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Scoping Study On Children In The Justice System: Stakeholder Update

May 3, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre,
Mosswood Close
Bangor BT19 1TA

Dear colleague

As you are probably aware the Department of Justice, along with the main criminal justice organisations and key government departments, has undertaken a Scoping Study into children in, or on the fringes of, the youth justice system. Its purpose was to carry out an end-to-end examination of the criminal justice system from the perspective of the best interests of the child, looking at the overarching legislative, strategic and structural architecture. Ultimately, the intention was to:

  • streamline and simplify the system;
  • develop effective, tailored interventions based on evidence and best practice; and
  • improve outcomes for children and young people across the whole of the justice system

Whilst the majority of this work was undertaken by officials drawn from the various organisations, it was very much informed by the views of key stakeholders – particularly those in the voluntary and community sectors – expressed over a number of years through discussions, formal correspondence and consultation exercises. Two “Ideas Exchange” workshops were also held in September 2015, in which you or your colleagues may have participated

The first phase of the Scoping Study included an assessment of the current legislative and procedural positions; the identification of issues and barriers to achieving progress; and the generation of proposals for positive change based on research and good practice found here and in other jurisdictions worldwide. The high-level proposals were set out in an Assembly Statement in March 2016. Many of these were aimed at keeping children out of the system altogether by providing early intervention and support, developing community alternatives, maximising exit points and diversionary disposals, and the increased use of restorative disposals. Since then, much has happened in the political arena in Northern Ireland. Although it may have appeared to be less visible during this time, the Scoping Study has nevertheless remained firmly on the agenda. Progress has been made and whilst some people may be aware of the ongoing work, we felt that it was an opportune time to inform interested parties on where we are and how we hope to move forward. You are therefore invited to attend a stakeholder update event on

To register for the event, please provide your name and organisation details via email to yjpu@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk

I look forward to meeting you then.

Chief Executive

Declan McGeown

Youth Justice Agency

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