priorities and remains one of the toughest challenges we face.
'Our slow and uncoordinated youth justice system means that not
enough is done to address offending behvaiour, leaving many young
'The findings from Misspent Youth '98 confirm that this has been a
long standing problem. They reinforce the need for a fundamental
reform of the youth justice system to ensure that young people are
diverted from crime before it is too late.
'We have already made some welcome progress to get the system working
more quickly, but much more work needs to be done if we are to see a
faster, fairer and more efficient youth justice system established
for the 21st century.
'The Crime and Disorder Bill will be central to our reforms. It will
help us to tackle offending behaviour at an earlier stage, take
tougher action more quickly and make young criminals face up to the
damage they have caused.
'Findings from Misspent Youth '98 confirm the Audit Commission's
previous study in '96. Their work continues to provide a beneficial
and constructive contribution to our reforms in this area.'