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Written Statement - Publication and launch of the joint Welsh Government/Youth Justice Board Youth Justice Strategy

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Local Government and Government Business

In 2011, the Welsh Government agreed to consider what more could be done to strengthen the policies for which it has responsibility, to ensure greater accountability of all partners for children and young people at risk of entering, or are already in, the youth justice system. This was outlined in our Programme for Government.

A Green Paper consultation on proposals to improve services to better meet the needs of children and young people who are at risk of entering, or are already in, the youth justice system was carried out in Autumn 2012. The creation of a new joint Youth Justice Strategy for Wales, which is being published today, is a key outcome of the Green Paper consultation.

This joint strategy brings together the Welsh Government and Youth Justice Board’s vision and commitment to improve services for children and young people from Wales at risk of becoming involved in, or who are in, the youth justice system.  It provides the Welsh Government, Youth Justice Board and those delivering youth justice services with a coherent framework through which the prevention of offending and re-offending by children and young people can be achieved.  It builds on the approach and achievements delivered under the All Wales Youth Offending Strategy 2004 (AWYOS), and its subsequent Delivery Plan 2009.

The Strategy’s focus is on delivering improved support and partnership working for young people and children within the youth justice system, by preventing first time entrants and ensuring the effective reintegration and resettlement of young people from Wales following a community or custodial sentence.

The Strategy will be implemented through the development of a delivery plan. This will enable the Welsh Government and Youth Justice Board to monitor the implementation of the Strategy, ensuring it remains relevant and is able to respond to the changing needs of youth justice practice and how services are organised and delivered.