Board member calls for radical reforms

Responsibility for the youth justice system should shift from the Home Office to the Department for Education and Skills, according to an unpublished report by a member of the Youth Justice Board.

The report by Rob Allen (pictured), who is also director of the International Centre for Prison Studies at King’s College, London, will call for the youth justice system to be linked with children’s services.

Allen, who chairs the YJB’s practice and performance committee, is also likely to criticise fundamental flaws in the youth justice system and call for a “radical transformation” in services, including more restorative justice schemes, where offenders come face-to-face with victims to make amends.

The report, due in the autumn, will criticise government policies that “criminalise” young people and raise concerns that the number of young people in custody remains high, despite the efforts of the Youth Justice Board.

It will also say that the youth justice system is “left to pick up the pieces” after mainstream services, such as education, have failed young people.

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