Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

9.  Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Barrow Cadbury Trust


  This additional submission follows the inquiry's oral hearing of 16 January 2007 and covers five new pieces of evidence:

    (1)  Information on the development of T2A pilots by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

    (2)  A review of private sector provision of employment services for young adults in the criminal justice system conducted by the Social Market Foundation for Barrow Cadbury Trust (not printed).

    (3)  Additional evidence concerning the evaluation of the impact of projects arising from the Commission on Young Adults and the Criminal Justice System and a subsequent partnership with Revolving Doors Agency.

    (4)  Further evidence about intelligent sentencing of young adults.

    (5)  Information on the link between ethnicity and deprivation as a key risk factor in criminality.


  1.1  During 2006 Barrow Cadbury have been developing three T2A pilots. We are currently drafting an implementation handbook and business case model for T2A in the West Midlands in partnership with the Office of Public Management while Nacro are developing a T2A bail support project on our behalf across the Youth Offending Team and Probation in Yorkshire and Humberside aimed at reducing numbers of young adults on remand. A third potential pilot may be implemented in Gateshead. Later in the year Barrow Cadbury will be issuing a call to projects to manage these and other potential pilots. The pilots will be fully evaluated.


  2.1  Having a stable and satisfying job is a key way of reducing involvement of young black men in offending. Barrow Cadbury Trust commissioned the Social Market Foundation to review a number of private sector schemes which aim to train or place young ex-offenders, or those trying to be ex-offenders in work, including schemes run by Transco, Toyota, Marks and Spencer, and United Utilities. Schemes fell into two categories: business-driven schemes and social responsibility-led schemes. The report identified features which make programmes successful, whether they are aimed at young adults firmly entrenched in offending and hence further away from the labour market, or aimed at those closest to job-readiness. Success features included: having a champion within the company; having a close partnership with Young Offender Institutions to identify suitable participants; and mentoring from other company employees to support participants. The short report is appended to this additional submission (not printed).

  2.2  Barrow Cadbury Trust is currently working with Commissioner and former head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Marks and Spencer, Ed Williams, and Business in the Community (BiTC) to draft a best practice guide for employers considering setting up an employment scheme for young ex-offenders. The project has already established a "leadership group" of employers willing to champion the cause of employing young adult ex-offenders. The project will launch the best practice guide later in the year.


  3.1  Prior to the oral hearing, the Committee asked Barrow Cadbury Trust to reflect on how to evaluate impact of projects on the ground. The report of the Commission on Young Adults and the Criminal Justice System identified that while the range of social, economic and environmental factors which underpin or lead to offending or desistance is well known, the success or otherwise of the component parts of the criminal justice system, including projects aimed at reducing reoffending is at present measured almost solely by reconviction rates. Yet reconviction rates are as much a measure of the performance of the criminal justice system as reoffending and is rarely suitable as the sole outcome measure particularly for small voluntary and community sector projects. Small numbers progress through these programmes rendering meaningful statistical analysis of reconviction rates obsolete. To continue to measure impact solely on reconviction rates risks giving the impression that nothing works while ignoring potential positive social outcomes.

  3.2  Distance travelled methodologies for measuring impact which look at an individual's starting point have been accepted or even promoted by departments other than the Home Office. This is not a case of choosing "soft" versus "hard" outcomes, but instead means having an evaluation methodology which is realistic and sensitive enough to measure all outcomes.

  3.3  Barrow Cadbury has been working with Revolving Doors Agency (RDA) to develop measurements of social outcomes for young people who progress through their programme which is also pertinent as an example of good practice for other programmes. RDA are currently piloting these measures and we will look to launch in the coming months.


  4.1  Among the recommendations of the Lost in Transition report was for more intelligent sentencing that takes into account the age and maturity of young adults. Given the current crisis in prison overcrowding this is a particularly salient issue. Ensuring that only those who need to go into custody do so is key to ensuring that resources in the criminal justice system are appropriately focused on those who have committed serious and or persistent offences. Currently the young offender estate contains a large proportion of 18-20 year olds who are on remand or who have committed relatively minor offences who may not need to be in custody.

  4.2  England and Wales, along with Estonia and Latvia are the only countries in Europe which have no special rules regarding the sentencing of young adults (other than the sentence of detention to a young offender institute). In September 2003 the Council of Europe passed the Recommendation No. (2003) 20 on "new ways of dealing with juvenile delinquency and the role of the juvenile justice system". This stated that; "Reflecting the extended transitions to adulthood, it should be possible for young adults under the age of 21 to be treated in a way comparable to juveniles and to be subject to the same interventions, when the judge is of the opinion that they are not as mature and responsible for their actions as full adults."

  4.3  Barrow Cadbury Trust will be working with the International Centre for Prison Studies and the Prison Reform Trust to assess good sentencing practice from relevant European countries and impact on offending. The report will be available in the coming months.


  5.1  Young African Caribbean men are not genetically predisposed to commit more crime than young white men. A recent report commissioned by Barrow Cadbury Trust from the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society at Oxford University[20] examined the relationship between poverty and the ethnic background of the population living in Birmingham wards and highlighted the potential reasons for high levels of crime among black African Caribbean young men. A strong correlation between poverty and concentration of ethnic minorities is found in Birmingham wards. While the white population as well as the most successful minority groups moved from the inner city to relatively less deprived areas, disadvantaged communities remain "trapped" in the least desirable neighbourhoods. The most deprived wards containing a concentration of ethnic minorities also contain sub-areas where crime is a substantive problem. These are the same areas where the report finds that access to legitimate employment for young black men is most problematic and statistical levels of unemployment among young men the highest. Poverty by itself does not create crime but it certainly creates the conditions in which young black men grow up with few perceived legitimate alternatives.

  5.2  Given that most crime committed by young people takes place at the level of the neighbourhood, and given the high level of concentration of ethnic minorities in Birmingham wards, it is not surprising that most crime committed by young black men is committed against other black people.

February 2006

20   Mapping of Race and Poverty in Birmingham by Alessio Cangiano, ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, Oxford University. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Prepared 15 June 2007