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Commenting on the interim report of the Ministry of Justice’s review of the youth justice system, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said:

“The dramatic reduction in the number of children in custody provides a unique opportunity for root and branch reform of the system, and I welcome the move by the Government to ask Charlie Taylor to undertake a review.

“The review’s aim to treat children who break the law differently to adults and to help them to overcome their difficulties through a focus on education alongside a commitment to providing therapeutic support in smaller units based in the regions which they serve is also welcome.

“I would like the review to go further and identify ways to reduce the number of children in custody by a further 50% by the end of this Parliament through more community sentences and restorative justice programmes, wherever they are appropriate. I also want a far greater focus on early intervention so that children do not get in trouble in the first place.

“It is clear that children who do offend are most likely to have deep rooted social problems, so I welcome moves to closely align youth offending teams with child protection services to help to build resilience and desistance from crime.

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