Hackney Youth Justice Service rated ‘Good’

Hackney Youth Justice Service (YJS) has received an overall rating of ‘Good’ following an inspection led by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, and conducted jointly with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue (HMICFRS) and the Care Quality Commission.

Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “Hackney Youth Justice Service is a strong and passionate team who are determined to do all they can to improve the lives of the children they supervise. This is a service unafraid to tackle the issues children face, not least racism and disproportionate representation, and make positive changes. I look forward to watching them develop further.”

Inspectors were impressed with Hackney Youth Justice Service’s anti-racist position – overseen by the Safer Young Hackney management board – and this formed a key part of how they are planning for the future. They understand the children they supervise, with a clear focus on their identity and heritage, and high-quality work is delivered by youth justice workers who mirror the diverse local population.

The inspection also found the support and supervision of children leaving custody (known as resettlement) was of a high standard. This work can be complex and requires effective partnership working. Inspectors found that plans for accommodation, education, and health support were arranged in good time prior to release.

Elsewhere in this inspection, in collaboration with our colleague inspectors from police, health, social care and education, we identified that more could be done earlier in the process for children committing less serious offences. Better screening and assessment of children, before a decision is made to progress a child to a formal court process, could help divert additional cases into a more appropriate response.

During this inspection, we asked children under supervision at the YJS and their parents or carers for their thoughts on the service. The response was overwhelmingly positive and reflected our findings that the team are genuinely motivated by their work and passionate about the prospects of every child.

The report makes six recommendations to Hackney YJS, including that they improve the quality of planning activity and the management oversight of work with children, particularly those dealt with outside of court, to keep them safe. It also recommends a review of the current approach to resettlement and the application of the learning from this, with the intention of reducing the disproportionate representation of Black children subject to custodial sentences.


 Notes to editor

 This service works with children aged 10 to 17. The YJS supervise children with complex needs and some in the care of the local authority.

  1. The Inspectorate uses a four-point scale: ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’, rating specific aspects of each service and giving an overall rating.
  2. The inspection looked at standards of organisational delivery (leadership, staffing and facilities), their management of children serving court sentences (court disposals) and children serving cautions or community sentences (out-of-court disposals). It also rated the quality of resettlement work as ‘Good’.
  3. The report is available on the HM Inspectorate of Probation website on 10 May 2023 00.01.
  4. HM Inspectorate of Probation is the independent inspector of youth offending and probation services across England and Wales.
  5. Fieldwork for this inspection took place in September 2022.
  6. For media enquiries, please contact Head of Communications Diane Bramall media@hmiprobation.gov.uk (E-mail address)