Children in trouble still return to crime

THIS week a recurrent theme in the courts, the police and community was in regard to a small but over-active group of young children who it seems are constantly in trouble with the law.

Former Dubbo City Council deputy mayor Warren Mundine added some measured thoughts to the discussion and has a proposal involving the sentencing of juvenile offenders to work and education programs rather than traditional custodial sentences.

He told a Daily Liberal journalist that once a juvenile enters the detention process, "you've pretty much got them there for life".

Certainly a proportion of the men and women who serve custodial sentences leave their incarceration with the attitude of trying their darndest to stay away.

But there are others who find structure and guidance in prison and often on release, use knowledge gained from their contacts inside to further a career in crime.

Mr Mundine was realistic enough to concede some juveniles offenders would not even respond to work and education programs.

However, there will be many who will respond in a positive manner to such guidance.

The Daily Liberal's online weblog has garnered plenty of comments, some worthy and some not, about how to approach the problem.

Those publishable comments point to the parents - an easy shot; but how we as a community can address the failure to accept responsibility needs deeper thought and discussion.

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