Evaluation is a major component of the T2A programme’s strategy.
Evaluating the T2A Pathway Programme
In 2013 a network of six demonstration projects – described as the T2A Pathway Programme – were developed aimed at testing approaches that take account of maturity and transitions for young adults at key points on the T2A Pathway to demonstrate how services can be developed locally and to illustrate how a ‘whole T2A pathway approach’ to working with 18-25 year olds throughout the criminal justice process can work. These projects are led by voluntary sector organisations which already have a track record or an existing project to build on, and are being delivered in partnership with statutory agencies. These organisations are: Addaction, Advance, PACT (Prison Advice and Care Trust), The Prince’s Trust, Remedi, and Together for Mental Wellbeing. The Programme will finish in 2017.
A multi-faceted evaluation of the T2A Pathway Programme evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the six T2A Pathway projects is being carried out by Manchester Metropolitan University, completing in 2017. The over-arching aims of the evaluation are to:
Establish an evidence base for the T2A projects (supporting delivery organisations with data collection and research methods), Demonstrate effective interventions and Measure the impact of delivering young adult-specific interventions at the T2A pathways points.
Evaluation will also provide robust evidence that will be taken seriously by policy-makers and commissioners at a central and local level.
Evaluation of pilot projects 2009-2013
Between 2009 and 2013, the T2A delivered three pilot projects working with more than 1,000 young adults at various stages in the criminal justice process. Each project was tailored to the needs of the individual, with the aim of reducing both the risk of reoffending and social exclusion.
They demonstrated the use of voluntary and community interventions alongside probation services, focusing on managing the transition from the youth to the adult justice system, taking account of developmental maturity. The T2A pilots were in Birmingham, West Mercia and London, and were delivered by Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust, YSS and the St Giles Trust respectively.
These ‘T2A pilots’ were evaluated by the University of Oxford’s Centre for Criminology formative evaluation by the University of Oxford’s Centre for Criminology, completed at the start of 2011. A summative evaluation of the three T2A pilots by Catch 22 tracked a random sample of 34 young people over a six month period, measuring outcomes based around the offender pathways used by the National Offender Management Service, including reoffending, accommodation, employment, health and families. The results were very encouraging:
Only 9% of young people were reconvicted in this time;
Only 9% breached the terms of their communnity order or licence;
Employment rates trebled; and
NEET (not in education, employment or training) levels halved.
T2A Pathway Framework
The evidence drawn from these project evaluations led to the creation of the T2A Pathway framework which sets out the ten stages in the criminal justice process at which effective interventions can be made to support young adults involved in crime, such as arrest, prosecution, sentencing, probation and prison.