Beyond Youth Custody has released a new literature review today highlighting how resettlement can significantly reduce the reoffending of young people leaving custody. It explores what needs to happen when a young person leaves custody to ensure that they are supported effectively and therefore able to make a positive change and leave their offending behind them. It looks at how the needs of young people can be addressed effectively when services receive sufficient investment and collaboratively work together with the secure estate. The review also highlights some emerging principles of effective practice in custody and the community and sets out the under-researched areas and key questions for resettlement to secure long-term change.
Beyond Youth Custody is a five-year, England-wide youth justice research and evaluation programme that examines the multiple and complex needs of young people leaving custody. Led by Nacro and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, it aims to improve outcomes for young people leaving custody. Academic institutions ARCS, the University of Salford and the University of Bedfordshire are also partners. The programme will compare and contrast models of service delivery and engage with key stakeholders to raise awareness of best practice, influence policy decisions and bring about lasting change in practice.
Beyond Youth Custody’s website has also been launched today. It will become an online hub for publications about the findings of the research as well as programme updates, information and resources about resettlement, news and details of events. In due course, it will also act as a forum for engaging practitioners and policymakers in debate about the programme’s findings and practice implications.
Nacro’s chief executive, Paul McDowell, said:
‘Over the last decade, there has been a decline in youth custody rates, but reoffending rates remain extremely high for young offenders leaving custody – 73% reoffend within 12 months of being released. We must do more to break the destructive cycle of crime that some young people fall into and struggle to get out of.
‘Beyond Youth Custody brings together a wealth of knowledge and experience from these different partners. Together we will challenge, advance and promote better thinking, and ensure that young people are supported in their transition from custody to the community and are finally able to put their offending behind them.’
Notes to Editors
Beyond Youth Custody
Read the literature review here: Resettlement of young people leaving custody: lessons from the literature
- Beyond Youth Custody is one of three learning and awareness projects funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Youth in Focus (YIF) programme, and is run in partnership by four specialist organisations:
- ARCS (UK) Ltd
- Centre for Social Research at the University of Salford
- Vauxhall Centre for the Study of Crime at the University of Bedfordshire
- The programme will last for five years and will aim to bring immediate positive change to young people leaving custody and making the transition back into the community by improving the effectiveness of resettlement services.
- There are four key strands of work: research and evaluation, practice improvement, communications and engagement, and young people’s involvement.
- Beyond Youth Custody will undertake research and identify effective practice in the 15 service delivery projects that are funded through the Big Lottery Fund’s Youth in Focus programme.
- Transitions will be a key focus of Beyond Youth Custody and the programme will go beyond existing silo approaches to working with young people making the transition to adulthood.
- Beyond Youth Custody will work to enable practitioners and policymakers to move beyond current thinking to radically impact on reoffending and change lives – to think beyond custody, to think beyond 18, and to think beyond imposed sector boundaries.