Longer time behind bars discourages repeat crime

London, Jan 9 (IANS) The longer the young criminals have to spend time behind bars, the less they are likely to commit more offences after being freed, British statistics have revealed.

Of under-18s jailed for up to six months, 76 percent offended again within a year of release. The figure fell to 61 percent for those jailed for between one and four years. And nobody released in 2010 who had spent more than four years inside, committed any more offences within 12 months.

This has been revealed by Britain's Ministry of Justice figures.

These new figures confirm that the longer the prison sentence, the lower the re-offending rate once offenders are released, said Max Chambers of think tank Policy Exchange.

While David Green of the Civitas think tank said, "A lot of these young people have been brought up in chaotic homes. The longer they're in prison the longer the prison authorities have to work with them and help them become socialised."

A recent Home Office report found that under-18s were responsible for 23 percent of the offences.