It’s hard to imagine that we’d ever stop immunising children against TB or polio because we could not afford it. Or only operate for cancer after a nine-week minimum waiting period because earlier detection and swift treatment is thought too expensive. Yet in other, less well chartered areas of public policy that is exactly what is happening now; delaying or cutting entirely the earlier action, and, very shortly, paying the price.
The report itself makes the case for fundamentally changing the priorities for government funding with a much clearer focus on early action. They point out that the Youth Justice Board spent something less than 7% of its money on preventing young people coming into the criminal justice system, while (as we know) only 4% of the NHS budget goes on items that are designated as prevention.