Youth justice service questions

Advice and information about the youth justice service.

Read our jargon buster for a breakdown of the abbreviations and terms used by the youth justice service. 

Further information

What age of young people does the youth justice service work with?

In most cases the youth justice service work with young people between the ages of 10-17. Where orders have been given and a young person will turn 18 during it, we will still work with them. In addition, the prevention service is working with young people of all ages to prevent them entering the youth justice system.

What does it mean for a parent or carer if your child becomes under youth justice service supervision?

We support parents and carers and will not judge or blame you but treat you with respect. We will acknowledge your rights and empower you in taking responsibility for your children.

If your child becomes involved with the youth justice service, there may be the opportunity to voluntarily attend a parenting programme, if you think it would be useful. If the court believes that you need to attend a parenting programme they will give you a parenting order. This would make attending the programme compulsory. Parenting programmes are aimed at dealing with a child’s challenging behaviour and provide advice and guidance on the best way to tackle this.

Can anyone refer a young person to the youth justice service?

Anyone can refer a young person to the prevention team. Referrals to the youth justice service can't be made by members of the public and are made by North Yorkshire police or the youth courts.

How and why does the youth justice service assess young people?

We use several assessments to identify the needs of young people, the risk they present to themselves and others, and the likelihood of them offending or reoffending. Assessing the young people under our supervision helps us tailor a specific programme for each individual to target why they offended and to help stop them reoffending in the future. 

What service can the victims of crime expect from the youth justice service?

Victims of crime will be treated with dignity and respect throughout all their involvement with us. In the majority of cases you will be contacted by your local victim liaison officer, who will provide information about the outcome of the case. You will then be offered the opportunity to participate in the restorative justice process.

What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice allows the offender to make amends to their victim and the community. We put support in place so victims can meet with their offender to explain the real impact of the crime. Victims of crime who decide to take part will have their needs and wishes taken into account and will be fully supported in any choices they make. Participation in the process is completely voluntary.

There are several methods of restorative justice.

Victim–offender mediation

The victim and offender, helped by an independent person, communicate with one another. This may be by direct meeting or, if preferred by either the victim or the offender, indirectly with the third person acting as go between in a shuttle mediation. Questions may be asked, information exchanged and an agreement reached.

Restorative conferencing

Supporters, as well as victim and offender, meet together in a conference run by a trained person. At the end, agreements are made that set out what the offender will do to deal with the harm done.

Family group conferencing

The young person who has offended meets with members of his or her extended family, and possibly representatives of agencies, for example social services and schools. They work together to identify what has happened, and how the family will support the young person to put it right.

Referral order youth offender panels

Young offenders and their parents meet with trained community volunteer panel members to discuss the offence and its consequences, and to agree a contract to repair the harm and address the causes of offending behaviour. Victims are invited to attend or have their views put before the panel if they prefer.

What is reparation?

Reparation enables young people to make up for what they have done by giving them the opportunity to give something back either directly to their victim or indirectly to the local community. It can also give young people the chance to do something positive, hopefully giving them new skills and confidence.

Direct reparation

This could be in the form of an apology either written or verbal, or supervised activities that directly have a positive impact to the victim.

Indirect reparation

This includes activities that benefit the wider community, such as making improvements to an area for the local community to use.

Can I volunteer with the youth justice service?

Yes, we have a dedicated skilled team of volunteers who are essential to the work of the youth justice service. We have a number of vital roles and you will be fully supported.

If you feel you can have a positive impact on young people and have the time and enthusiasm to make a difference, please contact us for further information or an application pack.

What do we do with the information we receive?

We have strict confidentiality policies and comply with best practice advice from the youth justice board and the data protection act. All staff are trained in information management and confidentiality.