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£3 million pilot to reduce reoffending by young adults

Friday March 5th, 2021

Young adults supervised by the probation service will receive specialist drug and mental health support at a new £3 million centre to reduce reoffending.

The hub, the first of its kind, will be based at Newham Probation Office and has been developed by the Ministry of Justice and the Mayor for London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

Young adults have a particularly high risk of reoffending and are more likely to carry out drug, robbery and possession of weapons offences, and be caught up in gang crime.

Mental health and substance misuse experts will work alongside National Probation Service staff, as part of an innovative new approach ensuring vulnerable young adults, many of whom had troubled upbringings and poor education, receive the enhanced support they need to avoid a life of crime.

Offenders released without a home or a job are significantly more likely to reoffend, so accommodation, training and employment services will also operate from the hub to help cut crime.

This support is already available but bringing this range of services under one roof and tackling these complex issues together at an early stage can prevent thousands of people becoming victims each year and save some of the £18 billion annual cost of repeat crimes.

The pilot will launch in July and run until March 2023 for 18-25 year olds who are assessed as having low levels of maturity and 17 year olds transitioning from the Youth Offending Service to adult probation. It will then be externally evaluated and, if a success at reducing reoffending and improving outcomes for this cohort, rolled out across the country.

All staff will receive specific training in the brain development of young people. Young adults have distinct needs, which are different to both older adults and children and treating them as a specific group will ensure the root causes of their offending are spotted and addressed earlier on in their development.

This £3 million of Government funding follows a £148 million investment to protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs and a £70 million package to support offenders into temporary accommodation upon release.

Taken together, this £220 million of funding highlights the Government’s commitment to tackling crime.

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, MP, said:

“This ground-breaking new model will help offenders get their lives back on the straight-and-narrow before it’s too late and they become career criminals.

It will mean less reoffending and fewer people becoming victims of crime while also giving these young adults all the tools they need to make the most of their lives.”

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