Reintegration and transitions for young offenders: guidance

Best practice information for local authorities, community planning partnership and service providers.

10. Finance

Over a one year period, it can cost local authorities approximately £260,000 for one young person to be placed in secure care, and £31,703 for one year in custody. 109 With re-offending rates so high amongst this group of young people, the cost can be considerably more with frequent custodial sentences.

Supporting reintegration from secure care and custody will be significantly more cost effective for local authorities in the longer term than no support being offered. If young people do not successfully reintegrate within society and continue to offend their chance of returning to secure care or custody will be high, resulting in higher costs.

In England and Wales, the costs and benefits of providing an effective reintegration service for young people given Detention and Training Orders ( DTOs) have been calculated. The 'top end' persistent offenders who receive DTOs are likely to commit, on average, 20-30 offences and to spend 6.9 months in custody each year. The costs of their crimes are £46,459, after allowing for a reduction due to the time spent in custody. The average cost of prison per year for each of these young people is £31,703 110 and the cost of emergency accommodation is £1,106, making a total cost of £78,040 per year.

On a conservative assumption that good support in reintegration leads to a reduction of 35% in frequency and 10% in seriousness of offending, this would lead to a reduction of 45% in the time spent in custody. This reduces the average cost of crime, use of custody and housing to £57,633, leading to a saving of £20,407 per individual involved in offending per year. These savings more than offset the costs of a good quality reintegration service. 111

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