Youth justice review publishes interim report

node leader
11 February 2016

Charlie Taylor’s review of the youth justice system, carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, has published an interim report on initial findings. The review is examining what works to prevent youth crime and reoffending, how the youth justice system and services working with children can effectively work together, and whether the current youth justice system is fit for purpose.

The interim report focuses on youth detention and the youth custodial estate. It recommends that young offenders should serve their sentences in secure schools rather than youth prisons.

Jon Collins, the RJC’s chief executive officer, said: “We’re pleased that the report acknowledges restorative justice as an effective diversionary response to young offenders who commit low-level crimes. It is a shame, however, that it does not discuss how restorative justice can be an effective rehabilitative intervention for young offenders in custody or serving community sentences.

“It is particularly surprising that this was not covered, considering the positive findings about restorative justice in the evidence review released alongside the report.

“In order to provide a cost effective method to reduce youth reoffending, it is vital that restorative justice is offered to young offenders throughout the justice system. There is a lot that could be learned from the Northern Ireland model, where restorative justice is embedded at every stage of the system for young offenders.

“The final report of Charlie Taylor’s review, due in July, will cover diversion, courts and sentencing. We hope that restorative justice and its potential to form a key part of community and custodial sentences will be covered in more detail at that stage.”