The Youth Justice System in England and Wales: Reducing Offending by Young People

HC 721, Twenty-first Report of Session 2010-11 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
TSO (The Stationery Office)

Central government and local authorities spent 800 million in 2009-10 dealing with youth crime, primarily through the Youth Justice Board nationally and Youth Offending Teams locally, as detailed in 'The Youth Justice System in England and Wales: Reducing Offending by Young People (HC 721)'. The National Audit Office has estimated that the total costs to the UK economy of offending by young people could be up to 11 billion a year.

Committee findings:

  • In recent years, the Youth Justice Board has been effective in leading reform within the youth justice system and diverting resources to the offenders most at risk of committing future crimes.

  • Since 2000 youth custody has fallen during a period when the number of adults in custody has continued to rise. This is a noteworthy achievement in which the Board has played a central part.

  • Some areas of difficulty remain, particularly with more serious offenders.

  • Dealing with these offenders has been made more difficult by poor quality assessments and sentence planning in one third of cases, together with a lack of research into the relative effectiveness of different programmes.

Following the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, the Ministry of Justice decided to abolish the Youth Justice Board, though it did not take into account the Board's performance in making this decision. Such reorganisation could impact on building on the progress achieved to date. Following the abolition, it will be the role of the Ministry to maintain the successes that the Board has achieved in its oversight of the youth justice system, and to address effectively areas where more needs to be done.

Extent 42 pages ISBN 9780215556424
Size A4 Price £11.00
Format Paperback Published 15 Feb 2011
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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