In his capacity as the minister responsible for youth justice, Bracknell’s MP, Dr Phillip Lee, recently paid a visit to the town’s Youth Offending Service at their offices on Binfield Road.
After meeting with Karen Roberts, the Head of Service, he toured the facility and met other members of the team who look after young offenders in Bracknell Forest. Many of the children and young people who offend are themselves vulnerable and so it is important that the safeguarding of their needs has been thoroughly assessed.
The Service in Bracknell is one of the best in the country, with reoffending rates below the national average and its work being judged as Excellent in a report produced by HM Inspectorate of Probation last year.
After the visit, Dr Lee said:
“I have a very extensive brief, but see Youth Justice as probably its most important aspect as its success or failure could have an impact for the next 60 years. The aim of the youth justice system is not simply to punish but, more importantly, to prevent offending by children and young people.
“I wanted to visit the Bracknell facility because it has consistently set a high standard and I wanted to assess how what they are achieving can be rolled out into other areas.”
Cllr Gareth Barnard, who as lead member for Children’s Services oversees the YOS locally added:
“We are very proud that the work done by our local Youth Offending Service was recognised as excellent in an inspection by HMIP last year. It was our pleasure to be able to showcase our innovative prevention work and our robust management of young people subject to statutory youth Court orders to the Minister.”