per cent has been met - and beaten - four years early, home office
minister Hilary Benn revealed today.
Liverpool University, Mr Benn said the reduction being achieved was
an 'impressive' 14.6 per cent.
Set in 2000, the government's target was, by 2004, to achieve a five
percent reduction in the reconviction rate of juvenile offenders
within 12 months of original conviction, reprimand or final warning.
Statistics published today show a 14.6 per cent reduction in
reconviction rates for young offenders.
Mr Benn said:
'These are very impressive figures and are a great tribute not only
to the Home Office, but also the Youth Justice Board, Youth Offending
Teams and all the other agencies working together across England and
'The government has made tackling youth crime and reforming youth
justice themes a high priority. We, the Youth Justice Board and local
services have put in place reforms which constitute the most radical
shake-up of youth justice in England and Wales for a generation.'
Today's results follow the latest quarterly Youth Justice Pledge
figures released on Friday which showed a cut in the average time it
takes to deal with a persistent young offender to 67 days, four days
below the target and the third consecutive quarter to hit or beat the
Mr Benn said:
'This was achieved through a combination of team working across the
country between agencies which had typically operated separately. It
was not just a target; it was a real culture change, bringing the
concept of joint case management to a previously very fragmented
system. We intend to use this as a model for future improvements to
tackle at the roots the factors which generate crime and cause social
Norman Warner, chairman of the Youth Justice Board said:
'The test of the new youth justice reforms is whether they actually
make a difference to the people in the community. The reconviction
figures published today show what can be achieved with everybody
working together with a principle aim - to prevent offending.
'The youth justice reforms concentrate on the causes of crime and
that is the key to changing behaviour in the future. It's no good
punishing young offenders if they just go on to commit offences again
and again. We must all continue to work hard to drive down crime and
change the lives of the young people in our communities.'
1. Hilary Benn is parliamentary under secretary for community and
custodial provision. He spoke today at the UK and Ireland Biennial
Youth Justice Conference 2002: The University of Liverpool, England.
2. The One Year Juvenile Reconviction Rates statistics are released
today and can be viewed here .
3. The conference is the third in a sequence of biennial events and
is engaging in comparative analysis of youth justice policy formation
and practice development. Its primary focus is on the jurisdictions
contained within the UK and Ireland. The theme is 'Weighing the
Evidence: Comparative Approaches to Children, Young People and