COMMENT - Getting offenders into work

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YOUNG offenders may not be the recession’s most sympathy-inducing victims, but research shows Wigan Council is struggling to rehabilitate those who have been in trouble with the law and get them working.

Many people may feel that this is merely as it should be, and that those who have committed crimes should wait at the back of the job queue while law-abiding citizens get first choice of the scarce work going.

However, every day a young offender sits doing nothing after being released is another day when he or she could get sucked back into a life of crime.

It is surely better for society as a whole that people who have done their time are encouraged to contribute to their communities by finding long-term work as soon as possible.

Dysfunctional cycles of petty crime are not only wearing for the victims, but expensive for the police and courts.

It is in everyone’s interest that there are enough jobs so young offenders can knuckle down and make something of their lives.