The Youth Justice Agency was launched as an Executive Agency, as recommended in the Criminal Justice Review 2000, on 1 April 2003. It replaced the former Juvenile Justice Board.
The Youth Justice Agency aims to make communities safer by helping children to stop offending. The Agency works with children aged 10-17 years who have offended or are at serious risk of offending.
The Agency provides a range of services, often delivered in partnership with others, to help children to address their offending behaviour, divert them from crime, assist their integration into the community and to meet the needs of victims of crime.
In direct support of the front-line services delivered by the Youth Justice Services and Custodial Services directorates, a Business Improvement directorate has been established with responsibility for researching best practice in working with young people who offend, disseminating this to practice staff and developing and implementing practice guidance and standards for the Agency which are evidence-based and which will contribute towards young people desisting from offending. This directorate also formulates the Youth Justice Agency's responses to external consultations and drafts internal policy for delivery by Youth Justice Services.
A Corporate Services directorate provides a range of support functions to the operational strands of the Agency - including the management and delivery of personnel, finance, business planning, information technology, statistics & research and estate management - on behalf of the Chief Executive.
Youth justice policy is separate from the functions of the Agency and is one of the responsibilities of the Department.
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires public authorities to promote equality of opportunity and good relations. These duties are designed, in particular, to ensure that equality issues are integral to the whole range of public policy decision making.
In carrying out its duties, the Agency will strive to protect the human rights of all those with whom it comes into contact. Children will receive the highest standards of care while they are with us.