Hundreds of young offenders will face a year's compulsory supervision after release

Chris Grayling will say the move is designed to help teenage criminals break the 'pernicious cycle' of reoffending and become law-abiding adults

Hundreds of young offenders who reach their 18th birthday behind bars will face a year's compulsory supervision after release, the Justice Secretary will announce today.

Chris Grayling will say the move is designed to help teenage criminals break the “pernicious cycle” of reoffending and become law-abiding adults. Currently more than three-quarters return to crime within a year of being freed.

At the moment only young offenders serving sentences of two years or more are subject to a minimum of 12 months' supervision in the community.

In a speech today Mr Grayling will announce all young adults will face the sanction, regardless of the length of their initial sentence.

He said: “These are just teenagers, or barely older - they come to us standing on the precipice of a life of crime and untold misery for future victims. We need to pull them back and give them a chance to live successful and law abiding lives.

”By lengthening their supervision to at least 12 months and ensuring the youth secure estate focuses on education, we stand much more chance of changing their lives and stopping them becoming the persistent offenders of the future.“

The offenders will be offered rehabilitation, education and training.

The Ministry of Justice said half of 15 to 17 year olds entering Young Offender Institutions have the literacy levels equivalent to those of seven to 11 year olds. Almost 40 per cent were aged 14 or younger when they last attended school.