Beyond Youth Custody


Steven was 20 years old when Probation referred him to one of the Youth In Focus projects in October 2011. Although he has committed a number of minor offences (including affray, public order, criminal damage, harassment and possession of cannabis), Steven has only been in custody once. Probation considers him to be at medium risk of reoffending however, as, having just been released from being on remand for three weeks, he was feeling depressed and had started drinking alcohol every day in order to try to cope with his feelings.

His initial assessment with the resettlement project also identified him as being vulnerable and needing help with accommodation, finances, emotions, social anxiety, lifestyle, family relationships, negative peers, and education, training and employment.

The project initially helped Steven to get accommodation in a supported hostel for substance misusers and towards the end of summer 2013 he then moved into his own flat. However, Steven tends to get lonely without a strong network of family and social support around him, and in response, has started drinking and smoking cannabis with his neighbours. Steven was receiving a high rate of ESA (previously known as sickness/disability benefit) on account of his chronic depression. As his resettlement caseworker got to know him, Steven began to talk about the problems that he had had in the past with self-harm, being sectioned and attempting suicide.

The project has now been working with Steven for over two years and support continues. Steven trusts his Youth In Focus caseworker, but seems not to trust other services available can help him. This is an ongoing focus for the project which has a strong philosophy of empowering clients and preventing feelings of dependence on its services.

Tagged with the theme:

Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes