Today’s release of the annual youth justice statistics shows the continuing downward trend of children and young people in the youth justice system. In particular they evidence:
- 20% fewer First Time Entrants (FTEs) into the youth justice system than the previous year
- the average population of young people (u-18) in custody was 1,216; down by 21%
- the number of young people in the re-offending cohort was down by 25%
Although these are encouraging figures, the smaller cohort of young people currently in the youth justice system, and in custody in particular, is complex and challenging - with many of them having a propensity to reoffend.
The statistics also show that - during this time period - young people under18 accounted for just 1% of the total custody population. In December 2014, the Youth Justice Board’s unofficial records showed the lowest ever figures of young people in custody - it was for the first time under 1000.
But the YJB recognises that there is still work to do to effectively deal with the needs and behaviours of this cohort. We continue to work closely with NOMS to identify and address the root causes of violence in the secure estate; and to roll out (MMPR) training to all staff in YOIs to improve the behaviour management techniques they use when working with more challenging young people. We also work closely with local partners to improve the support available to young offenders released from custody . We launched - with the Ministry of Justice - the ‘Turn Around to Work’ initiative, and four new Resettlement Consortia in November last year.
This year’s statistics also sees the introduction of further breakdowns of data to reveal ethnicities of young people in the youth justice system in 2013/14:
- 75% were from a white ethnic background accounted for 75%, 60% of which received custodial sentences
- 8% were from a black ethnic background; 22% of which received custodial sentences
- 5% were from an Asian ethnic background; 7% of which received custodial sentences
It is of concern that there remains a high proportion of young people in the youth justice system from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, as compared to the general population. There is also a higher proportion of BAME young people in custody, as compared to those convicted. The YJB will be working with partners - across all agencies - to help to address this longstanding issue.
Notes to editors
Read the youth justice annual statistics
These statistics concentrate on the flow of young people through the Youth Justice System (YJS) from the 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 (hereafter 2013/14).
The data, which is collated by the Home office, Ministry of Justice and Youth Justice Board, shows that compared with 2012/13 there have been 21%, or 328, fewer young people aged under 18 in custody; and 23%, or 10,001, fewer young people sentenced.
The data for reoffending covers 2012/13. This information is presented on re-offending for those who finished their period of custody or had an outcome for the original offence in 2012-13. A year is allocated, after the reference period, to establish if a person in the cohort re-offends, and then a further period of 6 months is allowed for, to enable them to go through the courts process.
This publication starts by looking at the number of young people arrested, given youth cautions (previously reprimands and final warnings), Penalty Notices for Disorder or Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs). It then goes on to look at those who are entering the system for the first time. The publication continues to describe the characteristics of young people who have been convicted, in terms of their demographics.
The publication also covers the proven offences committed by young people and the sentences they received. There are separate chapters on the use of remand (both in custody and in the community) for young people; details of the profile of young people in custody and behaviour management in the youth secure estate.
BAME figures for the general population aged 10-17 break down as 4% is black; 9% is Asian; and 4% is mixed.