Youth Justice Board seeks cost-cutting ideas

26 Aug 15

The Youth Justice Board has launched a consultation on how it can make £13.5m of in-year saving following the announcement of additional cuts to government departments.

The board, which oversees the youth justice system in England and Wales, said the consultation was seeking views from the sector on how the savings can be made while protecting services.

It has proposed saving £4.5m through a number of methods, such as not filling staff vacancies, which would save £2.2m, and pausing a staff training programme. The remainder would be made though cutting the Youth Justice Grant to youth offending teams.

However, YJB chief executive Lin Hinnigan said all possible options proposed in the consultation, which runs until 16 September, would be considered.

“In the last six years we have delivered £287m of savings across the youth justice system, primarily as a result of the reduction in the numbers of young people in custody,” she said.

“Having already made such significant savings, we do not have many options remaining for where we can save more.

“It is vital that those working in the youth justice sector give us their views so we can continue to work together to find the best way forward. We want to protect the successes we have achieved together, while finding the savings required.”

The total saving requirement comprises the £12m in-year savings demanded by Chancellor George Osborne in June, coupled with the agency’s pre-existing £1.5m deficit.

The YJB highlighted provisional figures showing that the number of young people in custody has fallen from 2,418 in 2009/10 to 1,048 in 2014/15. This represents a 57% reduction despite the Youth Justice Grant being cut from £143m in 2009/10 to £85m this year.

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