Beyond Youth Custody


Jordan was 19 and almost at the end of a three-year custodial sentence when he was referred to the project by a charity working with him in prison. Before being sent to prison, Jordan had been injured by members of a rival gang in his home town; he was ‘lucky’ to survive.

Now he was out, he was required to live within strict licence conditions. As a public protection measure, he was accommodated in ‘approved premises’ – temporary accommodation hostels which ‘provide intensive supervision for offenders or defendants who present a high or very high risk of serious harm’.

Jordan’s project worker met with him and together they assessed his needs. He required education or employment, permanent housing outside of the gang area, and encouragement to comply with his licence agreement. They drafted an action plan.

The first step was to collate all the relevant medical and police reports and secure a supporting letter from Jordan’s probation worker; then Jordan and his project worker contacted the council housing team in Jordan’s preferred neighbourhood. Their efforts secured Jordan a hostel place, and the tangible hope of permanent housing further down the line.

Jordan was also interested in studying ‘something practical’ so he discussed the options with his project worker. Together, they went to a local college and enrolled Jordan in a course with relatively good chances of paid work at the end of it. According to his project worker ‘this outcome was crucial because he was now engaged in constructive day time activities’.

Jordan says that he was ‘young and stupid’ when he was committing crime. He has now successfully completed both his course of study and his licence period. He really enjoyed his studies, and has made a new circle of friends with positive attitudes and behaviours.

Tagged with the theme:

Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes