Academic journal article British Journal of Community Justice

Community Justice Files 36

Academic journal article British Journal of Community Justice

Community Justice Files 36

Article excerpt

Youth Justice Board consults on in-year budget cuts

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) for England and Wales has been consulting the sector on its proposals to reduce its expenditure in 2015-16 by £13.5 million. This is a result of the Secretary of State for Justice's decision to reduce the YJB's allocation from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) by £12m (or 5%) in the current financial year, 2015/16. The main way the YJB proposes to implement the savings is by reducing the Youth Justice Grant they currently provide to Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) by £9 million (10.6%). The proposal document includes an annex showing the financial implications for each YOT operating in England and Wales. The consultation ends on 16 September 2015. The Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYM) has publicly opposed the cuts.

Further information about the proposed cuts: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment data/file/456168 /YJB consultation.pdf

To read the response by the Association of YOT Managers: http://www.aym.org.uk/mainpage 107/viewmorenews.aspx?sid=8816653234745533763 820150903173026041&pageid=1766&itemid=184

Youth Offending Team 'Stocktake'

Deloitte was commissioned by the Youth Justice Policy Unit in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to collect and analyse data on the activities of YOTs in England and Wales (the 'YOT Stocktake'). The purpose of the research was to establish a picture of how the YOT model has evolved locally and nationally, including differences in organisational structures, funding arrangements and spending decisions, and ways of working. The Stocktake was also to consider how YOTs have responded to changing demand and the activities they undertake.' Headline were:

* The YOT system has a number of strengths: teams work closely and effectively with partner agencies and in a holistic manner to take account of young people's wider needs.

* There is a discrepancy between what YOTs do and what is measured by the MoJ, which makes assessment of performance and value for money very difficult.

* Early correlation analysis suggests that taking a narrow focus on reducing first time entrants, custody volumes or reoffending rates only suggests that current MoJ funding (via the Youth Justice Board) is poorly allocated and could be revised without affecting these specific youth justice outcomes as measured by the YJB (as currently defined).

* However, this risks undermining other outcomes around education, employment and training for young people that YOTs may positively influence.

* Both local and national oversight and accountability of YOTs could be improved, but given that the MoJ is not their main source of funding, YOTs' incentives and objectives will not necessarily align with it.

To read the Youth Offending Team stocktake: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment data/file/445641 /yot-stocktake-report.pdf

Strategy proposed to help keep children out of prison

The Howard League for Penal Reform has written to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Justice, recommending eleven youth justice reforms that would help children and save the taxpayer money.

The recommendation for immediate action is to not renew the contracts for Medway and Rainsbrook secure training centres. Medium term reforms include the introduction of legislation to abolish the Detention and Training Order, addressing the overrepresentation of black and minority ethnic young people in prison, devolving the custody budget to local authorities, reviewing the use of remand, issuing guidance that encourages a flexible and proportionate response to breaches of statutory orders and building on and promoting evidence-based good practice and interventions that work. Longer term reforms proposed are closing prison places for children, revising the role of the youth courts, addressing the shortage of suitable secure accommodation in London and transforming the Youth Justice Board. …

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