Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling saw for himself the work that Wolverhampton's Youth Offending Team does to set young people on the path to rehabilitation.

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He visited the team, based at Beckminster House in Pennfields, on Friday (1 November, 2013), and spent an hour speaking to staff and managers from the multi agency team, as well as service users and their families.

Sally Nash, Head of the Youth Offending Team, said: "The team talked about a range of issues such as restorative justice and the approach we take to tackling gang and youth violence, the importance of engaging young people in education or training and the impact that youth offending has on young people and their families. 

"From central information at the Ministry of Justice, Mr Grayling was already aware of the high level of performance in our Youth Offending Team and we were pleased to be able to share with him some of the techniques that we employ and the impact that these have had.

"He could see that the multi agency approach to youth offending was both sensible and effective, whatever budget challenges the partnership faces."

Councillor Val Gibson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "The Youth Offending Team provides excellent support to young people in Wolverhampton. The visit was a great opportunity to showcase the work that they do."

Youth Offending Teams were set up as a result of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act with the aim of reducing the risk of young people offending and reoffending, and to provide counsel and rehabilitation to those who do offend.

The Wolverhampton team works with young offenders aged under 18, assisting them to avoid reoffending, and works to ensure that neighbourhoods are safer.

The team supervises young people on community court orders but also keeps contact with those who have been incarcerated to improve their prospects of rehabilitation on release. There is a strong commitment to a restorative approach and the team contacts all victims of youth crime, sometimes organising meetings between offenders and victims to encourage direct reparation.

  • released: Tuesday 5 November, 2013