Responding to young adults in the CJS
Chatham House Rule forbids me from naming names but the usual suspects were present as you’d expect, and they were saying the same old things, having the same old discussions, welcoming the same old recommendations (albeit written in a new way) and challenging the politicians to make the changes happen.
The report itself makes some good recommendations and follows much of the common sense models of change that the Prison Learning Network is working on. But for me, in continuing to separate individuals into age groups, the T2A programme is missing a beat.
While other fields and public services are successfully moving towards co-production and personalisation in order to meet the needs of individuals, the CJS will find itself limited by tailoring responses to these groups. As someone commented earlier, the CJS always seems to be behind other government departments. Can it afford to continue to do so?
Of course, understanding the trends of characteristics and needs of particular groups over particular times in their life course, like between childhood and adulthood, will be valuable but should not solely provide the foundation for policy development or allocation of resources.
Maybe what’s needed is a cross Government personalised plan for everyone. This might catch the people before they enter the CJS and will certainly provide the holistic response needed when we seek to address individuals’ criminal activities, lifestyles and attitudes.
Maybe it’s not just about the Government?