T2A Timeline

The date links below reveal the significant events, research and policy changes during the life cycle of the T2A programme.

  • 2005

    The Barrow Cadbury Trust publishes its Commission on Young Adults, which recommends a range of reforms to the way that young adults are managed in the criminal justice system. It also recommends a co-ordinated effort by the Trust and others to continue to focus on this age group.

  • 2008

    The Barrow Cadbury Trust initiates the Transition to Adulthood Alliance, a coalition of 12 charities to develop and promote more effective ways of working with young adults involved in crime. Each of the Alliance members receives catalyst grants from the Trust to deliver projects related to young adults and criminal justice.

  • 2009

    Three T2A Pilot sites are selected to demonstrate new ways of involving the voluntary sector in supporting young adults under supervision by probation services. These are in London (led by St Giles Trust), Birmingham (led by the probation Trust) and Worcestershire (led by YSS). The pilots run for three years and are evaluated by Oxford University, Matrix Evidence and Catch22, demonstrating a reduction in breach rates and offending, and a rise in employment and housing outcomes.

  • January 2011

    A public opinion poll by ComRes finds that two-thirds of the public and 81% of MPs support the idea of a young adult’s maturity being taken into account in sentencing decisions, all rating it a more important factor than chronological age.

  • February 2011

     T2A holds a roundtable event in the House of Lords hosted by Lord Bradley on ‘maturity’ and young adults who commit crime. Expert contributors from the fields of criminology, psychology, psychiatry and neurology endorse T2A’s proposition that maturity is a better indicator than chronological age of a young adult’s stage in life.

  • May 2011

    The Trust commissions a Birmingham University literature review that shows strong support from research for taking account of maturity of young adults throughout criminal justice process;

  • June 2011

    After a series of consultation meetings and consultation submissions from T2A and others, the Sentencing Council for England and Wales includes ‘age and/or lack of maturity’ as a mitigating factor for the first time in adult sentencing guidelines. This is replicated in all subsequent adult sentencing guidelines.

  • March 2012

    Riots, Communities and Victims Panel’ final report recommends taking account of maturity in the criminal justice process.

  • May 2012

    T2A launches a major report ‘Pathways from Crime’ in which the T2A Pathway framework is conceived, detailing key reforms at 10 stages of the criminal justice system for young adults. The report entitled ‘Making the Case’ is launched at a T2A national conference in Westminster, attended by 150 senior policy-makers, practitioners and experts.

  • May 2012

    Survey of Crown Courts finds that ‘age and/or lack of maturity’ is most considered factor by sentencers;

  • February 2013

    T2A research on views of CPS found support for taking maturity into account in charging, and then Director of Prosecution for London spoke in support at launch event;

  • March 2013

    CPS produce new Code of Conduct, including maturity as a factor for the first time for consideration in culpability decisions in Public Interest Test.

  • May 2013

    T2A and Birmingham University trial new guidance on maturity for probation practitioners with two Trusts. This finds that using the guide improves the quality of information for sentencers and results in more effective disposals being issued.



  • July 2013

    Final T2A Maturity Practice Guide for Probation Practitioners produced and offered to all 35 probation trusts via the Probation Chiefs’ Association who endorse the guide.

  • October 2013

    T2A report on young adults in custody recommends prison regimes for 18-25 year olds reflect the variable developmental maturity of young adults and provide for their specific age-related needs.

  • December 2013

    The Ministry of Justice proposes the abolition of the distinct sentence for 18-20 year olds of Detention in a Young Offender Institution and proposes mixing young adults across the prison estate. T2A and others (including the Youth Justice Board) express strong opposition to these proposals, instead calling for an enhanced and extended distinct estate for young adults in custody.

  • January 2014

    Barrow Cadbury Trust launches 6 new pilots (the T2A Pathway) across England, each working with young adults at a different stage of the criminal justice system. The T2A Pathway will run until 2017, and is being evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University.

  • February 2014

    Six months after its launch, 11,000 copies of the T2A maturity practice guide had been requested by probation trusts and disseminated for use nationally.

  • February 2014

    The government announces that Lord Harris (Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody) will undertake a one year review on deaths in custody of young adults aged 18-24. Plans to abolish the DYIO are suspended.

  • December 2014

    The Young Review, Baroness Lola Young’s report on the overrepresentation of young black and Muslim adult men in the criminal justice system, is published. Barrow Cadbury Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Lankelly Chase Foundation co-fund a new three year programme to support its implementation, led by BTEG and Clinks.

  • December 2014

    The Prisons Minister endorses taking account of maturity in criminal justice decision making in evidence to the Justice Select Committee Inquiry on the Prison Estate, to which T2A also gave written oral evidence. The Inquiry recommends a specific inquiry on young adults be conducted in the next Parliamentary term.

  • February 2015

    T2A report highlights that many Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales are delivering innovative approaches to young adults

  • March 2015

    T2A’s second national conference (‘Implementing the Evidence’) is held at the British Library, with 250 invite-only delegates attending, and keynote addresses including the Head of Crime Policy for the Mayor of New York City (who cited T2A as inspiring a new young adult approach in parts of the United States), the Director of Public Prosecutions and senior officials. At the conference T2A launches a major report by the University of Greifswald (‘Better in Europe?’) highlighting progressive approaches to young adults across Europe.

  • May 2015

    Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats announce that they will extend the youth justice system from 18 to 21 if they are elected at the general election.

  • July 2015

    Lord Harris publishes his report on deaths of young adults in prison, with wide reaching recommendations for major reform in the way young adults are managed in the criminal justice system. He argues that maturity should be taken into account in all decision making, and made a requirement in statute. He argues that all young adults in prison are vulnerable because of their distinct needs and stage in life, not just a subset.

  • August 2015

    the House of Commons Justice Select Committee announces a major Inquiry on Young Adult Offenders, and calls for written evidence.

  • September 2015

    T2A and 34 others respond to the Justice Select Committee’s call for evidence. There is near unanimous support among respondents for a distinct approach for young adults aged 18-25 throughout the criminal justice system. In its own response, the Ministry of Justice announces that mandatory maturity assessments will be conducted for all young adults subject to sentencing in a court.

  • September 2015
  • December 2015

    Centre for Justice Innovation publish ‘Young Adults in Court: Developing a tailored approach‘ which analyses the feasibility for young adult courts.

  • March 2016

    T2A publishes ‘Meeting the needs of young adult women in custody‘ by Rob Allen, (who also wrote ‘Young Adults in Custody’ for T2A in 2013).  This is the first report to look exclusively at young adult women in prison.

  • April 2016

    T2A is invited to contribute oral evidence to Justice Select Committee on ‘The treatment of young adults in the CJS’.

  • October 2016

    The Justice Select Committee publishes its report of its inquiry on young adult offenders.  The report is unequivocal in its conclusion that there is overwhelming evidence that the criminal justice system does not adequately address the distinct needs of young adults” and that “there is a strong case for a distinct approach”.

  • January 2017

    The Ministry of Justice publishes its response to the Justice Select Committee, broadly accepting its recommendations and setting out a work programme to improve outcomes for 18-24 year olds throughout the criminal justice system.

  • April 2017

    The T2A Pathway programme, 6 three-year pilots demonstrating effective practice for young adults throughout the criminal justice system, comes to an end.


  • May 2017

    Five sites across England and Wales conclude their feasibility phase for establishing a network of young adult court pilots.

    T2A’s Young Adult Advisory Group presents at the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Courts of Justice.

  • July 2017

    The Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) announces a pan-London strategy for young adults involved in the criminal justice system within its 2017-21 crime plan.

  • July 2017

    Howard League report calls on Sentencing Council to develop formal sentencing principles for young adults.

  • September 2017

    The findings and recommendations of David Lammy MP’s independent inquiry into the treatment of, and outcomes for, BAME individuals in the criminal justice service are published.

  • October 2017

    T2A pathway evaluation highlights the effectiveness of a distinct and robust approach for young adults.

  • November 2017

    MoJ research supports T2A’s long-standing objective that CJ agencies need to take account of young adults’ maturity in service design and delivery – a key recommendation of the House of Commons Justice Select Committee in its inquiry on young adult offenders in 2016.

  • January 2018

    RDA (Revolving Doors Agency) and T2A publish ‘Spotlight on Young Adults’ showcasing some of the innovative work being undertaken by PCCs across the country to improve criminal justice responses for young adults.