The more I read about children in prison the more I've convinced the system is failing, and even more likely that the failure is happening before they reach the courts. Some statistics I've picked up which shocked me are:
8500 more crimes a year committed by young ex-prisoners.
Since 1990 29 children have died in UK prisons, 28 hanged themselves and one died while being restrained.
Of 1766 women surveyed by the Home Office 1082 were mothers of chidren under 18.
Children are reported to have a variety of serious emotional and behavourial problems when separated from their mothers.
Women prisoners are more likely to be young and single, over half female prisoners are teenagers with their first child.
Children born to women in prison are taken away when the child reaches 9 months old if no access to a Mother and Baby unit is allowed.
Mothers-to-be are not told until 2 weeks before the birth whether they can keep their child.