Justice Minister Naomi Long has visited Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre which works with 10-17 year-olds who have been placed in custody.
The Youth Justice Agency (YJA) facility in Bangor is a safe, secure and stimulating environment, where staff provide support for up to 48 boys and girls, helping them to address their offending behaviour, diverting them from crime and assisting their integration back into the community.
Minister Naomi Long said: “My visit to Woodlands has allowed me to see at first hand the important work being done with young people. I met with staff who are enthusiastic and committed in their belief that they can help those young people make life-changing choices through a wide range of health, education and recreational services.
The Minister added: “By delivering interventions designed to address offending behaviour and raising victim awareness, we are reducing the risk of reoffending and setting young people on a path to a better life in their own community. However, there remains a continuing need for a multi–agency partnership approach to deliver interventions for vulnerable young people, as well as a wider cross-Departmental response to tackle the underlying societal issues that lead to offending.”
During the visit to Woodlands Minister Long also took the opportunity to launch the Youth Justice Agency (YJA) Corporate Plan 2022-25, which sets out the strategic direction for the development and delivery of the Agency’s services over this period, and which features some of the award winning artwork produced by the young people in Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre.
Minister Long said: “This Plan reflects the Agency’s mission ‘to reduce offending by supporting children to achieve their full potential’. It provides the basis for delivery of services both in the community and custody to achieve better outcomes for children who have offended, or are at risk of offending, for their families, victims and the wider community.”
The priorities within the YJA Corporate Plan closely align with the Strategic Framework for Youth Justice 2022-27, which was published in March 2022, and collectively provide a series of comprehensive actions to prevent children from being drawn into the criminal justice system.
Notes to editors:
1. PHOTO CAPTIONS:
1 & 2: 21/9/22: Justice Minister Naomi Long has visited Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre which works with 10-17 year-olds who have offended or are at serious risk of offending. During her visit the Minister chatted to some of the young people in care and viewed some of their award winning artwork produced in art therapy.
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21/9/22: Justice Minister Naomi Long has visited Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre which works with 10-17 year-olds who have offended or are at serious risk of offending. She is pictured with Stephen Martin, Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency and Paul McStravick, Director of Custodial Services at the Juvenile Justice Centre.
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21/9/22: Justice Minister Naomi Long has launched the Youth Justice Agency (YJA) Corporate Plan 2022-25, which sets out the strategic direction for the development and delivery of the Agency’s services over this period. She is pictured at the launch with Stephen Martin, Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency.
2. The Youth Justice Agency (YJA) works with 10-17 year olds who have offended or are at serious risk of offending to help the children address their offending behaviour, divert them from crime and assist their integration into the community.
3. Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre provides a safe, secure and stimulating environment for up to 48 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 17 placed in custody.
4. The Corporate Plan is available in the publication section of the DoJ website.
5. The Strategic Framework for Youth Justice and associated documents (including a 5-year Action Plan) is available at the publication section of the DoJ website.
6. Press queries about this publication should be directed to the DoJ Press Office via email
7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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