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Young people in the Criminal Justice system

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The social and economic costs of youth offending are high - for society, for public services, for communities, for victims and for those children and young people who offend.
The youth justice system is made up of a number of organisations working together.
We are committed to making the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) a reality for all children and young people in Wales.

The cornerstone of all our youth justice policies is the All Wales Youth Offending Strategy, which was jointly published by the Welsh Government and the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales in 2004.

All Wales Youth Offending Strategy

The strategy is the result of the Welsh Government, the Youth Justice Board and local agencies working together to develop a strategy that provides a national framework for preventing offending and re-offending among children and young people in Wales. All this work is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its requirement for consideration of the rights of the young person.

In the long-term, its aim is to make a real and significant reduction in the rates of youth offending in Wales.

Key principles of the strategy

The most effective way to prevent youth offending and to secure the welfare of children and young people in Wales is to stop them from entering the youth justice system in the first place.

A balance between the interests of the child or young person and the interests of the wider community and potential victims can be maintained through:

  • early intervention
  • restorative justice measures
  • appropriate punishment and
  • supported rehabilitation.

Delivery Plan 2009-11

We have worked with the Youth Justice Board (YJB) to review the delivery of the strategy, and the structures which underlie it. This is in recognition of increasing differences in the local services delivery environments experienced by Youth Offending Teams (YOTS) in Wales as a result of devolution.

A new framework for delivery has been developed, which contains objectives formulated in a more focussed way. This framework is set out in detail in the Delivery Plan 2009-11 which was published in 2009 and is available via the Related Links on the right of this page.