The programme examines how society tackles youngsters accused of a range of crimes, particularly those involved in serious offences.
With unique access to the police cells in Hull, Winifred Robinson charts what happens from the moment of arrest and examines how demands for justice are reconciled with the need to protect society by changing offending behaviour
The two young brothers who beat and tortured another pair of boys in Doncaster raised concerns about what happens longer term to those who offend at a very young age.
These concerns have been heightened by the re-arrest of Jon Venables and the case of Learco Chindamo, who was rearrested just four months after serving his sentence for the murder of headmaster Philip Lawrence.
The Coalition government has agreed plans to drastically cut the prison population through community penalties overseen by charities and the private sector.
To assess how changes will affect young offenders Winifred examines restorative justice schemes and initiatives including the one undertaken in Hull, where youth justice workers maintain a round the clock presence in the custody suite.
The programme follows access granted for earlier documentary programmes in some of the country's secure children's units.
Winifred follows up youngsters released from these "child prisons" and examines what more could be done in terms of preventing reoffending.
Producer: Susan Mitchell.
Winifred Robinson looks at how serious offending by youngsters is tackled in this country.