A better way for young adults at court

As recognised by the 2016 Justice Select Committee inquiry into young adult offenders, there is strong evidence from a range of research disciplines that young adults are a distinct group with needs that are different both from children under 18 and adults older than 25. The Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance, a coalition of criminal justice, health and youth organisations, has helped to establish a growing consensus that criminal justice system responses to the behaviour of young adults should adjust to reflect this evidence. While some aspects of justice system practice in England and Wales have done so, allocation within the court system continues to be driven purely by chronological age.

 

In response, we supported stakeholders including police, court staff, judicial office holders, and probation (both NPS and CRC) in five sites across England and Wales to work together to assess the current court experience of young adults and the means by which practice could be adapted in line with the evidence.

“There has got to be something better” – young adult with experience of court

The result of the work across the five sites is a recommended model that could be tested and evaluated against its aims. The sites also identified what would be needed to implement and test the model. You can read the full report on their findings and proposals here.

 

What our partners say

We asked all our partners on the project how they had found our support. This is what they said.

 

“Knowledge of subject matter was excellent, able to demonstrate practical evidence from other regions and countries. Key speakers assisted in providing a wider view and understanding of evidence to support the project. I found all members of the team to be 100% committed to the cause, extremely enthusiastic, knowledgeable and approachable. They are all fully engaged with the needs of each local area and from the start have been great listeners. I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside the team.”