The HM Inspectorate of Probation and HM Inspectorate of Prison looked at the experience of 50 children who were released between October 2018 and April 2019 from all five young offender institutions (YOIs). They published an interim report in August 2019 which looked at the work carried out with children while they were in custody and reported mainly on the work by custodial staff. This final report looks again at the custodial phase but concentrates on the work carried out by the external agencies to prepare the children for release. They also look at how the children progressed in the first three months after release in the community. To get a full picture of the work by YOIs and Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), the interim report forms an integral part of understanding the overall experience of children and young people and resettlement.
Criminal justice outcomes were poor. Three months after release, ten of our sample of fifty had already been convicted of a further offence and over half were under police investigation. Ten had been breached and six had gone missing
Key findings from the case reviews and fieldwork interviews •
- Criminal justice outcomes were poor. Three months after release, ten of our sample of fifty had already been convicted of a further offence and over half were under police investigation. Ten had been breached and six had gone missing
- After release, thirty of the young people returned to live with their families; eleven returned to local authority accommodation and seven went to live in supported accommodation, often unregulated. Some children were not told where they would be living, until just days before release and we only found one case where a looked after child returned to the accommodation they were in before sentence
- There was very little join up of education and training in custody and after release. Very few YOT education and training workers visited the child in custody and education or training began immediately after release for only 11 of the 50 cases we inspected
- Over 60 per cent of cases had an identified health need in custody but in only 26 per cent of cases was there evidence that the YOT provided support or intervention for these needs after release Youth resettlement – a final report into work in the community 9
- While substance misuse was identified as an issue while the young person was in custody in three-quarters of the fifty cases, substance misuse work was only delivered after release in 44 per cent of the cases where it should have been
- Of the 50 cases we inspected, we judged that 37 had needed input from children’s social care services but that only six of these had received adequate help with their resettlement needs
- Three-quarters of the case managers we interviewed told us that they had had no training in managing resettlement cases •
- Of the 50 cases we inspected, 10 children became 18 years old while in custody and some of those were being transferred to adult probation services but in discussion with probation staff in the community it became apparent that none had been trained in this area of work.
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