Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK: Helping young people leaving custody

2nd July 2015

Beyond Youth Custody Programme (UK) has released a new report which exemplifies how re-offending rates remain high due to lack of support for helping young people get their lives back on track.

The aim of the Beyond Youth Custody report is to produce a clear evidence base which promotes desistance and social inclusion in order to enhance an individuals opportunity of leading a crime free life post-release.

The report highlights issues with the lack of time spent with youths in custody preparing them for release. The report acknowledges that young people in custody are among the most vulnerable members of society. While the nature of their offences may result in a custodial sentence, incarceration has been shown to be no help in solving problems associated with youth crime or individuals' offending behaviour.

The Report makes a number of important recommendations for youth justice reform:

  • Enhanced coordination between custody and community services.
  • Better preparation, ideally from the start, for young people leaving custody with the aim of promoting permanent desistance.
  • A better understanding from services of the complex needs and history of young people in custody such as: trauma, abuse, neglect, mental ill health, personality disorder and loss.

Read the report in full here:

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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