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New Remand Framework for Children (2012), MoJ

Provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 pave the way for the devolution of under-18 secure remand budgets to local authorities.

Most of these budgets are currently held at the centre – by the Youth Justice Board, a non-departmental public body of Ministry of Justice. The current position, therefore, is that central government funds the vast majority of the cost when children are remanded securely. If a child is remanded into the community (for example, into remand foster care), the local authority has to fund the cost. We believe there is currently little financial incentive for the local authority to make community alternatives available as an option to the court.
 
Financial responsibility for secure youth remands will be devolved from April 2013. The Youth Justice Board will continue to commission custodial places, and will decide where to place those whom the court remands securely, but it will invoice local authorities for the cost.
 
In line with the new burdens doctrine, we will transfer funding to enable local authorities to help meet their new responsibility for the costs of secure remands. This consultation paper sets out the Ministry of Justice and the Youth Justice Board’s preferred option for distributing this funding and how we propose to recover costs. Proposals in relation to spike events and the costs of remand journeys to and from secure accommodation are also set out.
In addition, as a result of the LASPO Act, where children are remanded securely they will all become looked after. This also represents a new burden for local authorities and the paper sets out the proposals for the distribution of this funding.
 
Closing date: 16th November 2012