MoJ’s Youth Justice Statistics show mixed results for 2016

Youth prison population falls 66 percent in 10 years but self-harm and assault is up, says report


The number of 10-17 year-olds in prison has fallen 66 percent between 2006 and 2016 and the number of first time entrants to the Youth Justice System has fallen by 83 percent in the same period, says the government’s latest Youth Justice Statistics report, published today.

But the report also shows that rates of self-harm and assaults among young people in custody have risen since 2011.

Key findings:

  • 66 percent drop in young people in prison between 2006 and 2016.
  • 83 percent drop in first time entrants (FTEs) to the Youth Justice System between 2006 and 2016.
  • Rates of both self-harm and assault in youth custody have  doubled since 2011.
  • 58 percent of the young people in custody in 2016 were from a White ethnic background and 41 percent from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds, compared to an arrest rate of 71 percent White young people and 25 percent BAME young people.

Fall in youth custody population and first time offences

The number of 10-17 year-olds in youth custody has fallen steadily since 2008, and has declined by 66 percent since 2006, the statistics show.



The numbers of young people in this age bracket who are first time entrants to the Youth Justice System (i.e., who were facing their first caution or conviction) has also fallen significantly in this period, from 107,700 in 2006 to 18,300 in 2016.


The majority of those arrested in 2016 were served with a youth caution, with just over one third receiving a conviction.

Rise in assault and self-harm in youth custody

Rates of self-harm per 100 people among youth in custody rose to 8.9 in 2016, compared to 4.1 in 2011 and 7.7 in 2015.

Meanwhile, rates of assault per 100 detained young people rose to 18.9 in 2016, compared to 9.7 in 2011 and 16.2 in 2015.


BAME youth arrests more likely to end in detention

25 percent of young people arrested in 2016 were from Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, with 71 percent of those arrested being of White ethnicity and 12 percent being from a Black ethnic group (the remainder were of unstated or unknown ethnicity).

However, young people from BAME backgrounds represented 41 percent of youth in custody in March 2016, with White people accounting for only 58 percent of the detained youth population. 21 percent of young people in custody were of Black ethnic background, according to the report.

More as we find it.

We will be analysing the report in full over the next few days and will update this page with additional findings.







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