Gloucestershire Probation Trust is developing a T2A approach, based on the T2A and Clinks report ‘Going for Gold’.
Gloucestershire Probation Trust (GPT) and Gloucestershire County Council Youth Support Team (YST) have collaborated on the development of a new team to work with young people aged 15 – 21 who have got caught up in the criminal justice system.
The T2A Alliance, convened by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, has shown nationally that there is scope for improvement in the ways in which young people are helped to face up to the offences they have committed, and access the support they need, in order to move towards a rewarding and pro-social adult life. The latest research into neurological development confirms that maturation continues well into a person’s 20s. Research also shows that people mature at varying rates.
The T2A Alliance campaigns for greater recognition of a young person’s level of maturity when deciding the response to criminal or anti-social behaviour. T2A stresses that in many cases adult sanctions or disposals are not appropriate for young people, who may need help with accommodation, employment or substance misuse. T2A recognises the critical need for those who have offended to understand the impact of what they have done, and so places the highest importance on restorative justice being an aspect of every sentence.
The new Gloucestershire team will look to identify best practices from elsewhere, as well as innovating its own approaches. It combines workers from both the GPT and YST and will draw expertise and skills from both organisations to forge individualised packages of interventions for the young people it will work with. The team will also include a seconded police officer and will draw on professionals from other agencies as needed.
The team will remain under the joint management of GPT and YST and will benefit from being embedded in both organisations. It will draw its cohort from both GPT and YST. Initially this will be boys and young men who are identified as at particular risk of continuing to offend into later adulthood. The team will also broker the transfer of cases from YST to GPT as a young person approaches their 18th birthday. Although Gloucestershire was recently recognised by HM Inspectors as having some good practice in this area, this process can be improved further, through earlier planning and more extensive communication and information transfer.
John Bensted, Chief Executive Officer of Gloucestershire Probation commented: “This is another example of Gloucestershire Probation responding to local priorities, as set out in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Strategic Plan. Once again we can call upon our excellent relationships with local partners to deliver exciting innovations that will aid young people become worthy citizens and so protect the people of Gloucestershire.”
Alison Williams, Director of the Youth Support Team added: “We work with young people who face considerable challenges during the process of growing up. They need support tailored to their needs, but they also need to be held accountable for their actions and to understand the impact of what they do. This new team has been given the licence to innovate and to think creatively about building upon the strengths of its clients and helping them navigate the difficult years of late adolescence.”
Daniel Hughes, the team manager, concluded: “This is a really exciting opportunity to build on the strengths of the partner organisations and come up with a service that is innovative and will help young people identify their own solutions and find new purpose in their lives.”
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