The T2A Alliance has issued a report identifying ten stages within the criminal justice process which could provide a more effective and rigorous approach for young people, between the ages of 16-24, in their transition to adulthood. The stages identified include policing and arrest; diversion; restorative justice; prosecution; sentencing; community sentences; managing the transfer process; custody; re-settlement; and enabling desistance from crime.
T2A's Pathways to Crime report recommends that:
- Police should receive specific training for contact with young adults.
- Drug, alcohol and mental health services should be made available to support young offenders interacting with the criminal justice system.
- Restorative justice methods should be considered for all young offenders, at every stage of the criminal justice process.
- The ‘lack of maturity’ of young adult offenders should be considered by both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service during the decision making process on arrest, charge and prosecution.
- Young offender community interventions should be replicated nationally and similar effective interventions should be made available to all sentencers.
- Arrangements should be made by all Youth Offending Services and Probation Trusts, to manage the transfer process of young adults and ensure they receive the support necessary to comply with their sentence or license.
- Efforts should be made to keep non-violent young offenders out of custody.
- Young adult women, requiring a distinct approach, should be given specific attention.
- Resettlement plans should be in place in all prisons, for a minimum of three months prior to release.
- The criminal justice service should incorporate a young adult specific approach, focusing upon securing stable accommodation and long-term employment, ensuring that young offenders exiting the criminal justice process are supported in their efforts to cease offending.
Read the full report here