20/06/2018

Juvenile Justice Centre In Bangor Is The 'Envy' Of Sector

A Juvenile Justice Centre in Bangor is the "envy" of similar establishments in England and Wales, according to inspectors.

A report from the Criminal Justice Inspection (CJI) praised Woodlands for its high standard of care to children that are being held in custody and said it is the "jewel in the crown for the Youth Justice Agency (YJA) and the Department of Justice (DoJ)".
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Brendan McGuigan, Chief Inspector of the CJI, said: "With the development of early intervention and diversionary programmes there are now fewer children entering the criminal justice system. But for those young people who are required to be detained in a secure setting, the JJC provides an effective means of keeping them safe while delivering a progressive, child-centred regime."

However, Mr McGuigan also raised concerns at the rise in the number of children admitted on a short-term basis to the JJC, both under Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) proceedings and from a 'Looked After' residential care background, compared to three years ago.

He continued: "In 2015 we called for the YJA to work with its statutory partners to reduce the number of children being inappropriately committed to custody in this manner.

"Yet this inspection found the JJC was still being used in this way.  This situation must be addressed, particularly as 50% of children admitted to custody under PACE proceedings were released within 24 hours."

(CD/MH)

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