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Youth Justice Services

Youth Justice Services work with people aged 12 to 21 years old who display problematic offending behaviour. Our priorities are to:

  • intervene at an early stage
  • address causes of offending behaviour
  • reduce the number of under 18s referred to courts
  • reduce the number of under 21s given custody
  • support and encourage diversionary activities to reduce offending
  • prevent reoffending
  • implement the Whole Systems Approach

We do this by providing services in partnership with:

  • Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
  • Children's Panel members
  • the Police
  • SACRO (Safeguarding Communities Reducing Offending)
  • colleagues in services across the council.

We aim to promote social inclusion where people:

  • reflect on how their actions affect others
  • take responsibility for their actions 
  • make positive choices for the future.

Access Youth Justice Services

Young people can be referred for this service by:

  • the children's reporter
  • the Police
  • social work
  • Children's Hearing
  • the courts and justice colleagues.

Working with the courts

We support under 18s who appear within Kilmarnock Sheriff Court from custody, and where appropriate, offer the courts alternatives to remand and custody, in line with the Government's Whole Systems Approach. 

Over 16s, convicted of an offence and not subject to a supervision requirement through the Children's Hearing, are dealt with through the courts.

People convicted under 18 years of age, and in some cases under 21 years of age, will have Criminal Justice Social Work Reports completed on them by social workers. These reports provide sheriffs with background information and sentencing options from a youth justice perspective.

Preventing offending

Prevention measures include:

We run 

  • a sessional mentoring service
  • Duke of Edinburgh new start project. See a letter (PDF, 60kb) from one of our young people
  • multi agency initiatives targeting young people whose offences involved gang violence
  • e-integration for young people returning to their community from custody
  • employability support.

Contact Youth Justice Services


01294 2013733


Rosemount Project, North Ayrshire Council, Stanecastle Road, Irvine, KA11 1AH