This number represents 20 percent of the 1.4 million offences committed in that year. These figures have been an alarming and the subject on the Youth Justice Systems remains to be in scrutiny by the eyes of many.
There was an escalation of youth offenders in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. Thus, the Labour party reacted to the situation and produced the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which created the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and Youth Offending Teams (YOT).
According to Pearson (1898), the general impression running through the pages of youth crimes was a riot of impunity, irresponsible parents, working mothers and lax discipline in schools, with magistrates and police believing themselves to be impotent before a rising tide of mischief and violence-particularly the recent serious increase in ruffianism among city youths."
It is this recent drive to administer justice locally that highlights the historical comparisons in the methods used to tackle youth offending. Whether it is local authorities issuing antisocial behaviour orders, community courts being created to administer penalties or police publicising the names and faces of young offenders, justice is increasingly administered closer to home (Hayes 2008).
The Youth Justice Board (YJB)
This is an executive non-departmental public body under the joint governance of the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Children, Schools and Families which aims is to prevent offending among under 18-years-old and it delivers this by setting standards and monitoring performance, promoting good practice and making grants available to local authorities and other bodies. The YJB also manages the juvenile secure estate including arranging placements for sentenced young people. TheYJB has set up a number of diversionary schemes to engage with young people, increase their knowledge and deter them from offending. (Youth Justice Board 2008)
This body established the Youth Justice System (Table 1) which serves as the system's summary and guide.
Table 1. Steps through the youth justice system
Youth Justice System
Social Services, Police
Youth Court /
Youth Court /
YOT = youth offending teams; LEA = local educating authority; CPS = crown prosecution service.
Source: Youth Justice System (2008)
The Cautioning Plus Project
Cautioning plus is defined as a form of cautioning-official warning by the police-which included voluntary participation by the young offender in a preventative programme. One component of the Youth Justice Board is the Cautioning Plus Project (Dawson 2001) which provides direct services, such as counselling, befriending, information, advocacy, holistic welfare, and early crisis intervention to challenge cycles of drug use and crime. With this project, there's a network among the youth offenders with a combined focus among these individuals.