Mayor of London and Secretary of State for Justice commit to plan for devolution of justice for young adults


Today, a Memorandum of Understanding between the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, was published. The MoU, ‘Working Towards Justice Devolution to London’, sets out a bold plan to implement a distinct criminal justice approach to young adults aged 18-25 across the capital.

It includes a commitment between “MOPAC, MoJ and London Councils to explore with the judiciary the scope for developing a new young adult (18-25) appropriate court within London (within existing legislation).”

In the section on page 18 entitled ‘Young offenders and the transition to the adult offender management system’, it states:

“Our ambition is to reduce the numbers of young Londoners from being incarcerated in institutions deemed to be unsafe and/or being locked up far away from their families and communities, which hampers resettlement and continuity of services. We also wish to us devolution as a tool to develop new initiatives to improve outcomes for London’s young offenders and young adults transitioning from the youth justice service to the adult criminal justice service, including exploring the commissioning of a new secure institution for London’s young offenders.”

The ‘Key commitments’ set out in this section include two significant announcements, which would deliver key T2A policy:

• MOPAC, MoJ and the YJB to work together to review how the criminal justice system manages the transition of young adults from the youth justice system into the adult justice system in London and how this could be improved. This should include exploring the possibility for:
o Testing a new approach to assessing maturity and extending youth justice approaches where there are low levels of maturity.
o Co designing a pilot to test the integration of resources to better support young adults during the transition between youth offending teams and probation services

• MOPAC, MoJ and London Councils to explore with the judiciary the scope for developing a new young adult (18-25) appropriate court within London (within existing legislation).

The MoU also commits to exploring financial devolution that “will include a particular focus on female offenders and 18-25 year old offenders.”