Managing Children who Offend

The number of first-time offences committed by young people has been reducing in recent years. However, more than one in four young offenders will go on to reoffend within one year.  Repeat offenders account for a disproportionately high percentage all incidents, representing over 70 per cent of all youth crime and disorder. 


Long term analysis of reoffending has been constrained by a lack of reliable data. However, rates of reoffending have increased since 2010-11.  The most recent statistics reveal that while the overall reoffending rate is 28 per cent, the reoffending rate for those released from custody is 89 per cent (31 out of 35).


Custodial services represent the largest element of the Youth Justice Agency’s costs, £6.9 million in 2015-16, when around 160 young people were detained. Historically, young people on remand have made up the majority of the custodial population and accounted for half of all those processed through the Juvenile Justice Centre (JJC) in 2014-15. The average cost per occupant each year in the JJC is £324,000.


Assessing the cost effectiveness of interventions is the foundation for delivering value for money. The report examines the cost of youth offending and the strategies and interventions used by the Department and the Youth Justice Agency to deal with youth offending and reoffending.