It is not going to come as any big surprise to any of us that being abused and/or neglected when young, tends to increase the chances of the hurt person going on to do bad things to others and their world. However, the encouraging news is that most maltreated kids do NOT go on to do this.
Griffith University’s Associate Professor Anna Stewart has something to tell us about young people and juvenile crime.
It may well be news to some of us that a very small number of young people actually do a lot of the not-nice stuff. About 9% of young people do about 50% of the damage.
And it is either news or just a disturbing reminder that this whole business is kind of expensive. Speaking of Queensland, Anna tells us that a group of about 70 young people costs the state about $250.000 a year each.
And as far as I can tell, severe penalties and incarceration tend to not give us what we need for the young people themselves nor for our societies, so we then need to be thinking again. And whether we are motivated by compassion or finances, it would be really good if we could get a handle on this.