In the “Modernising Government” White Paper, the Government made a commitment to bring all public services up to the standard of the best and to make the best even better. In line with this commitment my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Schools and Learners and I today announce a review of the Youth Justice Board’s governance and operating arrangements.
The Youth Justice Board is an executive non-departmental public body established under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to take oversight of the youth justice system in England and Wales, including the secure estate for under 18-year-olds.
Since the Youth Justice Board’s inception, the ways in which a wide range of services for young people are planned and delivered at a local level have changed significantly. In that context, the Government want to ensure that the Youth Justice Board can continue to support the delivery of the best outcomes for young people and their families and communities, as well as the wider public. The Government also want to ensure that these outcomes are delivered in ways that give the public value for money.
We have asked Dame Susan Street, former permanent secretary for the Department for Culture Media and Sport, to fulfil the role of independent chair of the review. She will chair the review jointly with Frances Done, chair of the Youth Justice Board. The review’s full terms of reference are available at: www.yjb.gov.uk. We have asked the chairs to produce a report and recommendations by the end of February 2010. We expect to publish the report and the Government’s response shortly thereafter.
The chairs will be supported by a steering group comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Home Office, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Youth Justice Board. The chairs have today issued an invitation to interested parties to submit evidence that they consider relevant within the review’s terms of reference.