Outcomes for Young Adults in Custody: A Thematic Review – HM Inspectorate of Prisons (January 2021)

Summary: Link to the thematic review by HM Inspectorate of Prisons concerning outcomes for young adults (18-25 year olds) in custody.


Her Majesty- Inspectorate of Prisons undertook Outcomes for young adults in custody: A thematic review to make sure that the needs of young adults are met within prisons and that they are being helped to move away from behaviour that poses a risk to themselves and others.

The thematic review found that in general, the outcomes are poor for young adults when compared with those for older prisoners (those aged over 25). Young adults have worse relationships with staff, are less likely to be motivated by the behaviour management schemes and are far more likely to be involved in violent incidents.

They are also more likely to face adjudications, to be placed on the basic regime and to self-harm. They report more negatively on day-to-day life, including relationships with staff, the quality of the food and the cleanliness of their wing.

In addition, young adults have worse attendance at education and work. Black and minority ethnic prisoners are significantly over-represented in the young adult prison population, and the perceptions of treatment among this group are particularly poor.