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Youth Justice Statistics: 2021 to 2022

September 2021

Summary of Main points

13,800 children were cautioned or sentenced -The number of children who received a caution or sentence has fallen by 13% in the last year with a 79% fall over the last ten years.

8,000 first time entrants to the youth justice system - The number of first time entrants has fallen by 10% since the previous year, with a 78% fall from the year ending March 2012.

3,500 knife and offensive weapon offences were committed by children - There was a 2% decrease in these offences compared with the previous year. Levels are 3% lower than those seen in the year ending March 2012.

Almost three quarters of children remanded to custody received a non-custodial outcome - Of those remanded in custody who received a non-custodial sentence, just under half were acquitted or had their case dismissed while just over half received a non-custodial sentence.

The average time from offence to completion at court remained high - The average time from offence to completion was 217 days, down slightly from 221 days in the previous year but well above pre-pandemic levels. It was 121% higher (or 119 days longer) than the year ending March 2012.

The average custodial sentence length increased by six months - The average custodial sentence length increased by six months compared with the previous year to 22.8 months. This increase may have been due to a small number of cases which impacted on the overall average.

The number of children held in custody has fallen - There was an average of around 450 children in custody at any one time during the year. This is a fall of 19% fall against the previous year and a 77% fall against the year ending March 2012.

All custodial Behaviour Management measures saw increases in rates - Compared with the previous year, rates of separation increased by 56%, assaults by 25%, self harm by 29% and Restrictive Physical Interventions by 17%. The rises are likely due to a return to normal regimes compared with the previous year during periods of COVID-19 restrictions.

31.2% of children and young people reoffended - The reoffending rate decreased by three percentage points in the last year and is the lowest on record but is likely to have been impacted by periods of restrictions during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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