Reoffending rates for children and young people aged 10 to 17

The current Ministry of Justice (MoJ) methodology for measuring reoffending is based on a 3 month cohort who are then tracked for a further 12 month period. Reoffending data is based on the number of children and young people, aged 10 to 17, who receive a substantive outcome, e.g. a Youth Caution, Youth Conditional Caution, Court Order, or who were released on a custodial licence during the relevant quarter.
The data produced indicates the percentage of children and young people who reoffend, as well as a reoffending rate. The reoffending rate is the average number of new offences committed per child or young person that reoffends.
We aim to be in the top half of statistical neighbours by March 2022.

September 2019 performance

The local tracker data shows an improvement. In 2017/18 the size of the youth justice cohort was 231 children with 25.5% reoffending, compared to 32.9% by statistically neighbours. 13 children were responsible for 50.6% of the reoffending in the county. This group of children had multiple needs including those related to education, health and social care. 
Our 2019-20 milestone target is 33%.
The diverse needs of children that reoffend repeatedly require a multi-agency response and our ability to improve reoffending rates will be dependent on the effectiveness of our partnership.

Actions

Good performance in relation to reducing the harmful use of custody and preventing first time entrants to the youth justice system have had dramatic impact on this indicator, significantly reducing the size of the cohort of repeat offenders. This makes it considerably more challenging to be successful in all three areas of performance. To improve performance, a range of tasks are currently being implemented which will be reported to the Youth Offending Management Board. 
The Youth Offending Service (YOS) was redesigned in 2018 to address reoffending by creating a centralised assessment team to improve the identification of those most likely to offend and deliver more targeted and effective interventions. Due to significant staff vacancies, the implementation of this model was delayed and the service started to embed this approach from July 2019. Trauma informed and desistance focused practice are fundamental to the model, the development of which is being supported by specialist training, some of which has been delivered with more planned later in the year. 
 Actions include:-
  • Analyse the characteristics of the small cohort of children who commit the majority of reoffending to enable the service to improve the identification of these children when they first enter the youth justice system.
  • Children identified as at the highest risk of reoffending will be fast tracked to the Intensive Interventions team within YOS to ensure they receive a higher level of intervention to meet need, builds strengthens and reduces reoffending, irrespective of the criminal justice intervention they are subject to. 
  • Produce a report to the YOS Management Board setting out the progress of this operation in the December Board meeting and consider improvement actions.
The factors which contribute to offending by children are complex; often typified by both intra and extra familial risks which require a comprehensive multi-agency response. This is particularly the case for the small cohort of children who commit the majority of reoffending. Effectively engaging and intervening in the lives of these children and their families is challenging and requires time in order to build trusting and supportive relationships, which are the bedrock to facilitating change. Consequently, reducing reoffending by children in West Sussex requires a long term response from a wide range of agencies.