• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

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Fewer young people entering youth justice system

Fewer young people from County Durham are entering the youth justice system than ever before, councillors will hear next week.

The latest data shows that 119 young people from the county entered the youth justice system between April 2017 and March 2018, the lowest number ever achieved.

The figures are included in the latest update to the Youth Justice Plan submitted by the County Durham Youth Offending Service (CDYOS) which is being presented at a meeting of Durham County Council’s Cabinet next Wednesday.

Other achievements highlighted in the plan include a reduction in both re-offending and the number of custodial sentences for young people.

This year has also seen the introduction of the Skill Mill, a community interest company which provides employment and training for young people under the supervision of CDYOS.

The first cohort of four young people completed their six month contract, with three progressing into long-term employment and none committing further offences.

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “Over the last year we have worked hard to identify the factors that make it more likely for young people to re-offend and put many interventions in place to tackle these issues.

“We will continue to focus on reducing first time entrants to the Youth Justice System and provide opportunities for education, employment and training which make a significant impact in preventing further offending.

“Restorative justice remains at the heart of our work and we are pleased that over the last year we have engaged 192 victims of youth crime in restorative approaches.”