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Young Offenders: Reparation by Offenders

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department has issued to (a) local authorities and (b) police services on the use of restorative justice techniques as a way of preventing young people entering the criminal justice system. (218833)

The Ministry of Justice has not issued any guidance to local authorities and/or police services on the use of restorative justice techniques as a way of preventing young people entering the criminal justice system.

However Restorative Justice has been embedded in the youth justice system since the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act which recommends its use as part of existing disposals, if appropriate for the individual/s involved. Restorative justice approaches can be found in both out-of-court and in-court disposals-for example, in reprimands, warnings, referral orders-and will also play a part in the delivery of youth conditional cautions and the youth rehabilitation order which form part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

We announced in the children's plan that we will be piloting a new out of court disposal that will sit below reprimands and final warnings. This will be the youth restorative disposal which uses restorative techniques to allow a young person to apologise for committing an offence thus making them take responsibility for their actions at the scene of the offence.

Our commitment to the use of restorative justice when dealing with young offenders is further evidenced by its inclusion in the youth crime action plan as part of our vision for the future of youth justice.