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Embarrassing custody rates require creative solutions

The high number of young people held in youth custody in England and Wales has been a cause of national embarrassment. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has quite rightly raised concerns at the levels of young people held in our youth jails in its recent reports. Despite impressive reductions in recent years, more than 2,000 under-18s were in custody in May.

Steps towards child-friendly justice

The Council of Europe is drawing up guidelines on child-friendly justice for member states, as we reveal this week. They cover not just the youth justice system but all elements of justice, from the family courts to care proceedings.

Editorial: A tough decade for the youth justice system

The youth justice system is under heightened scrutiny as we approach the tenth anniversary of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, which created the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) alongside local youth offending teams (YOTs).

Commissioner for Wales is up to the challenge

It was an "exceedingly drawn-out" appointments process, according to one Welsh politician. But Keith Towler came through the interviews, both with young people and politicians, to secure the position of children's commissioner for Wales, just under a year after the untimely death of his predecessor Peter Clarke.

How the prison system can fail young people

Sometimes you strike up a special relationship with a young person surprisingly fast. It is almost impossible to unravel the chemistry of such moments but you don't have to work at it in the same way as you do to develop more routine youth work relationships.

Editorial: YJB chair must stand up to political heat

The government has at last ended its search for a permanent chair of the Youth Justice Board (see p7). Frances Done's appointment rounds off a turbulent 12 months for the YJB, for it was this very week last year that Rod Morgan resigned the post.

Youth crime demands a mature approach

The Youth Crime Action Plan was being drafted frantically as CYP Now went to press. This keenly anticipated document is the most high-profile piece of children's policy this year.

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