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National Standards for Youth Justice Services

The principal aim of the youth justice system is to prevent offending by children and young people.

The National Standards for Youth Justice Services are set by the Secretary of State for Justice on advice from the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB). The standards apply to those organisations providing statutory youth justice services.

These standards should be seen as a distillation of the range of legislation, compliance frameworks (contracts, inspection regimes, etc) and sources of statutory and effective practice guidance which applies across the youth justice sector.

The YJB has a responsibility to monitor adherence to National Standards on behalf of the Secretary of State.

National Standards in Youth Justice must define the minimum required level of service provision consistent with ensuring:

  • delivery of effective practice in youth justice services
  • safeguarding of children and young people who come into contact with youth justice services
  • protection of the public from the harmful activities of children and young people who offend.
  • In defining these standards the Secretary of State also requires that:
  • where possible and appropriate, youth justice services are afforded the maximum freedom and flexibility to adapt their practice to local context
  • the public have confidence that children and young people subject to statutory supervision by youth justice services are fairly punished and are supported to reform their lives.