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Academic to advise new minister on youth justice

Tuesday 9 January 2018

A UNIVERSITY of Salford academic will be advising the new Justice Secretary as a member of the board overseeing the youth justice system in England and Wales.

Professor Neal Hazel, chair of criminology and criminal justice at the University, has been appointed as one of the 10 members of the Youth Justice Board (YJB) for England and Wales.

Serving on the board, he will be responsible for providing advice to David Gauke, the new Secretary of State for Justice, about how well the criminal justice system is working and what improvements can be made.

The board also uses evidence to form an expert view of how to get the best outcomes for children who offend and for victims of crime, and is responsible for making sure the views and opinions of young people are reflected when devising youth justice policy.

Professor Hazel is a former Deputy Chief Inspector at HM Inspectorate of Probation for England And Wales, where he introduced the organisation’s aim of improving the wellbeing of children at risk of reoffending.

Over the course of his career, he has led more than 25 funded research projects in youth justice and family services, and regularly advises organisations campaigning for juvenile justice reform overseas.

He recently produced a report stating that young people leaving prison will only stop reoffending if authorities work to change the image they have of themselves from the moment their sentences begin.

The report is part of the six-year Beyond Youth Custody project with social justice charity Nacro.

Professor Hazel said: “After more than two decades directing research into youth justice, I am honoured to have been appointed as a member of the Board where I hope our work will have a meaningful impact on children in the youth justice system.

“In particular, I look forward to ensuring that the voices of young people are promoted as much as possible and that all government policy is based on robust evidence.”

Charlie Taylor, Chair of the Youth Justice Board said: “I am delighted at the appointment of such a talented group of people to the YJB’s board, who bring with them a wealth of experience of working with children across a range of organisations.”