News by email Donate


UK News

Call for Christians to support young offenders

by Aaron James

The young people's charity was speaking after the Prison Reform Trust charity launched an independent review into the relationship between children in care and youth offending rates.

The Prison Reform Trust has said children in care in England and Wales aged 10-17 are five times more likely enter the criminal justice system than other children of their age.

It also said 61% of 15 to 18-year-olds in young offenders institutes have been in care, compared to just 1% of all children in England and Wales being in care.

Only 2% are in care for behavioural reasons, the charity also said.

Chaired by Lord Laming, the report will gather testimonies from children in care, councils, police, social services, young offending team managers and other appropriate people, before making policy recommendations to local and national government, and other relevant organisations.

Findings are due out early next year.

Darren Richards, who works with young offenders at Youth for Christ, told Premier's News Hour: "I think when someone loses hope then you'll begin to see them living like they have nothing to lose...these guys need positive role models, they need aspirations, they need someone encouraging them, we all need that don't we?

"There's no wiggle room here; Jesus said when you visit a prisoner, it's as if you're visiting me The King. There are literally thousands of guys from age 12 all the way up their 20s in prison... who desperately need a visit or a letter.

"No one's beyond hope, we've seen redemption in the most unlikely people...when you're talking about certain sexual offences I think you have to be very careful, and the support has to be lifelong, but I think we believe in that Gospel don't we, everyone is not beyond the blood of Christ, everyone can be changed."

There are various organisations which provide training and support for people who want to help young offenders, such as Youth for Christ's Reflex, the Prison Fellowship, Caring for Ex-Offenders and Community Chaplaincy.

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Darren Richards on the News Hour:

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email