Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency Annual Workload Statistics 2022-23

Date published: 14 September 2023


This report provides an overview of the workload provided by the Youth Justice Services (YJS) and Custodial Services (Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre, (JJC)) directorates within Youth Justice Agency (YJA) during 2022/23 and how it has changed over time.

The principal findings are summarised below –

  • The number of referrals to the YJS in 2022/23 was 1,361, a decrease of 5.2% from 2021/22 (1,435)
  • Diversionary referrals (47.6%; 648) accounted for the largest proportion of all referrals in 2022/23, followed by Court Ordered (27.0%; 367) and Earlier Stage Diversions (16.9%; 230)
  • The number of individuals referred to YJS in 2022/23 (774) decreased by 14.4% from the previous year (904).
  • The total number of individuals in custody increased by 3.8% (106, 2021/22; 110, 2022/23)
  • As in previous years males accounted for the majority of YJS referrals (75.3%) and of children referred to YJS (76.5%) and in custody (81.8%)
  • During 2022/23, 66.4% of total referrals and 65.2% of individuals referred to YJS were aged 15 and over; the corresponding figure for children in custody was 82.7%
  • In 2022/23, 57.3% of children in custody were Catholic; 13.6% were Protestant
  • Of the children in custody during 2022/23, 41.8% were in care (32.7% were subject to a care order; 9.1% were voluntary accommodated)
  • In terms of local government district, Belfast had the highest number of YJS referrals (231) and the highest number of children referred to YJS (160). Derry City and Strabane had the highest number of admissions to custody (44) while Belfast had the highest number of children in custody (22). Regarding children in custody, Derry City and Strabane had the highest rate per 1,000 at 1.0
  • In 2022/23, there was a total of 3,844 days of custody provided by the JJC, 23.2% higher than in 2021/22 (3,120) and 40.8% lower than in 2018/19 (6,497). Of these days 5.4% were for PACE, 85.1% for remand and 9.4% for sentence
  • The total number of admissions to the JJC was 8.2% higher in 2022/23 (224) than in 2021/22 (207). Overall movements within the JJC, that is new admissions plus internal changes of status, such as PACE to Remand, was 9.0% higher in 2022/23 (314) than in the previous year (288)
  • Of the 1,052 statutory referrals during 2022/23, the highest proportion involved violence against the person (40.3%; 424)

The Bulletin can be found on the Youth Justice Annual Workload Statistics 2022-23 page within the DOJ website.

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