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New report: Preventing early conduct problems and reducing crime

23rd November 2009

A new report published today identifies that early-intervention programmes for young children could significantly lower crime levels.

The chance of a lifetime - Preventing early conduct problems and reducing crime was carried out by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. The report forms part of a better way, a campaign to highlight concerns and provoke political, media and public debate about the approach taken to mental health in the criminal justice system.

Up to 80% of crime in the UK is committed by people who had behavioural problems as children and teenagers, according to the new study by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

The report clearly identifies the economic and social value of early-intervention programmes. The most effective prevention schemes – including those aimed at pre-school children – can reduce future offending by more than 50%, according to the study.

It would only require one in 25 children with conduct problems to not enter a life of crime for prevention schemes to be cost-effective, according to Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive at the centre (as reported in the Guardian.)

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Source: www.guardian.co.uk