Taylor announces departure from YJB

By Derren Hayes

| 16 September 2019

Charlie Taylor, the former government adviser whose review of the youth justice system led to widespread reforms to custody, is to step down as chair of the Youth Justice Board (YJB).

Charlie Taylor became chair of the Youth Justice Board in April 2017

In an email to board staff today, Taylor confirmed he would not be reapplying to be chair when his current one-year term ends in March 2020.

In the email, he said the decision not to reapply had been taken "after much thought".

"I have really enjoyed my time here, in particular working with so many passionate and knowledgeable people both at the YJB and across the youth justice system," he wrote.

"I am very grateful for all your support during my time at the YJB and I hope you will continue to support the YJB and my successor."

Taylor was appointed by former Justice Secretary Liz Truss in February 2017 for a two-year period and was reappointed for a further 12 months earlier this year.

In 2015, he led a government review of the youth justice system which recommended a number of fundamental reforms, including the introduction of secure schools, the first of which is set to open in 2021 on the site of Medway secure training centre.

Of the review, Taylor said: "Through that review, I learned just how complex the challenges are within the system. I learned that children who require the support to stay out or get out of the justice system are some of the most vulnerable in society. I will remain forever grateful that there are so many people out there willing to work tirelessly to make a difference."

During his tenure as chair, he has overseen changes in the role of the YJB including a reduction in its budget and staff. It was stripped of its responsibility for commissioning and overseeing the youth secure estate, instead taking on the role of setting standards for the provision of youth justice and intervening to address poor performance.

Taylor also oversaw the development and implementation of a more streamlined set of youth justice practice standards and new organisation priorities including tackling disproportionality.

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