Cuts to YOTs concerns
As part of proposals to deal with emergency in-year cuts imposed by the Ministry of Justice, the Youth Justice Board wants to cut youth offending team spending by £9m for 2015/16.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is concerned that this will be counterproductive and end up costing the public purse more due to the increased likelihood of more entrants into the youth justice system.
It pointed to the fact that numbers of first time entrants to the youth justice system have dropped by 75% over the past decade and the number of under-18s in custody has fallen by more than 2,000 in seven years.
Roy Perry, chair of the LGA's children and young people board, said: "Youth offending teams are widely recognised to be the most successful part of the criminal justice system, working closely with young people to prevent first time offenders and reduce the overall numbers in custody. With the increase in the types of violent incidents young people are involved in, YOTs are more important than ever to local communities and are an effective way of addressing youth crime and youth violence.”
"The danger of imposing such a reduction is that any short term savings could well be outweighed by the long term costs of an increased number of young people being involved in crime and at a later date, these same individuals remaining within the criminal justice system on reaching adulthood,” he said.