When you say "Catch them young; educate them in 'special schools'". We had those at one time, they were called Borstal's, nowadays, there is a toned down version called Young Offenders Institutes. The only difference between the two corrective training establishments, was misbehave in a Borstal, and it was the birch or cat of nine tales. Misbehave in a YOI and you get your leisure and luxury entitlements reduced.
Whatever anyone states, there will always be a Yes or No vote on what should or should not be done. So there is a no win situation, especially for the victim. Mind you, there is one leader of a political party, who is suggesting that you hug a criminal!.