This is a critical time for youth justice as its new political masters tussle to decide how it should be governed. The partnership between the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, given shared responsibility for the Youth Justice Board, was always going to be fraught. Hostilities have already broken out over the job description for the vacant chair.
It is a sign of the DCSF’s determination to reform a system so perverse that it steers young people into crime rather than away from it. But success will depend on more than a job description. It will require better policing and sentencing, calling for a change of heart at the MoJ and the Home Office. Miracles, we’re told, do happen.