The formal Youth Justice System begins once a child or young person aged 10-17 has committed an offence and receives a youth caution, a youth conditional caution or is convicted at court. In 2021 the rate of first-time entrants to the youth justice system in Rochdale borough was 190.8 per 100,000. This is higher than the England rate of 146.9 (Office for Health Improvement & Disparities).
Needs and vulnerabilities in young offenders
Young people in contact with the youth justice system are a vulnerable group and often have more – and more severe – health and well-being needs than other children of their age. These can include mental health vulnerabilities, learning disabilities, speech and communication needs and problematic drug and alcohol use.
Research indicates that these young people are less likely to have their needs identified early in primary care or school settings and are predominantly drawn from the poorest and most disadvantaged families and communities. We also know that their needs remain under-identified and supported after entry into the Youth Justice System.
Community impacts of youth offending
High levels of youth offending can also impact the community and individuals and their need to feel safe. Everyone wants to feel safe in their homes and communities and it is important that children and young people who offend must face up to the consequences of their actions.
Statistics on youth justice
- Ministry of Justice - Youth justice statistics - the Ministry of Justice publishes statistics on youth justice including first-time entrants, arrests and cautions, offender characteristics, sentencing and reoffending.
Guidance and information on youth offending
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) - Health of people in the criminal justice system - NICE has produced a guidance document on the health of people in the criminal justice system that includes information on health and assessments of people in prisons and young offender institutions.
- GOV.UK - Public health in prisons and secure settings - resources to track, treat and prevent single infections and outbreaks in prisons, secure settings and health services.