The Department of Justice (DOJ) today published Research and Statistical Bulletin 28/2017 ‘Youth Justice Agency Annual Workload Statistics 2016/17’. It is an Official Statistics Publication.
This report presents 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.
The key findings were as follows:
The total number of movements within the JJC, that is new admissions plus internal changes of status, such as PACE to Remand, was 8% lower in 2016/17 (443) than in the previous year (484).
In 2016/17 there were a total of 7,935 days of custody provided by the JJC. Of these days 3% were for PACE, 65% for remand and 32% for sentence.
The number of sentence movements fell in 2016/17 to 35, the lowest number since 2012/13 and a decrease of 42% compared with 60 in 2015/16. The proportion of movements attributed to PACE (44%) and remand (48%) has increased compared to last year (42% and 45%, respectively).
The total number of individual young people in custody in 2016/17 decreased 15% from 163 to 139. As such, fewer than one in every 1,000 young people in Northern Ireland was involved with Custodial Services in 2016/17.
The proportion of young people involved with custodial services that were looked after increased to 39% in 2016/17 from 29% in 2015/16. This is in the context of a decrease in the total number of young people in custody.
The number of referrals to YJS remained relatively stable with 1,539 referrals in 2016/17 compared with 1,579 referrals in 2015/16. In the last 5 years, however the number of referrals has fallen by 8% from 1,675 in 2012/13 and 17% from the five-year peak of 1,846 in 2013/14.
The number of individual young people involved with YJS decreased by 4% from 929 in 2015/16 to 893 in 2016/17. This means that around 5 in every 1,000 young people in Northern Ireland were involved with YJS in 2016/17.
The highest proportion of referrals to YJS in 2016/17 were diversionary, at 49%. This is slightly higher than in 2015/16 (46%). Court ordered referrals made up 35% of the workload and the remainder were community orders (3%) and other referrals (14%), which include reducing offending programmes, bail support cases and work with probation.
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