Beyond Youth Custody


Adam’s offending behaviour began when he was 12 years old. His home life prior to his conviction had been particularly difficult. His father had committed suicide which had sent shock waves and grief throughout the family, particularly his mum, Adam and his two older brothers.

Adam has been diagnosed with ADHD. He also has social, behavioural and emotional difficulties and has a statement in relation to his special educational needs. He has a tendency to act impulsively most of the time and often gives in to peer pressure at the earliest opportunity.

Adam was referred to the resettlement project by the Youth Offending Service six months prior to his release from a Secure Children’s Home. He was serving a 16 month Detention and Training Order (DTO) sentence for an Actual Bodily Harm assault and theft. Initially we visited him on a one-to-one basis while he was still in custody, and engaged him in our programme by focusing on his individual needs. Adam also received counselling while he was in custody, organised by the Secure Children’s Home.

On release, Adam attended the resettlement project on a daily basis. He combined a two day a week activity programme with three days at the local Free School which provides provide specialist social and psychiatric support alongside education. Through this he has been able to access an Education, Training, and Employment (ETE) placement in construction skills and joinery.

Adam’s resettlement progress has been steady but not without problems. Recently the project has received information that Adam is hanging around with the ‘wrong sort of people’. This is being carefully monitored and reviewed because Adam tries to portray himself as a ‘bad boy’ and this peer group has been having a significant influence on him. Both the resettlement project and YOS staff have noticed a change in Adam’s attitude and behaviour since he’s been spending time with this group. The resettlement staff continuously and consistently challenge his negative behaviour when it occurs.

Overall, Adam’s engagement with the resettlement project has helped him to stay out of trouble and to get back into education in preparation for the future. The project has supported him to access the gym and the staff have noticed that his confidence and self-esteem are definitely improving. Despite the traumatic nature of his family history, he has been able to overcome significant social obstacles so that he can start to build a better future for himself.

Tagged with the theme:

Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes