The criminality of former 'special educational provision' permanently 'excluded-from-school' adolescents as young adults [16-23]: Costs and practical implications.

Authors: Pritchard, C. and Cox, M.

Journal: Journal of Adolescence

Volume: 21

Pages: 609-620

ISSN: 0140-1971

DOI: 10.1006/jado.1998.0182


An analysis of police records of the criminal “careers” of a complete cohort (1990–95) of 227 “excluded from school” adolescents who had been in “special educational provision” found that 63% had a criminal conviction as young adults (16–23 years). However there was evidence of “missed opportunities” as 26% of the offenders were not convicted until over 18-years-old. Averaging 7.4 offences each, 29% had a conviction for violence, 29% had been to prison and a further 27% are currently on bail for alleged offences. Home Office-based predictions show that 42% are highly likely to re-commit their most serious offence within 2 years. Based upon Audit Commission and Department of Health estimates, these 143 young adults cost a minimum of £4.16 million. However, 10% of excluded adolescents who were also "ex child care" had a significantly lower crime rate than the others (41%vs. 70%), which suggests that with targeted support, such as under the 1989 Children Act, effective intervention is possible in a significant number of cases.

Source: Manual