New project to support care leavers in the criminal justice system

Words Ella Walding

Funded by The Oak Foundation, Innovation Unit and partners have begun work to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing care leavers in the criminal justice system.

The challenge

Society is not doing enough to support young adults who leave care and are involved in the criminal justice system. Although less than 1% of the population is in care, at least half of these young adults have had experience of prison, with many going onto reoffend. The evidence tells us that care leavers (18-25) who have been in prison rarely settle back into their communities and achieve poor outcomes following release.

One of the main challenges is that not enough is known about these young adults and the rehabilitation support needed to radically improve their life chances. As such, provision for care leavers released from prison is patchy at best, but often inconsistent and occasionally, non-existent.

The project

Funded by The Oak Foundation, Innovation Unit, Prison Reform Trust and Catch22 will work together to generate a deeper understanding of the issues care leavers in the criminal justice system face, and in response design new and creative approaches to rehabilitation.

We will collaborate across sectors, including local government, children’s social care, the criminal justice system, and community and volunteer organisations who have a stake in helping young adults flourish and fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

Our long term aim is to transform the lives of this highly vulnerable group of young adults and continue to develop new approaches that really work for them, and the wider system.

For more information about the project, please contact Ella.