Working with young people
“Of the 14 boys completing the programme, 12 have completely turned around...th
is had a significant impact on the whole school.”
Head of Year, East London School
1 in 5 young people aged 10-15 are victims of violence.
In London alone, 60 teenagers died as a result of youth violence between 2008 and 2010. Leap worked directly with over 8,500 young people in 2010.
Violent crime by young gang members in the East End of Glasgow was almost halved in 1 year, thanks, in part, to Leap training for adult support workers.
On average, three-quarters of young offenders will re-offend. Leap has reversed this pattern with its Fear and Fashion programme: 17 out of 23 young offenders who went through the programme stopped or reduced their offending behaviour.
Tabloid newspaper headlines scream about the UK’s ‘feral kids’. There are calls for harsh punishments to deter trouble makers, with cries for them to be excluded from school or locked away. At Leap, we know from years of experience of working with young people that this is not the best way to go.
First, it is less likely to work. Exclusion increases isolation, making it more likely that young people will spend their days on the streets. Very often, youth custody makes it more likely that a young person will reoffend, be unemployed and live in poverty.
Second, we cannot afford it. It costs the taxpayer twice as much to exclude a young person from school as it does to keep that young person in the classroom, and every place in youth custody costs the UK about £100,000 each year.
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