Beyond Youth Custody


After years of domestic abuse, Tyler’s mum left the family home. Tyler’s dad has substance misuse issues and his home life was difficult. He started offending when he was 16. His early criminal record included criminal damage and drug possession. He regularly breached Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

At the age of 18, Tyler was under probation supervision. He had migrated to more serious crimes, frequently with a group of similarly active associates. He was identified as being responsible for disproportionally large quantities of crimes and labelled a Prolific and Priority Offender (PPO).

Tyler tried living with his mum but their relationship was strained. She was scared of her son and the dangers he brought into their home. Tyler and a number of his associates were arrested for attacking another young man. He was found not guilty but some of his co-defendants were given prison sentences. When Tyler was referred to the project he was feeling vulnerable; he was concerned about his friends’ perception of him.

On his second meeting with the project worker, Tyler presented as homeless. After liaising with all parties concerned, including Tyler’s family, the project worker put together a case for supported accommodation, presented it to the local council and accompanied him to the various assessments required. After a while in bed and breakfast, Tyler was housed via a charity providing accommodation and support for homeless young people; they also appointed Tyler a key worker. The project worker and the key worker are in regular contact and facilitate joint meetings to ensure that Tyler accesses appropriate support from the relevant agencies.

Tyler is now 19, settled into his accommodation and looking for a job. The project worker has identified that Tyler has ‘high support needs’ and continues to work closely with him to complete job applications, search for work experience, prepare for interviews and sustain motivation.

As well as practical support around housing and employment, his project worker has given Tyler support to address his friendship group. His co-defendants live locally and, despite his determination to put his offending behaviour behind him, Tyler finds it difficult to avoid potentially compromising situations.

The project offers Tyler a safe place to express his concerns, opportunities to expand his social network, non-judgemental advice and the tools to empower him to make his own positive decisions. His project worker recognises that Tyler’s journey ‘has only just begun… so far, with partnership working, we’ve been fortunate.’

Tagged with the theme:

Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes