Reintegration and transitions for young offenders: guidance

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

11. Conclusion

This guidance has set out to provide local authorities, community planning partners, the Scottish Prison Service and the secure estate with a minimum standard to achieve with young people involved in offending throughout periods of transitions and to reintegrate them back into communities if they have been removed.

Young people within justice systems suffer multiple disadvantages that need to be addressed to ensure that they can become part of society and lead law abiding lives. To achieve this, services need to work in partnership to meet the needs and address the risks of these young people as identified within their single plan.

The results of the pilot schemes as detailed in Appendix 2 show positive results in achieving successful reintegration for young people who offend. Evaluations emphasise the need for services to support and work with young people and their families, to offer opportunities for employment, training and development, access to appropriate health and substance misuse services and suitable accommodation whilst addressing their offending behaviour and a smooth transition to their next destination.

Successful reintegration is essential to reduce reoffending. Taking a GIRFEC approach will require system and practice change that may also require a culture shift in thinking to enable realisation of this vision. This will not only provide better outcomes for young people and their families, but will make communities safer places to live with more effective and cost efficient services. All agencies and services therefore need to work together to support young people as they make the various transitions throughout their lives and to re/integrate them within their local communities. This should be done by local authorities and community planning partners being committed to the young person; planning for their return the day they leave their community, involving all partners in a co-ordinated way, appointing a lead professional to maintain and up-date their GIRFEC single plan by meeting their needs and addressing risks. By achieving this, young people's risk of being involved in future offending will be significantly reduced and their chance of being law abiding citizens who contribute to, and are part of, society greatly increased.

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