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.
Notes to editors:
- Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via Email
- Follow the department on Twitter @Justice_NI
- 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.
- Departments of Justice and Communities launch anti-social behaviour consultation 28 November 2023
- Major milestone for sexual offences legislation 27 November 2023
- Cyber Crime, Modern Slavery and Sentencing: Findings from the 2021/22 NI Safe Community Telephone Survey published today 24 November 2023
- Permanent Secretary visits Lough Neagh Rescue 24 November 2023