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Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (Triennial Review)

Volume 566: debated on Tuesday 16 July 2013

Today, I have published the report of stage 1 of the triennial review of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB). I have placed a copy in the Library. I have taken the unusual step of publishing the stage 1 report in advance of completing stage 2 as it is important that there is clarity about the future of the Youth Justice Board ahead of recruiting a new chair of the YJB to replace the current chair when she finishes her second term of office in January 2014 and to ensure that the recommendations can be considered as part of my ongoing reform of the youth secure estate.

In line with the process and methodology established by the Cabinet Office, stage 1 of the review assessed the continuing need for the YJB to carry out each of its functions in their current form. The responses to the consultation have informed how these functions should be delivered in the future.

The report concludes that all of the functions remain necessary and makes 14 key recommendations relating to the delivery of these functions. It further concludes that it is appropriate for the majority of these functions to be delivered together as a critical mass of expertise. This decision recognises that the Government have repeatedly and recently stated their commitment to maintain a distinct youth justice system. Finally, the report concludes that the appropriate delivery model for the delivery of these functions is, at this time, as a non-departmental public body.

The Government will now continue to conduct stage 2 of the triennial review, reviewing the control and governance arrangements in place for the YJB with a particular focus on increasing ministerial accountability and a closer degree of control of financial management. I will report back to Parliament on the outcome in the autumn once this has been completed.

I am very grateful to all those who took the time to respond to the call for evidence. Their contributions and varying perspectives were extremely valuable.