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MICHAEL LAUNCHES MANCHESTER BAIL SUPPORT SCHEME

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The voluntary sector is being encouraged to play a central role in ...
The voluntary sector is being encouraged to play a central role in

helping to reform the youth justice system.

Home office minister Alun Michael told the launch of Manchester

Children Society's 'Youth Bail Support Scheme':

'Our plans to speed up youth justice will cut the time youngsters

spend on bail. Bail support is aimed at preventing re-offending

during the period before a case comes to court - so it is a help to

the court, to the family and the police. It is something we want to

see developed in every town and city.'

Mr Michael underlined the government's commitment to a multi-agency

strategy for delivering youth justice and believed that many

voluntary organisations have the skills and experience needed in the

new youth offender teams.

He said:

'We have seen today how voluntary organisations like the

Children's Society are engaged in successful work with young

offenders.

'Our aim is to create a youth justice system with a clear focus

on reducing offending by young people, which is shared and acted upon

by all the youth justice agencies working in partnership.

Partnerships are crucial to the delivery of an effective youth

justice system.'

The minister said that bail support schemes like Manchester's had an important role to play in ensuring that young people complete their period of bail successfully, without the need for custody, and by reducing costs and delays in the youth justice system. Bail support also helped tackle any difficulties at home, at school, with accommodation or employment.

'I must say that everything I have seen and heard reflects not

only the great benefit and value of bail support to young people but

also the tremendous commitment on the part of those working with

young people here in Manchester. I am sure this project will

continue to be a success.'

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