Beyond Youth Custody

Recognising and responding to diversity is key to effective resettlement

19 November 2015 | Tagged with the theme:

Understanding young people and responding to individual needs is essential to engaging effectively in resettlement after a period in custody, according to two new practitioner’s guides published today by Beyond Youth Custody.

Aimed specifically at practitioners who come into contact with young people in the criminal justice system, the briefings underline how more culturally responsive working practices can improve outcomes for young people leaving custody. They also offer practical steps that any organisation can take to put effective measures in place.

Sally Benton, Head of Policy at Nacro, explains:

“Engaging young people in services is central to effective resettlement and reducing crime. Organisations that tailor work to the diverse needs and experiences of young people leaving custody are more likely to have a positive impact and realise better outcomes. In order to do this, resettlement planning needs to be tailor-made and take into account all aspects of a young person’s identity.

“We know that young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are overrepresented in every stage of the criminal justice system – making up a quarter of the prison population. Their experience of custody is often more negative, with many reporting poorer relationships with staff and disengagement with the system. This impedes their resettlement and creates substantial barriers when accessing support in custody and on release.

“Engaging young people is challenging. Our guides are a practical tool for professionals working directly with young people in the criminal justice system. They offer advice on how to adapt delivery styles to cater for individual identities and experience, and how to provide trusted environments for discussion, questioning and challenge.”

Download the guides below:

‘Ethnicity, Faith and Culture in Resettlement’ and ‘Recognising Diversity in Resettlement





Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes