Research conducted by the Prison Reform Trust has revealed that the cost of training staff in restorative techniques has led to private children's homes in particular choosing not to invest in the approach.

In the last decade the number of private children's homes has increased rapidly from around 250 in 2000 (18 per cent of the total number) to around 1,900 in 2010 (75 per cent of the total).

"The most important factor (in adopting restorative justice) is the cost of training and that it is a real investment in staff," said Rebecca Nadin, campaigns officer at the trust. "If you are a private home and not being measured against certain outcomes like the number of children in your care who end up in the criminal justice system or the number of times police are called out, there is no incentive to invest in restorative approaches or how you manage children in a difficult environment."

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