Source: (2005) Paper given relative to ‘The Next Step: Building Restorative Communities’, IIRP’s 7th International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, 9-11 November, Manchester, England, UK. Downloaded 9 December 2005.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 significantly changed the Youth Justice System in
England and Wales. It produced a principal aim, to prevent offending by children and
young people, to be achieved by those working in the system (S.37). It set up a Youth
Justice Board to oversee developments in law (S41-42) and created Youth Offending
Teams (S38-39) to provide a holistic approach for working practices. S65-66 of the
Act provided for the operation of the Final Warning Scheme incorporating reprimands
and final warnings. These statutory provisions are amplified in Guidance for Police
and Youth Offending Teams, 2002, by the Home Office and the Youth Justice Board.
The Crime and Disorder Act introduced the referral order and other community
sentences to oblige young people to address their offending behaviour through
programmes. The principal aim also takes into account the requirements of Section
44 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 and the Criminal Justice Act 1991.
Offending behaviour programmes arise from the provisions of the powers of Criminal
Courts Act (Sentencing) 2000 that provides various orders and sentences to Youth
Courts. Work with young people must be proportionate and comply with the law.
Reference to the Human Rights Act 1998 covers the process from arrest to sentence
and disposal to ensure that young people are dealt with fairly.
There is an onus on practitioners to keep abreast of statutory and other changes to
work within the law and develop effective practice. Youth Offending Teams must
work to national standards set by the YJB providing appropriate adult services,
assessments, interventions and final warnings, youth court duty cover, bail support,
court reports and management of community and custodial sentences for 11-18 years
olds. Information management is included subject to the Data Protection Act 1998
and Freedom of Information Act 2000. The YJB promotes a set of values and
principals to underpin practices. (excerpt)
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