The treatment of young adults in the criminal justice system Contents

Annex: Terms of reference

The nature and effectiveness of the Ministry of Justice’s strategy and governance structures for dealing with young adult offenders

The suitability of current provision for young adult offenders i) in the community and ii) in custody, including the extent to which there is distinct provision currently.

What is the evidence on how outcomes across a range of measures for young adult offenders compare with other offenders?

Taking into account the findings of the Harris Review, what measures should be prioritised in addressing levels of suicide, self-harm, and violence amongst young adult offenders currently held in custody?

What impact have the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms had on the transition between youth offending teams and probation services?

The Harris Review advocated a distinct approach to young adult offenders. Is this desirable? If so, what would this entail i) in the community and ii) in custody? If not, why?

Should sentence to detention in a young offender institution for 18-20 year old offenders be abolished? If so, what should replace it?

The Harris Review concluded that all young adults in prison are vulnerable and that the experience of being in prison is particularly damaging to them as they are developing. Do you agree?

The Harris Review recommended that more young adults should be diverted from custody and from the criminal justice system. Is it appropriate to seek to divert more young adults from custody and the criminal justice system, and if so, how would this best be achieved?

What legislative or other barriers are there to more appropriate practices for young adult offenders and how could these be overcome?

What impact, if any, has the introduction of maturity as a mitigating factor in sentencing decisions had on sentencing practice for young adults?

Do sentencers have sufficient information to make such assessments?

How could a criminal justice system which would treat young adults on the basis of maturity rather than age operate in practice?

24 October 2016