Leeds ,

New centre to help young offenders get back on track

A new facility to support young people who need extra help to stay on the right side of the law has now officially opened in Hunslet.

Leeds City Council’s new Youth Justice Centre was opened by The Rt Hon Lord McNally, chair of the Youth Justice Board, last week. Lord McNally was joined by young people and staff from the Leeds youth offending service (YOS) as well representatives from partner organisations, to plant a tree to mark the opening of the new facility.

The new building has been designed to provide a resource for young people who enter the youth justice system or are identified as being at risk of offending, as well as being an office base for staff from the council’s youth offending service. It has a number of activity rooms and a large training kitchen a fantastic enclosed garden space. The kitchen will enable the youth offending service to offer a range of ‘life skills’ programmes to help young people with the transition into adulthood and independence. The service will also be developing a range gardening and horticulture programmes with young people to help broaden their skills and experiences.

The new facility will also enable the youth offending service to deliver a range of community sentences and interventions including reparation work, attendance centre orders and the intensive supervision and surveillance programme.

“This excellent new facility provides numerous opportunities for our youth offending staff to work with and engage young people, with the ultimate aim to help them stay out of trouble.  It will be available for all young people in the city who enter the Youth Justice system or are identified as being at risk of offending.

“By working with young people who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, we can help them start to make the right life choices and turn their lives around, and reduce the risk of them continuing to offend as adults. This centre will help young people access positive experiences and life-skills training as well as addressing the root-cause of their offending.”
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for children and families