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Pathways from Crime

Ten steps to a more effective approach for young adults in the criminal justice process

The Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance is a broad coalition of organisations, that evidences and promotes ‘the need for a distinct and radically different approach to young adults in the criminal justice system; an approach that is proportionate to their maturity and responsive to their specific needs’. T2A is a coalition of 12 leading criminal justice, health and youth organisations: Addaction, Catch22, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Clinks, the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Howard League for Penal Reform, Nacro, the Prince’s Trust, the Prison Reform Trust, the Revolving Doors Agency, the Young Foundation, and YoungMinds. It is convened by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, an independent charitable foundation with a long-standing commitment to penal reform.

The T2A Alliance was born from the Barrow Cadbury Trust’s ‘Commission on Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System’, published in 2005, which recommended systemic change including the establishment of ‘young adult teams’ in each locality to directly address and support the points of transition faced by young people as they approach maturity and full adulthood.

Though three pilot projects running since 2009, the T2A approach has been shown to enable desistance through a reduction in offending behaviour, an increase in compliance with court orders, improvements to employment and accommodation outcomes, better family relationships and helathier lives.

The T2A Pathway identifies ten points in the criminal justice process where a more rigorous and effective approach for young adults and young people in the transition to adulthood (16-24) can be delivered.

The audience for this report is broad, but it should be of particular interest to commissioners, practitioners and policy-makers who work to support the criminal justice process. It is hoped that professionals at all levels and across multiple sectors will act on this body of evidence to adapt and adopt the T2A pathway to ensure that all areas deliver an effective approach for young adults throughout the criminal justice process.