User Voice - Only Offenders Can Stop Re-Offending

Youth Justice Board commits to improve practice in response to children and young people’s views

In new research and action plan launched today, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) has made a series of commitments to improve the safeguarding practice of their service providers.

The YJB and Office of the Children's Commission (OCC) commissioned User Voice to consult gather the views of children and young people in Young Offender Institutions, Secure Training Centres, Secure Children’s Homes and those under the supervision of Youth Offending Services in England.

This action plan comes as a direct result of the partnership between the OCC and the YJB listening to the powerful insights of young people about full searches, separation, complaints procedures and help lines in the secure estate. The action plan builds on operational reforms planned by the YJB.

The routine use of full searches will stop across the secure estate; there will be a review of the criteria used to separate young people in custody to manage problems that arise; complaints will be handled more fairly and effectively and; work will be undertaken with the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the Samaritans to improve the young people’s access to helpline services.

The safeguarding concerns raised by the young people will now be addressed by the YJB in a series of commitments including:
• Working with NOMS and consulting with young people to redesign the information available to them about the complaints system and delivering training and guidance to improve the quality of staff responses to complaints
• Re-affirming the commitment to only undertake full searches on a risk-led, rather than routine basis
• Providing gowns for the young people in STCs during any necessary full searches
• Working towards phasing out in YOIs the use of separation as a punishment or merely for the use of control.

Download the report, view the press release and joint statement from the YJB, OCC and User Voice here.