Young adults shine a light on what better rehabilitation and resettlement support looks like, in a new guide published by Clinks and T2A Alliance.
“A probation officer empowers you, helps you choose your path and provides an insight into the opportunities available.” (Young adult)
Young adults (18-24 year olds) constitute less than 10% of the general population but make up one third of those involved in the criminal justice system (CJS). However, this age group is also the most likely to grow out of and stay out of crime. Getting it right at this critical time is crucial to helping young adults make a successful transition to a crime free adulthood.
“My probation officer needs to show an honest care of my welfare and everything going on in my life. Showing a genuine interest in my life will help me feel like they are on my side because at first it just feels like they are part of the system like the rest.” – Young adult interviewee
‘Effective approaches with young adults: A guide for probation services’, published by Clinks and Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance, provides a range of practical suggestions on how probation practitioners can engage young adults, deliver a tailored and effective approach, and achieve improved outcomes. Importantly, the guide draws on the experiences of both practitioners and young adults themselves. Many of the recommendations do not need additional resources but just mean doing things differently.
“In my experience, it is often the small things that make a big difference when working with young adults.” – Grace Strong, Strategic Partnership Manager, Young Adult Project (YAP) Manager, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Rehabilitation Company
The guide also emphasises that ‘every contact counts’ – every interaction between a practitioner and young adult is an opportunity to engage, support and influence.
“A good probation officer has to show that they really believe I can stop offending and achieve better things. If they do, it will help me believe I can be different.” – Young adult interviewee
In recent years there has been a growing recognition amongst professionals and policy makers in the justice system that the specific needs of young adults require a distinct approach. The practitioners we interviewed for this guide said that because of the chaotic lives these young adults lead their work is often unpredictable, requiring them to adapt and respond on a daily basis. This made the flexibility of services and a person-centred approach absolutely vital to the success of any young adult project.
Clinks Director, Clive Martin said:
“Most of us change when we are encouraged by people who understand and support us. This guide provides clear evidence about how a collaborative and supportive approach works best for young adults.”
Notes to Editor:
- ‘Effective approaches with young adults: A guide for probation services’ can be downloaded here – http://www.clinks.org/sites/default/files/basic/files-downloads/probation_guide_digital.pdf
- About Transition to Adulthood (T2A) – T2A produces and promotes evidence for effective ways of working with young adults at all stages of the criminal justice system. T2A has contributed to significant change in policy and practice locally, nationally and internationally. t2a.org.uk
- About Clinks – Clinks supports, represents and campaigns for the voluntary sector working with offenders. Clinks aims to ensure the sector and all those with whom they work, are informed and engaged in order to transform the lives of offenders. clinks.org
- About Barrow Cadbury – The Barrow Cadbury Trust is an independent charitable foundation that provides grants to grassroots community groups and campaigns working in deprived communities in the UK. They also work with researchers, think tanks and government to overcome the structural barriers to a more just and equal society. barrowcadbury.org.uk
- For enquiries contact Diana Ruthven, 020 7632 9077, 07807 131105, email@example.com