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Youth Offending

In Depth

Restorative justice use in school

A school's use of "restorative justice" to address a pupil's behaviour missed the mark, explains expert.

Plan to return police to schools

Experts assess whether revisiting proposals for police in schools can solve rise in youth violence.

Easing disproportionality in youth custody

For the first time, most young people in custody are of black and minority ethnic heritage, so what action is being taken to tackle the issue?

Gangs and Criminal Exploitation: Special Report

A rise in gang violence and youth crime has prompted policymakers to develop legislation to tackle the threats and boost funding for statutory and voluntary agencies to support child criminal exploitation victims.

Guide helps staff support young people affected by bereavement

Recent guidance aims to help youth justice practitioners to improve how they support young offenders to deal with grief and bereavement.

'More trusting, less prescriptive' - Taylor's new vision for the YJB

Youth Justice Board chair Charlie Taylor says slimmed-down national standards reflect a more mature youth justice system that needs the freedom to innovate to improve the lives of the most vulnerable young offenders.

Summit offers solutions to youth violence

National knife crime summit offers the chance to extend the best local practice, says youth work leader.

Unlocked Graduates: the graduates hoping to transform youth custody

Unlocked Graduates is a training scheme designed to get more talented people working in prisons. Two of the first participants to enter the youth secure estate share their experiences with CYP Now.

Partnerships to address violent crime

Youth charity supports government strategy's focus on community partnerships to tackle knife crime, but wants longer-term funding.

Medway STC whistleblower calls for culture and practice reforms

Whistleblower who alerted authorities to abuse at Medway secure training centre says the review into the case shows there needs to be major changes to how staff work with young people before the issues will be resolved.

Factors behind rise in remand

Lack of magistrates and secure children's homes to blame for increase in children in custody on remand.

Draft standards miss the mark

Experts warn revised youth justice standards may reduce children's rights and lead to inconsistent practice.

Secure schools: government looks to providers to deliver reforms

MoJ documents reveal details of how secure school will operate and what prospective providers must do to fulfil ministers' ambitions. But one expert fears that a lack of funding and too many children may harm its impact.

County lines: child victims of crime

Kamena Dorling, head of policy and public affairs at Coram Children's Legal Centre, examines new measures intended to improve the response to county lines and child criminal exploitation.

Special Report: Reducing Youth Reoffending

Youth justice services have developed a range of innovative approaches to engage repeat offenders, but experts say more needs to be done to support young people with the most entrenched problems.

A public health approach to youth violence

With violent crime on the increase in England, Tom de Castella asks what children's services can learn from the public health model that originated in the US and has reduced youth violence in Glasgow.

Are children's home arrests a problem?

The Howard League for Penal Reform is concerned that children in residential care are being criminalised unfairly, despite a report showing a fall in arrests. Experts debate if enough is being done to tackle the issue.

Tougher inspections for STCs

Youth justice experts back plans for increased monitoring by inspectorates of secure training centres.

YOTs and universities link up

Youth offending teams are creating partnerships with universities to improve knowledge of best practice.

Clarity sought on secure schools

Proposals over size, location and mixed gender populations of secure schools raise campaigners' concerns.

Serious Violence Strategy: experts advocate earlier interventions

Amid a rise in knife crime, new Serious Violence Strategy is to fund projects working with young people at risk of involvement with gangs. But experts say work with children needs to be in universal settings and start earlier.

Boosting YOI classroom time

Experts call for changes to education provision in youth custody amid fall in classroom time in 2017.

PCCs put focus on young adults

Police and crime commissioners are developing fresh ways to reduce offending by young adults.

Experts look to public health model to tackle surge in youth knife crime

A public health approach to tackling violent crime has been credited with cutting the murder rate in Scotland. Experts say the same model should be used in London following a rise in knife crime involving young people.

PCCs and youth crime prevention

Experts call for police and crime commissioners to do more to fund youth crime prevention work.

Joining youth and family courts

Experts assess the barriers to integrated youth and family courts system following Munby intervention.

Police academy: how forces are on the front line of early intervention

Lancashire and Northamptonshire police are involved in a multi-agency early intervention initiative to develop new ways of working with children and young people with the aim of diverting them from a crime pathway.

Plan to tackle disproportionality

Justice experts react to review recommendations on ways to reduce offending by BAME young people.

Dealing with violence in YOIs

A youth work programme could provide the solution for tackling high levels of violence in youth custody.

Knives linked to rise in custody

A rise in the number of young people in custody could be linked to a surge in knife possession offences.

Good Practice

Peacemakers, Kenya: International Focus

Peacemakers is a global concept and movement which advocates for peace - both from conflict and injustice.

Leading the fight against county lines gangs in Kent

Charity supports local young people recruited to sell drugs by county lines gangs

Services collaborate to tackle CCE in South Yorkshire

Multi-agency hub established to co-ordinate sub-regional response.

Mediation helps Bengali young people leave gangs behind

Works with vulnerable young people in predominantly Bengali community.

HITZ teaches young people the values of resilience

Uses core values of rugby to engage vulnerable and high-risk young people.

Boosting the work skills of prolific young offenders

The Skill Mill provides employment in environmental work for young ex-offenders aged between 16 and 18.

Diverting young people from custody in London

Diversion scheme engages young people when they enter custody.

Using Zorb football to engage Doncaster communities

Zorb football is used to engage young people and reduce high numbers of first-time offenders.

Supporting siblings of young offenders in Derby

"Good"-rated youth offending service in Derby works with siblings of young offenders.

How drama therapy tackles trauma

Programme reduces reoffending by addressing the needs of children in the youth justice system.

International Focus: Community youth courts, New Zealand

Rangatahi Courts, Nga Koti Rangatahi, are a community-based court in New Zealand that deals with young offenders from Maori communities who have admitted guilt.

Lancashire vulnerability hub

Multi-agency hub works with vulnerable young people in Lancashire to reduce their risk of exploitation.

Pan-Merseyside integrated child exploitation service

Initiative works with police and safeguarding agencies to identify children involved in crime linked to exploitation.

Integrated gangs unit

London council's gangs unit brings police and children's professionals together into one team.

I Define Me

Specialist service in two London hospitals support girls and young women affected by gangs.

Luton Prevent programme

Council taken the lead on supporting children and families vulnerable to radicalisation by extremists.

How enterprise turns offenders from crime

Learning practical phone repair skills is helping young people to improve their employment prospects and drive down reoffending.

Police and young Cumbrians work together to tackle youth crime issues

Police leaders in Cumbria have created a platform for local young people to engage peers in identifying youth policing priorities.

Children's Social Care Innovation Programme: Support for complex adolescents

Projects in the first phase of the DfE's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme have been evaluated to identify common themes. This briefing summarises learning on meeting the needs of complex adolescents.

Lessons from Serious Case Reviews: Teenagers

The NSPCC has analysed evidence from serious case reviews to identify learning. This issue summarises the lessons for working with teenagers and the vulnerabilities they can face.

Bristol Reparation Service

Project run by Catch 22 for Bristol Youth Offending Team (YOT) enables young offenders to make amends through community service, while being worked with restoratively.

Lessons from Serious Case Reviews: Harmful sexual behaviour

The NSPCC has analysed evidence from serious case reviews to identify learning. In this issue, we look at risk factors and best practice around harmful sexual behaviour by children and young people.

Lessons from Serious Case Reviews: Police and law enforcement

The NSPCC has analysed evidence from serious case reviews to identify learning. In this issue, we look at the risk factors and lessons for police and law enforcement professionals working with children.

Just Health

Consultation gathered young people's views on what needs to change in the youth justice system to improve their emotional health.

Action for Children - Multisystemic therapy, Manchester

Intensive, home-based programme supporting young people on the edge of care, and their families.

Kinetic Youth

Rehabilitates young people in custody through youth work activities and education support.

Sutton Youth Offending Team

How the team uses referral orders to help young people stop their offending behaviour before it becomes entrenched.

Malachi Community Trust

Programme for schools to identify children with troubling behaviour and support their families.

Junction 21 Mentoring and Advocacy Service

Volunteer mentors for young people involved in antisocial behaviour.

How support to change behaviour drives down youth offending

Project reduces violent and alcohol-related offences by young people.



Keeping Kids Safe: Improving Safeguarding Responses to Gang Violence and Criminal Exploitation

This report by the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, investigates what it means to be a child gang member in England. In it, she states that gang exploitation is currently not adequately understood, identified, prioritised or responded to.

Towards a Contextual Response to Peer-on-Peer Abuse: Research and Resources From MsUnderstood Local Site Work 2013-2016

This report presents findings and resources from a three-year review exploring contextual safeguarding responses to children's experiences of "peer-on-peer" abuse.

That Difficult Age: Developing a More Effective Response to Risks in Adolescence

Drawing on evidence from research and practice, this paper breaks down the understanding of risk in adolescence into a set of principles designed to encourage an "adolescent-centred" approach to supporting young people.

Ending the Criminalisation of Children in Residential Care - Good Practice in Children's Homes

Over the last two years, Howard League has conducted extensive qualitative research on good practice in the prevention of criminalisation of children in residential care. This report is based on its research findings.

Contested Vulnerability: A Case Study of Girls in Secure Care

This ethnographic study in a secure unit in England explored girls' concepts of vulnerability. It argues that by conflating childhood and vulnerability, the unit disenfranchises girls from services that are designed to help them.

Implementing Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents and Think Trauma for Traumatized Youth in Secure Juvenile Justice Settings

This study investigates the impact of implementing trauma informed interventions in juvenile justice settings in the USA.

Desistance Approaches in Youth Justice - the Next Passing Fad or a Sea-change for the Positive?

This research examines how well the strengths-based desistance approach in youth justice has been rolled out in practice and makes suggestions for areas of improvement.

Ecological Youth Justice: Understanding the Social Ecology of Young People's Prolific Offending

This study considers the work of youth offending teams (YOT) with repeat offenders. It advocates using a strengths-based, rather than a risk-based, approach to enable young people's positive development and reduce offending.

'Going Viral' and 'Going Country' the Expressive and Instrumental Activities of Street Gangs on Social Media

This study considers the role of the internet in gang culture and activity in the UK. The authors analyse the expressive and instrumental uses of "trap rap" videos posted on YouTube as a means of gaining insight into gang-related activity, such as drug dealing through "working the country lines".

Working with Prevent: Social Work Options for Cases of 'Radicalisation Risk

The 2015 Prevent duty mandates social workers and other professionals "to pay due regard" to possible radicalisation concerns. However, there is currently no guidance on how practitioners might do this.

Research Report: Patterns of Offending Behaviour in Relation to Time Spent In and Out of Care

Looked-after children are more likely to have an official record of offending behaviour than the general population.

Service users as the key to service change? The development of an innovative intervention for excluded young people

Young people affected by street gangs and those at risk of offending often have high levels of unmet mental health needs.

Preventing Youth Offending: Research evidence

Four studies on: Learning disability nursing; Risk, promotive and protective factors; Restorative justice-based practices; and Reinventing Diversion

Long-Term Recidivism Risk of Young Sexual Offenders in England and Wales

How the risks posed by juvenile sex offenders change over time.