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Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, said in response to the publication of the Youth Justice Green Paper: 

“Chris Grayling has a track record of prioritising headline chasing ahead of any thought-out details on his policies. His record with the Work Programme, which is failing, shows what this leads to. Given that payment by results hasn’t been a success in the Work Programme and is completely untested and untried in the criminal justice system anywhere in the world, any roll-out of it in criminal justice must be preceded by a period of testing to ensure it does not put the public’s safety at risk. 

“It is unclear how the Tory-led Government’s ideas in this Green Paper differs from the Secure Training Centres that already exist. Is this a rebranding exercise or a return to borstals? While the current system can always be improved, ill-considered plans can lead to things getting worse not better.  

“As a result of the changes introduced by the last Labour government there were sharp falls in the number of young people committing crime and local Youth Offending Teams we established have played a key role in the falls in the youth prison population over the last decade. Dedicated professionals working across the system have contributed to these improvements, and for Chris Grayling to say the system doesn’t work at all is an insult to their hard work.”


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