As Mr Lydiate must know, the vast majority of those given bail have not yet been convicted of any offence. No one, least of all a justices' clerk, is entitled to assume that these defendants' ways need changing. Only when guilt is proved does the law have the right to intervene.
In the few cases where juveniles are committing dozens of offences (and most of the reported stories fall apart under close examination), the public needs to be protected. In some cases, that may require a remand into the existing secure children's homes.
However, there is an overwhelming need to improve the efficiency of court practices, for which justices' clerks hold the primary responsibility. Possibly the most effective way of interrupting the flow of offences is by speeding the time between first appearance and acquittal or conviction, at which point the law becomes entitled to intervene.
Prison Reform Trust
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