Justice Minister Naomi Long has told MLAs of her commitment to deliver a youth justice system that benefits all children.
In a written statement to the Assembly, in response to research published today on potential over-representation in the youth justice system in Northern Ireland, the Minister said she wanted to ensure the most vulnerable children in our society have the best life chances and outcomes.
The research was commissioned and funded by the Department of Justice, and undertaken by Queens University, Belfast.
Minister Long said: “With the support of partners, we have made significant inroads into addressing offending behaviour by children. Over the last decade, there has been a reduction of over 50% in the number of children entering the justice system for the first time for offending behaviour, and an almost 60% reduction in the number of children dealt with by youth courts.
“Work, such as that led by the Youth Justice Agency, on earlier stage diversion and joint initiatives between my Department, PSNI and PPS have all greatly contributed to this positive picture.
“I am fully committed to playing my role to deliver further improvements in the youth justice system for the benefit of all children and to work in partnership with others to address the underlying vulnerabilities that lead to offending behaviour in children.”
The full Written Ministerial Statement can be read at the publication section of this website.
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