Beyond Youth Custody


Wayne was almost 18 when he was released from a Young Offenders Institute, having been in custody for 10 months. The Youth Offenders Team had organised for him to start on a college course shortly after release. However, the course wasn’t due to commence straight away so the Youth In Focus team endeavoured to arrange for Wayne to get involved with a local bike project as soon as he returned to the community. This meant that he was released from custody on a Friday and started work on the Monday. This part-time job enabled Wayne to build up skills and experience, and he was hopeful that it would lead to more secure employment in the future. Wayne said that this helped him get into a routine and meant that he didn’t go back to negative social influences through hanging around with his old mates.

Wayne trusts the resettlement team, partly because of the positive things that they have done for him. About a week after his release, they organised for Wayne to go on a residential in the Lake District which was one of the things that he has enjoyed most since being released. He thinks that they have done a really good job in terms of providing support, being a positive influence and giving him the opportunity to gain some work experience.

However, he faced some other resettlement difficulties along the way, including problems with money and budgeting, being on a tag, being homeless and moving over to work with Probation. Support from the team enabled him to overcome these difficulties with an individualised plan that helped Wayne to navigate his way through any problems. He kept himself focused and motivated throughout.

The team have worked hard for Wayne to make sure that he has kept on track and out of trouble. The life he leads now is a lot different than before he worked with the project. Wayne thinks that the main thing that stopped him from reoffending was getting into work and training as soon as he was released. Wayne now feels that he has a stake in society, and says that there would be a lot to lose if he were to go back to prison again. Wayne really enjoys his work with the bikes. It led to him completing the coast-to-coast cycle ride for charity. 18 months after release, he has not been in trouble or reoffended. Through his work on the bike project, Wayne has been able to become involved in some peer mentoring.

Tagged with the theme:

Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes