Research and Statistical Bulletin “Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency Annual Workload Statistics 2018/19”

Date published: 14 November 2019


Research and Statistical Bulletin “Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency Annual Workload Statistics 2018/19”

Graphic for news

This annual Official Statistics publication provides workload statistics for the last five financial years for both Custodial Services (Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre, JJC) and Youth Justice Services (YJS) within the Youth Justice Agency (YJA). Area statistics in this report are produced in terms of the 11 Local Government Districts that became operational in April 2015. This ensures that consistent data can be produced on an annual basis for comparison purposes. This will also facilitate comparison with other data sources such as PSNI recorded crime information or NI population data. The publication continues to provide descriptive analysis of trends on a range of demographics, including some Section 75 characteristics and care information.  For the first time, this publication includes a ‘YJA Insight’ section which provides some management information which has not been subject to full official statistics validation and is therefore subject to change. The main findings of this report are presented below.

Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency Annual Workload Statistics 2018/19

  • Earlier stage intervention referrals have increased year on year since its introduction in 2015/16 (55) to 236 in 2018/19. 
  • Diversionary referrals (45.7%; 782) accounted for the largest proportion of referrals in 2018/19.  This was followed by Court Ordered (29.5%; 505), Earlier Stage Interventions (13.8%; 236), Voluntary referrals (5.7%) and Community Orders (2.3%). Other referrals, which includes reducing offending programmes, bail support cases and work with probation, accounted for 3.0%.
  • The total number of individual young people in custody decreased by 4.2% from 167 in 2017/18 to 160 in 2018/19. As such, less than one in every 1,000 young people in Northern Ireland was involved with Custodial Services in 2018/19.
  • In 2018/19 there were a total of 6,497 days of custody provided by the JJC, 15.8% lower than in 2017/18 (7,715). Of these days 4.0% were for PACE, 73.5% for remand and 22.5% for sentence.


  • The proportion of individual young people involved with custodial services that were subject to a care order or voluntarily accommodated decreased to 38.8% in 2018/19 from 42.5% in 2017/18.
  • The total number of movements within the JJC, that is new admissions plus internal changes of status, such as PACE to Remand, was 21.5% lower in 2018/19 (457) than in the previous year (582).
  • The proportion of movements in 2018/19 attributed to PACE (49.9%) has increased slightly compared to last year (46.2%).  The proportions of remand and sentence movements have both decreased from 2016/17.
  • The number of referrals to the YJS in 2018/19 was 1,712, an increase of 8.8% from 2017/18 (1,573).
  • The number of individual young people involved with YJS has increased from 887 in 2017/18 to 977 in 2018/19, an increase of 10.1%.  This equates to 5.2 in every 1,000 young people in Northern Ireland being involved with YJS.

Key Findings – YJA Insight

 The following findings relate to management information contained in the YJA Insight section.

  • In 2018/19, 70.1% of earlier stage intervention referrals were successfully completed.
  • The proportion of referrals involving violent offences (no HSB) has decreased year on year from 8.5% in 2014/15 to 4.7% in 2018/19.  The proportion of young people involved in these offences has reduced from 14.0% to 7.8% in the same period.
  • Of the individual victims identified during 2018/19, 83.5% of victims participated in the YJS conference process.  In 2018/19, 95.7% of victims surveyed stated that they were satisfied with the restorative process.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Official Statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.  They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from any political interference.  They are also subject to restrictions in terms of pre-release access. 

 2. The bulletin will be available in PDF format from either

  • DoJ web-site or
  • Analytical Services Group, Youth Justice Agency, 41 Waring Street, Belfast, BT1 2DY Email:

3. Press queries about this publication should be directed to the DoJ Press Office on telephone number 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top