Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Reviewing the Youth Justice system

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As I note in my book Introduction to the English Legal System, the Youth Justice system has undergone enormous change in the last 20 years.

The current Government has, however, launched a review of the system and in February 2016 published the interim findings of the Review.

The review is led by Charlie Taylor, the former Chief Executive of the National College of Teaching and Leadership, the former head teacher of a school for children with complex behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, and an expert in managing young people’s behaviour.

The report finds that:

  • since 2006/07 the number of children in custody has declined by 64% to its lowest recorded level

  • of those children who remain in custody, almost two thirds reoffend within a year of release

  • around 40% of young people in under-18 Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) have not been to school since they were aged 14, and nearly nine out of 10 have been excluded from school at some point

  • children in YOIs are only receiving 17 hours of education every week against an expectation of 30 hours

The interim proposals from the review include:

  • re-designing the youth estate so that it can cater for a smaller, but more challenging, group of children in custody

  • placing education at the centre of youth custody, by drawing on the culture of aspiration and discipline which is evident in the best alternative provision schools

  • replacing youth prisons with smaller secure schools which help children master the basics in English and maths as well as providing high quality vocational education in a more therapeutic environment

  • giving local areas greater say in the way children are managed by devolving responsibility, control and money from Whitehall.

In addition, the review is also examining the way young offenders are dealt with in court and the sentences available, how to prevent offending in the first place and how to reintegrate children back into the community following custody.

A final report is expected in July 2016.

For further details of this important policy review go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-of-the-youth-justice-system

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Written by lwtmp

February 10, 2016 at 11:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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