Reducing Reoffending by Young People Briefing (2018)

Summary: This briefing gives an overview of available evidence about what can reduce reoffending by children.



This paper gives an overview of available evidence about what can reduce desistence by children.

There have been several positive trends in the Youth Justice System (YJS) in recent years. In particular, fewer children are entering the justice system for the first time and far fewer children are in custody. However, while the numbers of reoffenders and reoffences have been falling, the rate of reoffending has been increasing. Youth ofending teams (YOT) caseloads are therefore increasingly likely to contain children with well established offending behaviour.

So while many children do not reoffend, and most – even persistent offenders – will stop doing so in time, focusing on tackling reoffending is more of a priority than ever. This briefing looks at both specific programmes and more day-to-day aspects of casework and supervision. We have focused on practice where there is the best evidence. For example, where fewer children on a particular programme reoffended compared to a similar group who were not on the programme. We do not look specifically at preventative work; although such approaches may also play a role in reducing reoffending.

Much of the evidence is international. However, research from the UK has been included where possible. We also give effective practice examples from the UK; these case studies may not have been evaluated to the same standard. If you would like to read the full article please see the attachment below.