T2A’s Approach

The T2A initiative develops and promotes evidence and practice to strengthen the case that developmental maturity is more helpful than chronological age in deciding how best to respond to young adult (18-25) offending and young adult offenders. Young adulthood is a crucial opportunity for criminal justice agencies to get their interventions right. Read our 2016-17 strategy.

T2A’s research and demonstration projects  show how a distinct approach to young adults by criminal justice services reduces offending and improves outcomes.

What do we mean by the term ‘maturity’?

Blowing out the candles on an 18th birthday cake does not transform anyone into a fully functioning and mature adult. For those who have experienced disadvantages in life, as many young adult offenders have, this is even more the case. With a tailored criminal justice intervention – one that takes account of the developmental maturity and particular needs of young adults – research has found that young adult offenders are far more likely to ‘grow out of crime’.  For the 18-25 age group, T2A has found that the level of maturity of an individual must be taken into account when sentencing and delivering interventions to help keep them out of criminal activity.

The T2A Programme

As well as initiating research and influencing policy, T2A is supporting six demonstration projects across England, embodying the T2A Pathway, working with young adults at different stages of the criminal justice process. These demonstration projects started in early 2014 and will run for three years. They are being independently evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University.

T2A pilot projects

The demonstration projects build on the learning from three previous T2A pilot projects, which ran between 2009 and 2013, working with more than 1,000 young adult offenders. They demonstrated innovative approaches for young adult offenders involved with probation services, reducing offending and breach rates as well as improving social outcomes.  Find our more about the evaluation of these projects.   You can also watch videos about the three pilot projects.

The T2A programme makes a strong case for significant reform.