Single sentencing framework planned for juvenile offenders

The Youth Justice Board has welcomed plans to replace nine existing community sentences for juveniles with a single youth rehabilitation order by 2009.

The announcement was made in the Home Office’s five-year strategy for protecting the public and reducing re-offending, published this month.

The Youth Justice Board said the strategy highlighted the role of prevention work – including early intervention programmes run by youth offending teams – and the importance of keeping children out of prison where possible, as well as an on-going commitment to reforming the juvenile sentencing framework through new legislation.

“While the new strategy focuses on adults, it endorses the approach already developed in the youth justice system of addressing the individual risks and needs of young offenders to reduce the likelihood of reoffending,” a YJB spokesperson said.

The new sentencing framework will include a “menu of interventions”, including reparation to victims, treatment for mental health problems and drug misuse, supervision, and curfew.

A Home Office spokesperson said that full details would be available “in due course”.

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