The evidence base – youth justice services

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

(Nelson Mandela, 1995)

We are committed to reviewing, developing and promoting the evidence base for high-quality youth justice services. We use both research and inspection findings to:

  • inform our understanding of what helps and what hinders youth justice services
  • develop our inspection programmes, guidance and effective practice products
  • consider system-wide change that could change children’s lives for the better and help keep everyone safe.

Across the following pages, we summarise key research findings, presenting them as concisely as possible.


Find out why we have published this evidence and how you can use this information.

General models and principles

Find out about the key insights and concepts that underpin high-quality youth justice services.

Organisational delivery

Find out more about how a youth justice service’s organisational set-up contributes to high-quality delivery and positive outcomes.


Find out more about the factors that contribute to high-quality supervision when working with children.

Specific areas of delivery

Find out more about specific areas where support is required to help children to desist from offending and change their lives for the better.

Specific types of delivery

Find out more about specific types of delivery, covering the work of youth justice services at different stages.

Specific sub-groups

Find out more about some of the differing sub-groups of children within the youth justice system.

Next: Introduction

Last updated: 19 July 2024