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Youth to adult transition principles and guidance (Wales)

Children and Young People First (2014), the YJB and Welsh Governments Strategy for youth justice and the Wales Reducing Re-offending Strategy 2014- 16 recognised the need to focus on the transitions of young people into the adult justice system and to pay attention to young adults as a specific group. These strategies bring together previous work and guidance in this area and are referenced here.

While there are now far fewer young people in the youth justice system, those who remain have committed more offences and have more complex needs. They are now also generally older, with a far greater proportion of sixteen and seventeen year olds. Many of these young people will consequently transfer to adult services. The point of transfer from youth to adult services is a critical time for the young person involved and for professionals, who need to work together to ensure the welfare of the young person and any risks posed to the public by them are minimised.

Our approach to youth justice in Wales has been underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This has allowed us to create an increasingly rights-based approach to policy making. The focus of this approach is particularly relevant to children and young people who offend, because it concentrates on the needs of the young person rather than their behaviour.

YJB Cymru, NOMS in Wales, Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Cymru and YOT Managers Cymru have all committed to work together to improve joint working and practice around transitions from the youth to adult systems. A successful transition involves a number of organisations working together, promoting partnership and learning, and having a positive impact on the justice system as a whole.