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Youth Conference Service. Inspection of the Youth Conference Service in Northern Ireland.

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Criminal Inspection Northern Ireland.

This inspection looked at how young offenders are dealt with through the Youth
Conference Service (YCS). It followed on from a comprehensive evaluation of the service
conducted early in its development by Queens University Belfast (QUB)1. It assessed the
service in terms of the CJI inspection framework at a point in time when the service was
receiving on average around 2000 referrals a year.
Inspectors found that the YCS was delivering an effective and useful service but that it
was operating at the boundary of its capacity under its present structures and resources.
Staff and management were totally committed to providing a restorative system that
worked for the young offenders as well as for victims and they were focused on getting the
balance right between the needs of offenders and victims. The key recommendation of this
Inspection is that a full system-wide review into current practices in youth offending is now
needed with the aim of developing a clearer and more integrated system with restorative
practice at its core. (excerpt)


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