The youth justice system
The system for dealing with offending by young
people is different and largely separate from that for adult
offenders. There is more emphasis on preventing offending and
re-offending and a wider range of ways of dealing with those who do
The principal aims of the youth justice system in England and
Wales are to -
- prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people
aged 10 to 17
- deal appropriately with those who do offend, including
encouraging them to make amends for their crimes
- support victims of crime.
The system also aims to -
- administer justice swiftly
- confront young offenders with the consequences of their
- impose punishment proportionate to the seriousness and
persistence of offending
- reinforce the responsibilities of parents.
The work of youth offending teams is at the heart of the youth
justice system. Other agencies have a vital role, for example the
police in detecting crime and issuing reprimands and final warnings
to young offenders and the courts in dealing with more serious
offences or persistent offenders.
The whole youth justice system is overseen
on behalf of the government by the national Youth Justice Board.
Visit the Youth Justice
Board website for more detailed information about what the
youth justice system does and how it works.