Barnsley Youth Justice Service (YJS) has received an overall rating of ‘Good’ following an inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).
In a media release issued by HMIP today (Wednesday, 19 July), Chief Inspector of Probation, Justin Russell said: “Barnsley Youth Justice Service is making considerable efforts to deter children away from crime, and this is particularly successful in their supervision of children who have been sentenced by court to community orders. However, we want to see more consistency in the work delivered with children who are receiving less formal intervention, through out-of-court disposals.”
The release says that staff at Barnsley Youth Justice Service are committed and passionate about their work and determined to improve the lives of children under their supervision. This has resulted in the development of strong relationships with partners, and we found some excellent examples of partner agencies working together effectively to support children and their families. The service thinks carefully about what services could improve the prospects of each child and there was a consistent focus on understanding and supporting children’s diverse needs across all elements of practice.
HMIP were particularly impressed with how the service manages resettlement – a child’s whole custody experience, including their release back into the community – which was rated separately as ‘Outstanding’. A child’s needs and their safety were balanced carefully with assessments to identify any risk they may pose to the public and inspectors found good use of multi-agency meetings to help manage children’s risk to others.
Recent data shows Barnsley’s outstanding performance on first time entrants and reoffending which places us in the top percentage in the country.
In 2021/22 there were 31 young people entering the criminal justice system for the first time, and this is an 84 percent reduction since 2017.
The reoffending rate is 8.3 percent, which places Barnsley on the top one percent of all Youth Justice Services nationally for this measure and shows a 79 percent reduction since 2019. Of those young people who do go on to re-offend they undertake much fewer than in other places.
The number of re-offences is 0.08 which places Barnsley in the top three percent of all Youth Offending Teams nationally and is an 86 percent reduction since 2019.
The inspection made six recommendations, including that Barnsley Youth Justice Service should work with South Yorkshire Police to improve the management of children being dealt with outside the court system (known as out-of-court disposals).
Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson, Children’s Services, said:
“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work of our Youth Justice Service, and their Good rating is well-deserved. We want Barnsley to be the place of possibilities for everyone and the service is helping to shape the lives of our younger residents in a very positive way.
“We have already responded to the areas identified for improvement and will be implementing the recommendations with our partners in full.
“The service has already started improvements to address the areas of development which will be formalised through an agreed plan.”
The report is available on HM Inspectorate of Probation website