Project information

Communities for Youth Justice

We work for 6,000 volunteers who give their time to strengthen the youth justice system in England & Wales. We promote community-led restorative justice, which has been proven to raise victim satisfaction and re-integrate youth offenders into their communities

September 2012 - August 2015

Charity information: AOPM - Communities for Youth Justice

AOPM - Communities for Youth Justice logo
  • Need


    Communities for Youth Justice (CYJ) is the national body supporting 6,000 volunteers who help to make the youth justice system more effective across England and Wales. These dedicated volunteers are trained to play a key role as community members of local youth offender panels – rebuilding the confidence of victims, reducing the likelihood of re-offending, and rehabilitating young offenders.


    CYJ volunteers are at the forefront of crime reduction and social reintegration. We aim to build and sustain a vibrant network of volunteers to improve the work with young people in trouble with the law. The Minister for Justice said: "the direct engagement of volunteers through panels is a clear example of how we can better engage and empower local people."

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Volunteer Support


    » • Outreach to volunteers across the country to develop a shared national identity within a community of shared purpose.
    » • Open up debate for contribution to standards and shared good practice in panels.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Increased numbers of individual and organizational subscribers

    Aim 2

    Volunteer Training


    » • Work with partners to develop in-service training and improve volunteers’ skill sets.
    » • Work with partners to give volunteers access toaccredited in-service training

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Partnership with training provider(s) to pilot and deliver training to new and existing volunteers

    Aim 3



    » • Remove barriers to knowledge by dissemination of good practice through newsletters, website information, conferences and networking.
    » • Embed panels into community networks as a primary source for engaging local voluntary sector services for troubled young people

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Regular E-bulletins and increased website traffic.

    Aim 4

    Liaison and relationship building with key agencies


    » • Develop dialogue and liaison with key agencies including the Youth Justice Board
    » • Develop dialogue with key voluntary sector providers eg: Standing Committee on Youth Justice, Barnardo's, the Howard league for Penal Reform, PRT

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Liaison meetings and contribution to platforms for delivery of change.

    Aim 5

    National Training oversight


    » Annual national conference and practice event for geographically dispersed volunteers to enable shared learning.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Annual National Conferences. Events valued by all participants

  • Impact


    Maximize the potential for volunteers to enhance self-reliance in neighbourhood justice and community safety

    Restorative Justice established throughout the UK as the default measure for tackling youth crime with neighbourhood resolution panels embedded as the primary access route to justice


    The risk to successful implementation of a national infrastructure network is low because the need for a corporate body to facilitate integration of statutory and voluntary sector support for young offenders is proven.
    The high risk of elimination of panels, has been removed. The government’s commitment has been demonstrated by proposals to expand neighbourhood justice panels in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.


    Donors will receive half yearly reports detailing actual achievements, planned activities and any necessary changes to project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £72,180

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £50,000 Salaries x 2 Core Costs
      £7,000 Training,travel Core Costs
      £8,000 Rental Core Costs
      £7,180 Admin Core Costs
  • Background


    CYJ provides national oversight of community-led restorative justice as the most effective means of tackling youth crime. We advocate a fair, considered and humanitarian approach to children in the justice system. A proactive, dynamic Board targeted a number of areas for development of an operating infrastructure to achieve a position of influence. CYJ seeks to consolidate the foundations laid and in response to the proven need for this work.


    Crime victims will describe in their own words the impact of the harm suffered as a direct result of crime; express their feelings in the mediated setting of panels and contribute to decisions as to appropriate reparation.
    Young people will experience first-hand account of the effects of their actions on others and be able to offer an apology, if appropriate.
    Communities will take ownership of the means of resolution of crime outside the formality of courts.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    CYJ successfully developed the narrative for primary, community-based justice, which simultaneously addresses the needs of victims, neighbourhoods and young offenders. As the most effective alternative to custody, and the newest court sentence, panels consistently deliver the lowest reoffending rates. Now extensively embedded in the community voluntary sector, CYJ is well placed to support better outcomes for the most marginalised children and young people in the UK

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sandra Beeton

    Sandra co-founded AOPM in 2006 and is driven by a passionate commitment to social justice and children’s rights, supported by a team of 8 Trustees.

    Professor Anthony Goodman

    Trustee and Treasurer

    Orlaith McGibbon


    Adam Dotchin



Volunteer membership

The direct engagement of volunteers through panels is a clear example of engaging local communities to reduce re-offending among young people

Under Secretary of State for Justice