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Criminal Justice

Preventing a new generation of young adults being caught in the ‘revolving door’

New data obtained by Revolving Doors Agency under the Freedom of Information legislation reveals that:

  • Over half of all reoffences committed by young adults are theft and summary non-motoring offences.
  • Young adults whose index offences are theft and summary non-motoring offences also have the highest rates of reoffending in the same category as their index offence.
  • Theft creates the highest level of churn of repeat offences in the same category, with a ratio of 994 reoffences per 1,000 reoffenders.
  • This rate is strikingly above any other crime category. It is 12 times higher than repeated possession of a weapon (for example carrying knives) and 6 times higher than repeated violence against a person.

These new figures expose the difference in demand created by young adults committing more serious and sometimes violent crime and the group often called ‘the revolving door’ who commit persistent low-level offences driven by a combination of needs stemming from complex trauma and poverty. These repeated, non-violent offences drive demand for our police, courts and justice system but are driven by underlying, unaddressed need.

The volume and churn of young adults who are sucked into the criminal justice system for relatively minor offences highlights the need for a radical new approach. The current failing approach resulted in the proportion of people with a history of repeat offending reaching at its highest ever level, accounting for nearly two fifths of all offenders.

This stark evidence comes at the same time as Revolving Doors publish ‘New Generation’ an evidence briefing highlighting the critical role of Police and Crime Commissioners and police services in preventing the new generation of young adults entering the revolving door. The report brings together new perspectives on characteristics and needs of young adults entering the revolving door.

Revolving Doors Agency has announced that they are offering bespoke consultancy and intensive on the ground support for five areas to kick-start local initiatives. These sites will benefit from their research, lived experience, policy, and service design expertise. Their support, which will be free of charge, can help Police and Crime Commissioners and their offices implement new strategies to support better options for young adults, such as deferred prosecutions or diversion schemes to keep young adults out of the criminal justice system.