Youth justice to be split between new children’s department and Ministry of Justice

Responsibility for youth justice will be split between the new Department for Children, Schools and Families, headed by Ed Balls (pictured), and the Ministry of Justice, the new prime minister Gordon Brown announced today.

Beverley Hughes, the minister for children, has had youth justice added to her responsibilities to reflect the change, part of a broader move to give the new department responsibility for co-ordinating all government policy for children and young people.

The move answers campaigners’ call for youth justice to be placed alongside other children’s services within government, and was widely welcomed.

Nacro chief executive Paul Cavadino said: “This change makes it more likely that young offenders will be treated as children first and offenders second. It increases the prospects for constructive policies towards young offenders which would be more effective in reducing youth crime.” 

The Department for Children, Schools and Families will also take over responsibility for the Home Office’s Respect agenda, an initiative to tackle antisocial behaviour.

It will also work with the Home Office on drugs, the Department of Communities and Local Government on services for homeless young people and the Department of Health on child health.

Essential information on youth justice


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