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Last Updated: Tuesday May 24 2005 16:04 GMT

Worksheet: Kids behind bars comments

Lock and key
Over 1,000 children aged 16 and under are locked up in the UK.

Here are some of your thoughts about imprisoning children:

I think that in some extreme cases, imprisoning children may be the only answer. But in most cases, I believe that children are simply messing around and get into trouble by accident - and accidents should be forgiven.
Charlotte, 15, Sevenoaks

If we don't send young offenders to jail there is nothing to stop them doing it again and it encourages the belief that you will not be punished for your criminal actions.
James, 15, St Albans

When kids get locked up other kids will copy them and say it's 'cool' to be locked up, so its a bad idea.
Adam, 8, Bradford

I think that if you break the law, however old you are, you deserve to be sectioned from society. The younger the offender is, the more important it is to lock them away, to teach them morals. If you want to have a good time, don't do the crime.
Natasha, 13, Essex

Locking kids up isn't right! The ones it does work on just end up feeling worse than they should do! But it doesn't even work most of the time. It's the worst answer!
Stuart, 14, Blackburn

I think people need to really look at the actual person who committed the crime. I don't think you can put offenders in boxes, and give them all the same punishment. You have to look at their background, their motive, who they were with etc... then see who was really guilty, and sort them out. Young offenders very rarely commit the crime 'just because they're bad'.
Jess, 15, Milton Keynes

I think that kids that break the law should be locked up for a week and that should teach them to behave.
Kate, 10, Forres

I think that it isn't right to put a child in jail because they should not miss their childhood.
Bethany, 10, Leeds

I totally agree - they deserve to miss out on childhood if they break the law. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. There are plenty of people who deserve to be put away.
Jade, 15, Cannock

I think putting kids in jail IS WRONG!! I think they must pay for it, out of THEIR pocket money.
Conagh, 9, Blackpool

There are some seriously bad kids out there that are making people's lives unbearable. They need to be locked up and kept away from the rest of the world. However when released they cannot just be put back into the same insecure environment as they will just commit the same crimes again.
Robert, 15, Somerset

I saw the programme and I think the children need a bit more freedom. They should get counselling if they are really stressed. I think they should only be locked up for really serious crimes like murder not theft.
Marge, 15, Chepstow

What to do

Put a tick next to the comments you agree with.

Put a cross next to the you ones you disagree with.

Put a question mark next to the comments you are not sure about.

Pick ONE comment you agree with and ONE you disagree with.

Complete these sentences:

  • .......... thinks ......
    I agree with them because ......

  • .......... thinks ......
    I disagree with them because ......

  • I believe imprisoning children is ...