Westminster Legal Policy Forum

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Next steps for youth justice in England and Wales

March 2023

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference focused on the next steps for the youth justice system in England and Wales.

The agenda included a keynote contribution from the Youth Justice Board, and with guidance based around a Child First principle, we expected discussion on their revised case-management guidance and key themes emerging from their consultation on implementation.

Delegates assessed measures to improve education and safeguarding for those in the system, including expanding support for young people with SEND, developing trauma-informed practice, and supporting young people upon release from youth custody to prevent reoffending.

They also looked at priorities and best-practice initiatives for preventing the entry of young people into the youth justice system, with the government announcing a £300m fund for local authorities to invest in early-intervention schemes.

Further discussion examined next steps for expanding multi-agency working between the YJS and key partners including in education, healthcare, police and the judiciary.

We are pleased to have been able to include further keynote contributions from Alan Webster, Deputy Director, Youth Justice Policy, Ministry of Justice; Justin Russell, HM Chief Inspector of Probation; and Bami Jolaoso, Innovative Practice Officer, Centre for Justice Innovation.

Overall, the agenda included sessions on:

  • a Child First system: developing and implementing the new case-management guidance
  • multi-agency coordination: priorities and next steps for prevention, early intervention and diversion
  • policing and sentencing: reviewing the use of custodial remand and court disposals - options for reform
  • inspection: key findings from recent inspections of YJS - reviewing standards and criteria
  • support for those in youth custody:
    • raising attainment and access to education - next steps for secure schools
    • SEND provision, support and safeguarding for vulnerable groups
    • improving outcomes for ethnic minorities
  • support after release and preventing reoffending:
    • developing pathways to employment - tailored approaches to resettlement and rehabilitation
    • assisting with the transition from youth to adult custody
    • restorative justice - strengthening the voice of victims in the youth justice system
  • next steps for policy: funding, strategy and sentencing

The discussion brought together stakeholders with key policy officials who attended from the CPS; DfE; HMIPS; HMPPS; House of Commons Library; MoJ; NAO; Office of the Children’s Commissioner; and Senedd Cymru.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda