The plans to abolish the Youth Justice Board were right in principle, but flawed in practice. Now the decision to retain it (Report, 24 November) risks a return to the status quo ante that did not work. The YJB became a parallel outpost of research and advocacy that meant youth justice policy was not the direct responsibility of a minister. Accountability was weak and the YJB could not even determine how much of the recent decline in youth custody rates was the result of its own work. Youth justice policy is too important to be outsourced to a centralised quango. Policy should be the preserve of ministers, with budgets for youth custody places and other services devolved from next year to the 41 locally elected police and crime commissioners, whom voters can hold accountable for youth crime.