Innovative project aims to break the cycle of youth crime

Date 10.02.2021

Launched with the support of the University of Northampton, a new way of tackling youth crime is being trialled at Wellingborough Court in order to break the cycle of reoffending.

The innovative project, Youth Court Solutions, will strengthen connections between the Youth Offending Service, Police, legal professionals, and local charities to better support the impact crime has on a child’s life – whether as a witness, victim, or perpetrator.

Youth Court Solutions aims to create a personalised, supportive, stable environment, and service for the child or young person, initially focused around their interactions with the criminal justice system, but which will extend to the wider challenges affecting their families.

With a presence at the dedicated Youth Courts in Wellingborough, Youth Court Solutions will work with the child or young person to help them understand the criminal and support services and proactively address the issues which bring children and young people to court. Youth Court Solutions will also help young people access learning and education opportunities, as well as assistance for financial issues, debt, and accommodation challenges.

The University of Northampton, through its Centre for Sustainable Business Practice (CSBP), has supported the launch of the new service and will work with Youth Court Solutions to engage local businesses to facilitate work experience and visits, training, apprenticeships, jobs, and mentoring to allow young people to develop their employability skills and prospects.

Adrian Pryce, DL, CSBP Outreach Lead and Associate Professor at the University of Northampton, and chairman of the Crysalys Foundation, which is the lead charity coordinating the service, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative project with Youth Court Solutions, bringing together the public, private, third and academic sectors, working together to support our children and young people.

“This holistic approach to supporting children aims to give everybody, regardless of age, a sense of them being heard and understood, and ensure that the child and their families are given support to break a cycle of involvement with the criminal justice system.”

Dominic Goble DL JP, one of the main architects of Youth Court Solutions and an External Associate of CSBP said: “The new service has been exceptionally well received by legal and criminal justice professionals nationwide, and has the potential to be another successful ‘Made in Northamptonshire’ initiative that is adopted nationally, as with previous youth court initiatives in the County.

“I am grateful to all those involved, including the University, for bringing this project to fruition and ready to launch in record time.”

Youth Court Solutions will officially launch, with a webinar on Thursday 11 February at 5.00pm. Please register here for the webinar.