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Youth Justice Board

About the Youth Justice System 

About Gateshead Youth Justice Board (YJB)

Shared Values 

Youth Justice Strategic Plan

About the Youth Justice System 

The principal aim of the youth justice system established by Section 37 of the Crime and Disorder Act (1998) is to prevent offending by children and young people. Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) were identified as one of the main vehicles by which this principle aim would be delivered.

The guidance outlined the statutory responsibility for local areas to establish a steering group; this is the Gateshead Youth Justice Board (YJB). The initial function of the Gateshead YJB was to oversee the establishment of the Youth Offending Team (now the Youth Justice Service) but the YJB is now responsible for ensuring suitable governance arrangements are in place for the YJS and that supporting arrangements are sufficiently robust and flexible to respond to local priorities, as well as the public service performance agenda emerging from the national Youth Justice Board and central Government. 

The Youth Justice Board website (opens new window) tells you all about how the youth justice system works. 

About Gateshead Youth Justice Board (YJB)

Gateshead Youth Justice Board must make sure suitable governance arrangements are in place for the YJS. The Gateshead YJB: 

  • is chaired by the Strategic Director for Children, Adults and Families
  • is responsible for ensuring the delivery of the local Youth Justice Plan, it agrees the draft Youth Justice Plan and receives progress updates as to implementation
  • monitors quarterly updates from the YJS Head of Service on performance against key targets and initiatives

The Gateshead YJB must: 

  • ensure that the YJS is adequately resourced with equitable contributions from all partner agencies in order to deliver effective services and ensure infrastructure needs are addressed as stipulated in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 
  • facilitate the development of an appropriately qualified staff group ensuring access to appropriate training and development opportunities to address any competence deficits identified
  • ensure that a significant proportion of total staff from the five statutory agencies remain in the YJS to form a core staff group and in addition, that seconded staff are rotated from time to time, providing access to up to date expertise
  • actively monitor YJS performance against YJS performance measures/targets as well as locally agreed targets and takes corrective action in response to underperformance as appropriate
  • actively ensure that the young people the YJS works with have access to mainstream services
  • consider operational difficulties in relation to services for young people and hold partners to account
  • ensure that prevention services are being offered to young people at risk of offending
  • oversee the YJS' business planning process including the Youth Justice Plan and the commissioning of local services
  • integrate the YJS performance system with those, applying to local Criminal Justice Boards, Community Safety and Children's Services

The Gateshead YJB requires clear lines of communication with other inter-agency structures to support it in reducing youth offending. These include: 

  • Crime and Disorder Partnerships
  • Safeguarding Children Partnership 
  • Community Safety Partnership 
  • Local Criminal Justice Boards
  • Probation Boards 
  • Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Health and Wellbeing Board 

With the complexity this level of activity creates, members of the Gateshead YJB will represent the YJS' issues in these groups to ensure that they contribute to preventing youth crime. 

The Gateshead YJB must be chaired by a Chief Officer and:

  • comprise of all statutory partners and other agencies that can make a significant contribution to the youth crime prevention agenda
  • ensure that Board members are at chief officer level or representatives with sufficient seniority to be able to commit resources and take necessary decisions
  • ensure that Board members have corporate ownership of the YJS and the youth crime prevention agenda

The statutory partners are:

  • the Local Authority 
  • Police 
  • Probation Service 
  • Health (Health is defined as a "Clinical Commissioning Group" or "Local Health Board" by the Crime and Disorder Act 1988)

In line with recommendations in 'Sustaining the Success' and local needs, non-statutory members on Gateshead YJS include: 

  • Courts 
  • Education 
  • Voluntary Sector 
  • Public Health 
  • Volunteers 
  • Other identified local departments

Shared values 

  • Listening and responding to young people, parents/carers, victims and volunteers is integral to Gateshead YJS 
  • Young people, parents/carers, victims and volunteer's views are taken seriously 
  • Young people, parents/carers, victims and volunteers should be involved in new or existing initiatives and their views inform those activities 
  • Young people parents/carers, victims and volunteers are provided with timely feedback about how their views and comments are being responded to

Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2021-2023

The Youth Justice Strategic Plan provides an update on the key priorities and informs on the progress and successes achieve during the last year.