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This blog was originally written for T2A (Transition to Adulthood) by Chair, Leroy Logan MBE.  He reflects on the lack of progress on the Lammy Review recommendations and what this means for young Black and minority ethnic adults. 

Last week, Prison Reform Trust published an update on the progress of the Lammy Review’s prison recommendations. Commenting, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: 

“More than five years on since David Lammy’s review revealed the shocking extent of racial disproportionality in our criminal justice system, our report shows that many of the issues he identified remain stubbornly persistent.” 

Of course, I welcome the transparency that this analysis brings. However, as someone who has worked tirelessly throughout my career to create a fairer criminal justice system, I am bitterly disappointed by the government’s lack of progress on its commitments. 

In his 2018 Perrie Lecture, David Lammy said: “You cannot be in the criminal justice business and not be in the race business.” 

And one cannot support children and young adults in the criminal justice system without being uncomfortably aware of the deep-seated racial disparities that exist. According to the Ministry of Justice’s statistics, over 40% of 18-24 year olds in custody are young Black and minority ethnic adults. 

That’s why the work of T2A is hugely important. Together with T2A Alliance members, we’re doing all we can to ensure that every young adult in the criminal justice system gets the support they need, based on their ongoing maturity and not simply on their chronological age. 

We often speak to practitioners across HMPPS who want to do more to support young Black and minority ethnic adults, so we must continue to create accessible resources and tools that enable them to do so.24 year olds in custody are young Black and minority ethnic adults. 

Training materials should cover everything from understanding how to talk about race and increasing cultural awareness, to learning more about implicit bias and discrimination. Listening to Black and minority ethnic organisations and the young adult they support will ensure these materials are grounded in lived experience. Spark Inside’s recent #BeingWellBeingEqual report highlighted the importance of this approach, and how promoting young Black men’s wellbeing can help them unlock their full potential. 

Learning how to support young adults to move from a pro-offending to pro-social identity will also be crucial. With a stronger insight into how identity and trauma inform behaviour, staff will be able to develop more positive relationships with the young Black and minority ethnic adults in their care. 

I know that the scale of the challenges we face may feel insurmountable at times. Many people, myself included, are rightly disappointed that so little has changed since David Lammy’s landmark review five years ago. 

But we must not let this deter us. We must harness this energy and relentlessly focus on the work ahead of us. And if you’re feeling a tad cynical, which is completely understandable, I invite you to delve into the power of optimism. 

Want to learn more about how to support young adults in the justice system? 



Tuesday 22 Jan

Former Metropolitan Police Superintendent Leroy Logan MBE takes over as chair of T2A young adults campaign

Leroy Logan MBE, anti-racist campaigner, former Met superintendent, and a founding member of the Black Police Association, has been appointed as Chair of Transition to Adulthood (T2A).

Transition to Adulthood (T2A) is a Barrow Cadbury Trust programme advocating for a criminal justice system that takes a distinct approach to policy and practice for young adults (18-25 year olds). The criminal justice system regards all people over 18 year olds as adults.  T2A argues it’s not as simple as this.  Our research, as well as evidence from academic institutions and from government bodies, along with the insights from criminal justice practitioners, shows that between 18 and 25 the brain is still developing.  This can show itself as irresponsible and unpredictable behaviour which may lead to criminal justice interventions.  T2A is working with sentencers, criminal justice practitioners, and policy makers to make sure this evidence is taken into account when services are designed and decisions made impact on young adult in the justice system

The prison population is made up of a disproportionate number of young adults.  At the last census they made up 9.4% of the general population but 16% of the prison population, 23% of those on the most basic regime, as well as young adults making up over 30% of police cases.

On taking up the role Leroy Logan said:

“The causes of crime have always been overlooked by a ‘tough on crime’ approach. I believe my new role with T2A is a way of highlighting the challenges young adults face that may lead them to offend or repeat offend. All of these factors along with an individual’s maturity should be taken into consideration when the courts sentence an individual. I look forward to working with everyone on the T2A team and the T2A partner organisations”.

Welcoming him as Chair of the campaign, Sara Llewellin, CEO of Barrow Cadbury Trust said:

“When Leroy Logan said he would take up the role of chair we were absolutely delighted to have someone so committed to reforming the criminal justice system and challenging inequality, particularly racism.  His 30 years’ experience in the Met Police advancing policing (recognised by an MBE in 2000), and his work on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry will help to drive the T2A campaign to the next level, increasing traction and profile.  We are very much looking forward to working with Leroy and his team to accelerate change for young adults in the CJS”.








The new evidence review by the national justice charity Revolving Doors for T2A (Transition to Adulthood), reveals that delivering tailored interventions that meet the health and human needs of young adults can turn young people’s lives around, reduce crime and improve public safety.

The review brings together the latest evidence and emerging good practice that are shown to support young adults to move away from the criminal justice system. It highlights the need to scale up investment in police assisted diversion services to meet the ever-rising time demand on policing and courts.

Evidence from this review recommends that police-assisted diversion services should:

  • Avoid prosecutions for low-level and non-violent crimes where possible to have the most impact
  • Deliver tailored responses to meet the specific needs of young adults’ health, human needs and maturity
  • Apply trauma-informed approaches to understand root causes of crime and minimise harm
  • Adopt a gender-specific and culturally competent approach to achieve equable outcomes for young adults in the criminal justice system
  • Promote a pro-social identity that builds on their strengths and abilities and empowers them to shape their own future
  • Link young adults and their families into sustainable and long-term support to prevent future crises.

Pavan Dhaliwal, Chief Executive of Revolving Doors Agency, said,

“The benefits of out of court disposals are generally well known but what is often lacking is evidence about works about these programmes specifically and importantly given the fact that they make up around a third of all police cases, what works in reducing reoffending in young adults.

This new review shines a light on interventions that are most effective for diverting young adults into support. It pushes the New Generation agenda forward into practical steps towards reducing reoffending and offers the chance for young adults to turn their lives around.

With magistrates’ courts backlogs expected to rise ten-fold, it is vital that police and crime commissioners invest in diversion services so that the police can deal with low-level crime effectively.”

Natasha, New Generation young adult campaigner, said,

“What made the biggest difference for me was having a consistent support worker who worked with me at every step of my journey, taught me how to notice patterns, followed up after I left the service, and encouraged me to seek help. I liked how they did not judge me or make me feel less than. This made me see the light at the end of the tunnel and push me to make the positive changes and embark on my journey to change.”

Joyce Moseley, Chair, T2A said:

“T2A (Transition to Adulthood) has been working to develop and collate best practice evidence from the UK and globally to understand how young adults (18 to 25) can best be supported to move away from crime. This report from the Revolving Doors Agency makes a valuable contribution to that evidence base of diversionary approaches for young adults. Young adulthood can be a time of high offending but it is also the period where with the right interventions rapid desistance from the cycle of crisis and crime can be achieved.”



A distinct approach to young adults is tough on crime and a high-return investment, says Max Rutherford Criminal Justice Programme Manager at Barrow Cadbury Trust

Three years ago, six projects set out to demonstrate the effectiveness of a ‘whole pathway’ approach to young adults involved in crime – from point of arrest to release from prison. Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) independent evaluation of this ‘T2A Pathway’, published today, tells the story of these projects from design to delivery during a time when local services faced unprecedented turmoil and austerity.

It highlights the extraordinary resilience, flexibility and skill of voluntary sector organisations in meeting the needs of society’s most vulnerable people, turning young lives around and pulling them back from the brink of a life of crime, self-harm, addiction and, for many, an early death.

A distinct approach to young adults that is tough on crime

What the T2A Pathway delivered was unequivocally “tough on crime”. There’s nothing soft about intervening to calm down a young man wielding a samurai sword in a park full of children. There’s nothing fluffy about coming to the aid of a brain-injured young man who, every day, sits naked on a bridge and threatens to thrown himself off. It’s not a charitable nicety to secure a safe place to live for a teenage mother and her new-born child who are both at high risk of sexual and physical abuse.

Commissioning services for 16-25 year olds that enable them to address their behaviour and turn their lives around is not do-gooding – it’s a high-return investment. No other age group is more likely to desist from crime, and no other group of adults has as much life still ahead of them. All of the 414 young people supported by the projects were causing harm to their communities (three quarters already had criminal records) and even more harm to themselves.

The evaluation is further evidence of the unmatchable value to people with complex needs of relationship-based, intensive support. This doesn’t mean services that are either high-cost or slow – quite the opposite. Services were described as “quicker” and “tailor made”, in comparison to statutory provision.

Benefits to other agencies

Of course, the work of projects like these benefits criminal justice agencies – reducing offending, avoiding breach and increasing compliance – all big wins for the police, courts, probation and prisons. It saves money, reduces crime and, perhaps most persuasive, saves these agencies precious time. As a police borough commander put it to me in conversation, “these projects help us spend more time catching bad guys”.

Yet it’s a direct benefit to other agencies too – mental health services (many of which have raised their thresholds to unreachable heights for young people) won’t have to pick up the pieces of acute crises; social care and child protection services won’t have to take as many children into care.

Gender and race

Nearly a third of the young adults supported by the projects were female, and one project was women-only. These teenage and young adult women had even more needs than the young men: 63% had experienced abuse, rape or domestic violence, and 15% had been involved in sex work. The evaluation reports great additional benefit from a gender-specific approach within the young adult focus.

A third of the young adults were BAME, with a higher rate in the prison-based projects than the community-based projects. A concern arising from the evaluation is disproportionately low levels of referral of young BAME men, in particular, by statutory agencies to voluntary sector services -, raising questions about the ability to meet the cultural, faith and ethnicity needs of this group -compared to referrals of young white men.


The most effective projects shared some common features in their structure and design, such as having a clearly defined distinct offer for young adults, strong partnerships in place from the beginning and a referral criteria and process that was co-designed by the project team and the referring agencies.

Sustainability of the projects beyond the pilot phase was universally tough at a time of continually shrinking budgets. Two projects were incorporated into the delivery model of a wider contract by the lead charity, two came to an end, and two secured further funding to carry on as they were. A reconviction study and economic analysis from MMU will conclude later this year, and be published in early 2018.

Wider impact

As a collective, T2A Pathway projects contributed evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee’s inquiry on Young Adult Offenders, which concluded in 2016 that there is “overwhelming evidence” in support of a distinct approach to young adults throughout the criminal justice system. Professionals and young people from the projects spoke at national conferences and local events alongside politicians, Police and Crime Commissioners and senior officials. The projects took part in an array of pioneering research projects, including ones on brain injury, bereavement and race equality.

The projects’ legacy is still emerging, but it is clear they have already delivered immense impact, not only on the lives of hundreds of young people and their communities, but also on the people who work with them, and on those who make the policies.

This blog was written by Max Rutherford, Criminal Justice Programme Manager at the Barrow Cadbury Trust in response to the Final Process Evaluation report of the T2A Pathway. For more information email Max Rutherford.

In his new role as Associate at the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), our Criminal Justice Programme Manager, Max Ruthford considers the importance of young adult courts and what the Trust’s Transition to Adulthood campaign (T2A) is doing to make this happen. This blog was originally taken from the CYCJ website.

For ten years, the Barrow Cadbury Trust has supported more than 40 research, demonstration and policy projects focused on improving outcomes for young adults involved in crime. These projects have included research on the distinct needs of young adults (e.g. by exploring neurodevelopment and brain injury among young people in custody), ethnicity (such as a study on the impact of Islamophobia on criminal justice decision-making) and gender (including looking at the distinct needs of young adult women in prison). A major focus of the programme has been on improving criminal justice practice, such as projects to support probation and sentencers to take account of developmental maturity and not just chronological age, and trialing innovative approaches to policing.

This growing body of evidence forms the basis of the ‘Transition to Adulthood’ (T2A) campaign, which promotes a more effective approach to young adults aged 18-25 at all stages of the T2A Pathway – a framework mapping 10 stages of the criminal justice process, from point of arrest to resettlement from custody, where a young adult specific intervention can be delivered that is distinct from the system as it relates to both children and older adults. In England and Wales this has contributed to significant policy and practice reforms. Currently, the House of Commons Justice Select Committee is concluding a major inquiry on Young Adult Offenders, to which T2A has provided extensive written and oral evidence. Across England and Wales a growing number of Police and Crime Commissioners, probation services and prisons are developing specific young adult services and interventions to better meet the needs of this group. T2A’s own pilots have shown that by taking such an approach, re-conviction rates are reduced, and positive outcomes in areas such as employment and health are achieved.

One area of focus for T2A for the next few years will be on the courts. There have been many positive developments that have affected the courts in recent years. In 2012, the Sentencing Council for England and Wales introduced for the first time a new mitigating factor in sentencing guidelines for adult offenders ‘age and/or lack of maturity’. In 2013, ‘maturity’ was included as a new factor in culpability considerations in the Crown Prosecution Service Code of Conduct. In 2015, the Ministry of Justice announced that the National Probation Service would be required to produce a maturity assessment for all young adults age 18-24 pre-sentence. This context provided fertile ground for a study in 2015, conducted for T2A by the Centre for Justice Innovation, examining the feasibility of establishing a young adult specific criminal court.

A young adult court would adapt the ‘procedural fairness’ principles of youth settings, which would include elements such as specialist listing arrangements so that it would only see 18-25 year olds, would likely take place in a youth court building or setting, and sentencing would be conducted by ‘youth ticketed’ magistrates. Other elements could include more integrated family involvement, more focused pre-sentence court assessment and the availability of specialist young adult disposals. ‘Procedural fairness’ adaptations of this kind, where trialed elsewhere, have shown positive impacts on reducing re-conviction rates, even where the sentence awarded does not differ. Research has shown that a defendant who understands the court process and believes the court has treated them fairly is far more likely to subsequently comply with the sentence given, even if they disagree with the decision.

Since early 2016, CJI has led a major new T2A initiative funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust to establish a network of young adult courts, an idea that has the backing of central government and the court services. Following a call for expressions of interest to court areas to take part in a local feasibility study, far more areas than expected sought to develop a pilot with many bids led by Police and Crime Commissioners. This level of interest illustrated the real desire among court professionals to develop the feasibility study into a pilot. From their point of view, not only was this approach ideologically right, but it tied in with broader policy agendas, such as improving outcomes for groups with the highest recall and breach rates (where young adults lead the way), efficiency savings (which could be achieved by focused, specialist listings), and utilising empty youth courts and specialist magistrates (both of which are currently under worked following the welcome 70% fall in five years in the number of children entering the criminal courts).

Ultimately, five sites have been selected, and are now working intensively with CJI to complete local needs analyses and feasibility, leading to an options paper for each site at the end of 2016. These will set out how the sites can move forward to become operational. Once live, each court would manage around 2,000 young adults per year, and an independent academic evaluation will monitor re-conviction outcomes with support from the Ministry of Justice’s Justice Data Lab. Aside from support locally from CJI and the costs of the evaluation, the sites will be operating entirely within existing resources.

We hope that by demonstrating a significant reduction in re-conviction rates, young adult specific criminal courts will become part of mainstream practice, and that many other areas will seek to develop models to suit local need, adding further to a growing momentum for the T2A agenda.

T2A has today submitted its response to Lord Harris’ independent review of deaths of young adults aged 18-24 in National Offender Management Service (NOMS) custody. The Harris Review was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice at the start of 2014, led by the Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) on Deaths in Custody. The review will inform the government’s future plans for the management of young adults across the prison estate, including possible reforms to Young Offender Institutions (YOIs).


From 2012 to July 2014, there have been 46 self-inflicted of young deaths of young adults aged 18-24. There have been nine so far this year (another is awaiting classification). In the past 10 years, more than 160 children and young people under the age of 24 have died in prison.

An innovative three-year T2A national programme to deliver interventions to young adults involved with the criminal justice system was launched today in six locations.


The ‘T2A Pathway’ will be delivered by partnerships between the voluntary and statutory sectors, as part of the work of the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A). The projects will work with 16-25 year olds at different stages of the criminal justice system.  Young adults are vastly over-represented in the criminal justice system. While 18-24 year olds account for around 10% of the general population, they represent around a third of the probation service’s caseload, and a third of those sent to prison each year.


Alongside the delivery of the T2A Pathway, Barrow Cadbury Trust has commissioned an independent four-year formative, summative and economic evaluation, which began in late 2013. The evaluations will measure the social and economic impact and effectiveness of each project. The evaluation team, led by Professor Paul Senior and Kevin Wong at the Hallam Centre for Community Justice within Sheffield Hallam University, will also support delivery organisations with establishing baseline data, data collection systems, and data analysis.


The T2A Pathway projects include provision of mental health support, restorative justice, drug and alcohol treatment, family engagement and help with finding employment.  The new T2A Pathway projects include partnerships with the police in London and Rotherham, with courts and probation in Liverpool and Sheffield, and with five prisons in the West Midlands. The projects are all co-funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust, along with a range of statutory partners, from Police and Crime Commissioners to prisons and local authorities.


The projects will develop further the work of three T2A (Transition to Adulthood) pilots, which worked with more than 2,000 young adults between 2009 and 2013 in London, Birmingham and Worcestershire.  The pilots showed that treating young adults as a distinct group reduced offending and increased employment.  The projects will be the centrepiece of the delivery work of the T2A Alliance, a coalition of 13 leading charities, which works to evidence the importance of a distinct approach for young adults either at risk of entering the criminal justice system or already involved in it.


Announcing the new T2A Pathway, Joyce Moseley OBE, Chair of the T2A Alliance said:


“Young people on the cusp of adulthood often have a range of challenges to overcome, and those in trouble with the law have often lost contact with family, education or employment, which are vital for turning away from a life of crime. We’ve known for some time that young adults in the criminal justice system benefit hugely from a distinct approach that takes account of their variable maturity and addresses their particular needs.


T2A’s research has shown how services can work effectively with young adults throughout the criminal justice process and link them back to a crime-free life, benefitting them and their communities.  The T2A Pathway will provide young adults across the country with the opportunity to make amends and address their offending, and guide them into a stable and productive adulthood.”



The T2A Alliance


i)             The T2A Alliance is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and was established in 2008. In 2012 T2A published the ‘Pathways from Crime’, which created the concept of the ‘T2A Pathway’, a 10-stage framework that describes how services can work effectively with young adults throughout the criminal justice process, from point of arrest to release from prison.


ii)          Over a half of young adults in custody go on to reoffend within one year of release and up to two-thirds reoffend within two years.


iii)            The T2A Alliance’s members are:  Addaction, Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), Catch22, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS), Clinks, the Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA), the Howard League for Penal Reform, Nacro, the Prince’s Trust, the Prison Reform Trust (PRT), Revolving Doors Agency, the Young Foundation, and Young Minds.


Find out more about the six T2A Pathway programmes on the T2A Pathway page: