed, or worse still "harmed" many of our most vulnerable and needy children ("Social services `harming' children' ", 22 September).

Is it not time also to stop cruelly damaging them further when they offend because of this harm, by dumping them like so much waste into the prison system?

Almost 40 per cent of young people in prison have been through the "care" system, the other 60 per cent have probably been neglected and abused elsewhere. We should be doing all in our power to help these unfortunate youngsters, not punishing them for being failed by us.


London N20