YMCA

In the thrifty 50s (and 60s, but it doesn’t rhyme so neatly) Monday’s dinner was always concocted from the leftovers of the ritual Sunday Lunch – what my mother called YMCA, or Yesterday’s Mash Cooked Again. I was reminded of it by the latest bit of policy recycling spouted by the government:

Troublemakers as young as 10 years old are to be asked to sign a good behaviour contract to stop them going off the rails.

Ah, like ‘Acceptable Behaviour Contracts’ you mean? Just to give you an idea, here’s the guidance that was published in 2002 – although they were first piloted in 1999.

Ms Hughes said the project would target about 50 youngsters in each of the pilot areas – parts of the country with the biggest anti-social behaviour problems.

She told BBC News: “If you can really work in a very positive way with the 50 most difficult kids who are in danger and turn those kids around then you can have a disproportionately beneficial effect.”

Well, what a coincidence. That sounds remarkably similar to the Youth Justice Board’s ID50 scheme that’s been knocking around for 5 years or so. It’s designed to identify the 50 children thought most likely to offend so that they can be ‘diverted’ on to Youth Inclusion Programmes.

Maybe the government just forgot that they were doing it already?

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