Youth diversion schemes can redirect young people away from the criminal justice system when they are arrested. Smart use of these schemes can create better outcomes for children, justice system practitioners, and communities.
We are actively working with Youth offending teams, police, and others across the country to support them in demonstrating and valuing the impact of their diversion work, and in spreading effective practice.
The number of children coming before youth courts is falling, but those who are prosecuted are increasingly likely have complex needs. Youth courts can improve their response to these complex cases by drawing on the concept of problem-solving. Problem-solving suggests that courts should try to provide an effective response to the problems that underlie criminal behaviour, rather than just process people through the system.
We are working with areas interested in developing better youth court practice with developmentally appropriate approaches aimed at reducing re-offending.