Responding to the 2012/13 youth justice statistics, which were published today, SCYJ Chair, Penelope Gibbs, said:
“There’s some really good news in the new youth justice figures – reductions in the number of children entering the system for the first time, fewer proven offences, and a 21% drop in the number of children in custody.
“But there’s disturbing news from custody. The number of physical restraints per child has increased by 45% in two years, instances of self-harm per child have increased 7% since last year and assaults have increased 22%. This is worrying. Children in custody are some of the most vulnerable in society. These figures could indicate they are not getting the intensive support they need.
“The government needs to act urgently to improve the situation in custody. But it also needs to make sure it builds on the positive results we’ve seen this year in the rest of the youth justice system.”