The T2A Alliance evidences and promotes effective approaches for young adults throughout the criminal justice process. T2A is a coalition of 12 of the leading criminal justice, health and youth organisations, convened by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.
Young adults (aged 18-24) constitute less than 10% of the population, but are highly over-represented in criminal justice services, accounting for more than a third the probation service’s caseload and almost a third of those sentenced to prison each year.
Given the right intervention, young adults are the most likely age group to desist and ‘grow out of crime’. The wrong intervention at this time can slow desistance and extend the period that a young adult is involved in the criminal justice system. These facts demonstrate the importance of recognising the distinct needs and circumstance of young adults in developing effective sentencing.
T2A’s pilot projects, running since 2009, have been testing innovative approaches for young adults at different stages in the criminal justice process. These community interventions are tailored to the needs of the individual young adult, and have been shown to reduce offending and improve social outcomes. As a whole, the T2A programme of work (which encompasses research, policy development and practical experience) makes a strong case for significant reform.