The Youth Justice Board publishes its strategic plan 2024 – 2027

Youth Justice Board Strategic Plan 2024 – 2027 


The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales has published its strategic plan for the next three years. 


Over the next three years the YJB aims to: 

1. Support the improvement of Youth Justice Services in local communities 

The YJB will support the Youth Justice Services to reduce variations in performance by providing clear grant terms and conditions for youth justice services, measure performance by way of key performance indicators, scrutinise youth justice plans and ensuring that standards for justice reflect the current evidence and work with HMIP to align this with inspection frame works. 

Support improvement in the provision of diversion, preventing and reducing serious youth violence, support for victims, support for children and young people in custody and when they leave and development of the Youth Justice Service workforce. 

2. Focus on addressing persistent racial disparities across the Youth Justice System. 

The YJB has recognised that children and young people in care, children living in poverty,  neurodivergent children, children with speech and language difficulties and those who have experienced trauma are overrepresented in the Youth Justice System. However, it has also made clear that the most persistent and significant overrepresentation is children and young people from racially minoritised communities. The YJB remains committed to taking action to reduce racial disparities in the Youth Justice System by: 

  • Using data to identify and inform stakeholders about racial disparities in youth justice processes and outcomes. 
  • Working with organisations throughout the Youth Justice Systems to ensure that all outcomes, including referrals to diversion and prevention programmes, and use of remand and custody, are applied fairly and without prejudice to children from minority ethnic groups. 
  • Enabling effective action to reduce disparities.
  • Championing inclusion and becoming an anti-racist organisation. 

Influence the development of policy and practice to advance the adoption of the ‘child first’ approach throughout the Youth Justice System. 

By promoting the evidence which underpins the Child First approach, the YJB will work with partner agencies to help them apply effective practice across the Youth Justice System, from policing through to custody. In addition, the YJB is focused on improving the Court experience and outcomes for children and will continue to advise the ministry of justice and Youth Custody Service in making the changes needed to implement the Child First approach in Youth Custody. 


The strategic plan makes clear that the Youth Justice Board (YJB) remains committed to a Youth Justice System that sees young defendants as children first and that helps them to build on their strengths. It is positive to see a clear focus on diversion and addressing the persistent racial disparities across the Youth Justice System but also, a focus on providing the necessary support to the Youth Justice Service to allow them to continue their important work with children and young people. 

Written by Sabrina Neves, Solicitor at GT Stewart Solicitors