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Evaluation of the T2A Pathway initiative published today

Thursday 19 October 2017

The final process evaluation of the T2A Pathway initiative is published today. The report, from the Policy, Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) at Manchester Metropolitan University, highlights the benefits of a distinct approach to young adults involved in crime throughout the criminal justice process. It also identifies the important role, skill and resilience of the voluntary sector in supporting young people with complex needs at a time of unprecedented reform and budget constraint.

The T2A Pathway initiative, 6 projects led by charities in partnership with statutory services, delivered services to 16-25 year olds across sites in England between 2014-2017. The projects worked with young adults at the point of arrest, pre-court, in prison and on release. Each project had a specialist focus, such as family engagement, mental health treatment and drug abuse.

The projects worked with 414 young people over three years:

·       On average the young adults had four ‘criminogenic needs’ (factors that directly contributed to criminal behaviour);

·       Three quarters already had criminal records;

·       30% were young women, most of whom had experienced abuse, rape or domestic violence;

·       15% were of ethnicities other than white British

The report found that the T2A Pathway projects:

·       Offered a flexible, intensive, relationship-based intervention to young people with highly complex and urgent needs;

·       Were particularly effective from the start where they had multi-agency support and referral arrangements that had been jointly designed;

·       Helped to change the culture of statutory partners, successfully embedding a young adult focus into mainstream practice;

·       Influenced national policy (such as the House of Commons Justice Select Committee’s inquiry on Young Adult Offenders).

Kevin Wong one of the authors of the report, Associate Director of the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) from Manchester Metropolitan University said:

“The evaluation has identified valuable lessons for commissioners and service providers in: designing, setting up and implementing services for young adults with complex needs.  Chief amongst these being: A responsive commissioning and programme management process; and providing the space and time for the services find the best way to work with young adults with complex needs”

Sara Llewellin, CEO of the Barrow Cadbury Trust said:

“These projects fulfilled the brief to demonstrate how a ‘whole pathway’ approach to young adults involved in crime can work to deliver an effective approach throughout the criminal justice system. The skill and dedication of each charity’s professional staff, working with statutory partners, helped turn around the lives of so many young people, and contributed to the evidence base that the Justice Committee called “irrefutable”. We are pleased that several of the project models have already become part of mainstream practice. The T2A Pathway legacy will be impactful and long-lasting change, both for many hundreds of individuals and the system as a whole.”

The report is based on interviews with 142 professionals (103) and young people (39) with direct involvement in the projects. Economic and reconviction analyses will be published in early 2018.

The report is available to download here.

A blog about the evaluation report by Max Rutherford, Criminal Justice Programme Manager at the Barrow Cadbury Trust can be read here.

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