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News Round-Up Week Ending 21.8.15

(Posted on 21/08/15)


Gove to Jail!

In a letter obtained by the Independent, the Youth Justice Board chief executive Lin Hinnigan has warned that numbers of children behind bars could increase because of the Government’s cuts.

Since 2010 the YJB has lost half its budget and has now protested to Justice Secretary Michael Gove against a planned further cut.

“This could lead to a reversal of the positive trends we have seen over recent years,” Ms Hinnigan writes. “This would see more young people coming into the system, rising costs for police, courts and other justice agencies and, ultimately, risk increasing custodial populations, which would mean new places in secure establishments must be commissioned.

“We have urged the Secretary of State not to look to the YJS for further significant cuts.”

“Youth offending teams are at the heart of the youth justice system, working tirelessly and successfully to keep young people and their communities safe from crime,” said David Simmonds, Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association.

“A further £12m in-year reduction to youth offending team budgets, 14 per cent of their overall government grant, will clearly have an impact upon their ability to undertake this preventative work and improve life chances of vulnerable children.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman retorted: “We must find savings in order to cut the deficit and bring the nation into surplus. No part of the department can be immune from that effort.

“In recent years, youth offending teams have seen a 92 per cent increase in funding per head as a result of our success in driving down youth offending. It is therefore right to ask whether they can make a further contribution.

“We remain committed to preventing youth offending and making sure young people and their families receive the support they need.”