Beyond Youth Custody


Daniel met his project case worker in prison three times prior to his release. During these visits, the worker was able to hear about Daniel’s background first-hand, and explain the mentoring service on offer to him. They agreed to work together, and completed the required paperwork.

As an active member of a well-established gang, Daniel had been referred to the project by the local multi-agency team targeting serious youth violence. He was deemed to pose a risk to the public and, upon release from prison, was forbidden to return to his home area.
Daniel had nowhere to live and his local council were unable to offer him accommodation. Daniel’s project worker recognised that this would be a major barrier to Daniel’s resettlement. When a charity found him a vacant room in a shared house, he took it. It was miles away from anything he knew.

On the day of Daniel’s release, his project worker met him at the prison gate. Daniel was not well travelled and, having moved prisons a few times during his sentence, didn’t really know where he was. Daniel’s project worker accompanied him to his first meeting with his new Youth Offending Team (YOT).

After leaving the YOT office, worker and client walked around Daniel’s new home town. They located the likely resources that he would need – transport links, the post office, job centre, housing office, and police station. They bought Daniel some sheets and a quilt. Their next appointment was with the landlord, and Daniel signed his first tenancy agreement. After a bag of chips, the final stop was the supermarket where they bought basic crockery, a saucepan, a few utensils and enough food to see Daniel through the next few days.

During the first week, the project worker helped Daniel to organise his Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit claims. They also opened Daniel a bank account, so that he could set up a direct debit for his service charges.

As part of his Intensive Supervision and Surveillance order, Daniel met with his project worker twice a week for a few months. They also kept in regular contact by phone. They worked on accessing local support agencies, addressed conflict management and regularly discussed the negative influence of Daniel’s old peer groups.

Daniel is enrolled in college where he is retaking his GCSEs. As far as his project worker knows, Daniel’s not offending. They are now focused on getting Daniel some permanent accommodation and deepening his tentative local roots.

Tagged with the theme:

Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes