The Ministry for Justice has published an interim report as part of its review of the youth justice system. The provisional findings suggest that the youth justice system would be more effective if there was a stronger focus on rehabilitation and education “at its heart.”
They key findings of the report were:
- Since 2006/2007 the number of children in custody has declined by 64%
- Of those who remained in custody almost two thirds reoffend within a year of release
- 40% of young people in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) have not been to school since they were aged 14
- Children in YOIs are only receiving 17 hours of education every week against an expectation of 30 hours.
Interim proposals include:
- Placing education at the centre of youth custody
- Replace youth prisons with smaller secure schools which help provide high quality vocational education in a more “therapeutic environment”
- Devolve responsibility, control and money for the way children are managed to local areas.
Commenting on the findings, Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove said that:
“I am in no doubt that our system of youth justice needs reform. Although youth offending is down, recidivism rates are high, and the care and supervision of young offenders in custody is not good enough. That is why I asked Charlie Taylor to conduct this review. I welcome these initial findings and look forward to receiving the final report in the summer.”
Please find the press release online here.