Youth Justice Service
Wiltshire Youth Justice Service (YJS) works with children who are involved in, or at risk of offending behaviour. We do this by working with children, their parents or carers, the victims of crime, volunteers and the local community. The YJS is made up of staff from a range of organisations including the Police, Probation Service, education and Children's Social Care, all working together to support children. We also have specialist workers within the YJS who can support with health, restorative processes and education.
The main areas of YJS work is:
- Prevention: Some children may be at risk of getting into trouble but have not yet committed an offence. The team works alongside children to prevent them entering the Criminal Justice System.
- Offending: We work with children who have committed offences, to change their behaviour and stop re-offending.
- Work with those affected by crime and other ASB: Through restorative processes and impact work, we enable everyone to have a voice within the Criminal Justice System.
The work of the Youth Justice Service is overseen by the Youth Justice Board, whose aims are:
- To oversee the Youth Justice System in England and Wales
- To prevent offending and re-offending by children under the age of 18
- To make sure custody for them is safe, secure and addresses the cause of their offending behaviour
- Find out more about the Youth Justice Board
When children first get into trouble with the law, commit offences or behave anti-socially, they can be dealt with by the Police and the Local Authority, outside the Court system using various different Orders and agreements. This is to divert children from entering the Youth Justice System and offers them the support they may need to stop offending.
The Orders and agreements children might be subject to within the Youth Justice System are:
Out of court disposals
Out of court disposals allow the Police to deal quickly and appropriately with low-risk, low-level and mostly first-time children who offend, outside of the Court system.
If a child is involved in low level crime the Police and partner agencies can recommend:
- No further action
- Community Resolution
- Youth Restorative Intervention
- Youth Caution
- Youth Conditional Caution
If these options are not suitable, the child may be charged and prosecuted through the Court system. Some of the outcomes are supported by the Youth Justice Service and/or partner agencies.
A Referral Order is given to children aged 10-17 who plead guilty at Court to their first criminal offence. A Referral Order can be made for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12.
If you have been given a Referral Order, you will meet with the Referral Order Panel (a small group of volunteers) following your Court appearance. The aim of the initial panel meeting is to collectively agree a plan of intervention for you to complete during your Referral Order. The panel takes into account the views of victims and your parents/carers.
When the Order is complete your conviction will be spent. This means you do not have to tell anyone about it, and most people will have no right to know about it. The only exception is if you are applying for certain jobs, for example, working with children or vulnerable adults.
Youth Rehabilitation Order
For some children who offend, a community sentence known as a Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) is used. A YRO is a community sentence within which a Court may include one or more requirements designed to provide reparation to victims/community, punishment, protection of the public and reduce re-offending.
The YJS will be asked to prepare a Pre-Sentence Report to inform the Court about the seriousness of the offence, the needs of the child and the risk of harm they may present to others in the future. Those needs and risks will help the Court to decide the requirements of the YRO and how long it will last.
Intensive Supervision and Surveillance
Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS) can be ordered by the Court as part of a Youth Rehabilitation Order. An ISS is an alternative to custody for children who have committed a serious offence.
The Intensive Supervision and Surveillance combines intensive supervision with close monitoring and is designed to:
- Support children to make amends for their offences
- Address the underlying causes of the offending
- Put in place support and activities to avoid offending in the future
- Provides positive and structured activities
- Involves children within their own community
- Supports children to stop offending and to protect the public from harm.
Every child has their own tailored programme to support them to achieve their full potential.
Children can receive custodial sentences, but they will only be imposed in the most serious cases. When they are given, they aim to provide training and education and rehabilitate the child so they do not re-offend.
Wiltshire Youth Justice Service can support people harmed by youth crime and other ASB in the following ways:
Where there are ongoing safety concerns about a child who has offended, we can assist with exclusion zones, and agreements not to have further contact with the harmed person.
YJS also makes use of restorative processes to create opportunities for understanding between children who cause harm, and those affected by their behaviour.
These processes allow harmed people to share how they have been impacted, and enable everyone involved to safely communicate their thoughts and feelings around what has happened, and to discuss and agree how the harm can be repaired.
In this way, harmed people can feel heard and empowered, which can help them come to terms with what has happened; and those people who have caused harm can understand how their actions have affected others and be encouraged to behave more positively in future.
Reparation is a structured activity which is organised by the Youth Justice Service with the primary aim of repairing the impact of crime and the harm to victims and communities. It allows the child aged between 10-18 years, to make a positive contribution to their community and to repair some of the harm that has been caused to others.
Turnaround is part of the Government's investment in the Youth Justice System (YJS), funding the YJS to intervene early, aiming to prevent children from entering the Justice System.
Turnaround is a specially funded three year project for the YJS to engage in early intervention with children on the cusp of the Justice System.
Who we support
- Children aged 10 to 18 years
- Children at risk of offending or involved in anti-social behaviour
- Children who are involved in offending behaviour, coming to the attention of the police or Criminal Justice System
- Children who have come to the attention of the police
How we support
- We encourage children to work on their behaviour and the impact of their offending on others
- Group work and educational sessions
- One to one work on the impact of offending, behaviour management, boundaries and advocacy at school meetings
- We can work alongside families to support parents/carers as well as siblings
- Activity days and community projects
- We can refer to other specialist workers, such as speech and language therapist or health nurse
- We have mentors to support children
- We help to engage children in positive activities
The Youth Justice Service is supported by volunteers from the community who help us in various ways. These include helping as:
- Members of the Referral Order Panel
- Mentors who support children
- Appropriate adults
- Parent mentors
Volunteering to work with our Service will suit you if you are interested in supporting children in their own communities. There are also opportunities to work on specific projects supporting YJS staff. Volunteers receive full training, support and expenses.
What makes a suitable volunteer?
- You have an interest in supporting and an understanding of children
- You live in or close to Wiltshire
- You have two or more hours to offer
- You have personal skills you feel you can bring to the role
- You ideally have a driving licence and access to a car
- You are flexible with your time and have a creative approach to supporting children
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call our volunteer coordinator on 01225 716505 or 01249 709400.
Wiltshire Mentoring Scheme matches children aged 8 to 17 years who have been referred to the scheme due to their vulnerability and/or offending behaviour. The emphasis is on building a relationship, relaxing and having fun with the aim of boosting the child's confidence and self-esteem, supporting them in expressing their feelings and exploring some of the issues they face.
Meetings take place on a one to one basis, away from home e.g. in a local café, sports centre, library etc.
Activities may include going for a meal, playing a sport, sharing an interest, using the internet, looking for a job, visiting somewhere new or just chatting. Volunteer mentors meet with the child for around a hour a week, up to a period of one year. For further information, please contact:
Community Involvement Team Co-coordinator
When a child is arrested by the police they are taken to a police station and questioned according to procedures agreed in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) Codes of Practice.
An appropriate adult (AA) is necessary when a child aged between 10 years and under the age of 18 is interviewed. This is usually the parent or carer; however, in some circumstances this may not be possible. The Wiltshire Volunteer Appropriate Adult Scheme provides an AA in these cases.
The role of the AA is to look after the child's interests, facilitate communication, ensure the child understands the process and their welfare needs are being met. Being held in custody can be a very traumatic and confusing event for children and the AA will support them through the process in a calm and reassuring way. The role of the AA is not to provide legal advice, as this is provided by a solicitor. The AA will be required to record the arrest/interview on the form provided, which is then forwarded to the Youth Justice Service. AA's volunteer their time on a monthly rota and are called out as and when required between the hours of 9am and 10pm. Visits to the police station usually last around two hours but can be longer. This role predominantly takes place at Melksham Police Station. For further information, please contact:
Community Involvement Team Co-coordinator
Would you like to support children? We are looking for volunteers representing Wiltshire's diverse community to sit on Referral Order Panels. As part of the panel, you will meet with children and their parent/cares and possibly the victims of their offending.
You will talk about the offence, the experiences of the victim and the issues faced by the child . You will all agree a contract designed to support the child to stop offending and make up for the harm they have caused.
For further information, please contact:
Sue Nash - Community Involvement Team Co-coordinator
|Chippenham office||Salisbury office|
|Wiltshire Youth Justice Service|
|Wiltshire Youth Justice Service|
Andrew Griffiths - Young People Service Manager
Lisa Colombi - Youth Justice Service Manager
If you're interested or would like to find out more, contact us on:
or 01249 709400
The Youth Justice Service in Wiltshire is committed to offering the best possible service that we can. We are keen to get feedback and use it to ensure our continued improvement and development.
See in our Youth Justice Service downloads for some of the feedback we have received from the children and families we have supported.