The new rules, which cut money for young people and make it harder to take up educational opportunities, are a kick in the teeth for young, unemployed people. They face greater hardship and the risk of being pushed into poorly paid and part-time jobs, while real opportunities, such as study and training for solid employment will be blocked.
The result could be an increase in crime - it is no coincidence that two-thirds of people on probation are unemployed and that benefits are their only source of income.
Not only is there research to prove that one-third of offending behaviour can be cut by providing employment, but our probation officers deal with young offenders each day whose main reason for offending is that they are struggling to survive and see no hope of ever finding a job.
Chief Probation Officer, Cleveland Probation Service