Divert resources away from custody, says Youth Justice Board

The children’s secure estate is “swamped”, and its “scarce resources” must be diverted away from custody, Youth Justice Board chair Rod Morgan said yesterday.

In a forceful speech to its annual Youth Justice Convention  in Cardiff, Morgan said he would continue to take this message to ministers even though some of it was “unpalatable”.

Last week, Morgan said the system’s capacity was in “meltdown” after custody numbers reached 3,350.

He told the convention reforms to the system were weakened by the “party politicisation” of the debate on youth justice, which he said was now polarised between advocates of punitive measures and those backing overly weak responses.

Morgan also called for more work into why some youth offending teams were more successful than others, a point echoed by justice minister Baroness Scotland, who called for best practice to be shared.

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