Problem solving approaches Prison Reform Trust

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Key Points, This report is the third in a series of five briefings which present learning from the. Winston Churchill Memorial Trust WCMT Prison Reform Fellowships and is. focused on problem solving approaches to criminal justice. Problem solving approaches are those which target the environmental and. psychosocial factors bound up with offending behaviour as well as the behaviour. itself and therefore entail integrated multi disciplinary criminal justice practices. In the field of youth justice for example a wide range of preventative diversionary. and welfare oriented initiatives in many parts of the world seek to address the. often complex and entrenched needs of children and young people who offend or. are at risk of offending, Such initiatives range from educational and family support in the community to the. development of constructive models of engagement with children for whom some. form of secure accommodation is required because of the extreme challenges. posed by their behaviour, A commitment to problem solving is evident in efforts to integrate policing and. mental health provision These include the introduction of the Crisis Intervention. Team model across much of the USA whereby frontline police officers are. provided with the skills and knowledge to deal effectively in the course of their. normal duties with individuals in mental health crisis. An alternative model for integrated provision involves various forms of co. response to mental health crises by teams made up of police officers working. together with mental health practitioners, Problem solving courts originated in the USA but have since been established in. many other parts of the world These courts place treatment support and. rehabilitation at the heart of the judicial process with a focus on community. sentences and the monitoring of offenders progress on sentences by judges. A vast array of problem solving courts are currently in operation including peer. courts and courts which deal specifically with defendants with mental health. problems substance misusing defendants and those who are homeless. Introduction, This report is the third in a series of five briefings which present learning from the Winston.
Churchill Memorial Trust WCMT Prison Reform Fellowships The Fellowships arranged. in partnership with the Prison Reform Trust and conducted from 2010 to 2015 explored. ways in which other countries respond to crime and whether similar approaches can be. adapted in the UK The backdrop to the Fellowships was a recognition of the limitations. of conventional criminal justice responses to crime which in England and Wales have led. to an imprisonment rate that is the highest in Western Europe 1 stubbornly high. reoffending rates and prisons described by the Chief Inspector as unacceptably violent. and dangerous places 2, The overarching theme of the briefings on the Churchill Fellowships is connections This. reflects the fact that many of the Fellows visited interventions seeking to forge strong. positive connections among and between individuals groups and organisations as a. means of tackling crime and its effects, Within the overarching connections theme this report is concerned with problem solving. approaches broadly understood as those which target the environmental and. psychosocial factors bound up with offending behaviour as well as the behaviour itself. The basic premise of such approaches is that the root causes of offending are many. varied and interlinking extending far beyond the predisposition and choices of the. individual Accordingly responses to offending are most effective where they are not. conceived and delivered as specific criminal justice initiatives but where they also. encompass health education welfare and other agencies and services As observed in. the first report in this series problem solving therefore entails. integrated multi disciplinary approaches to justice and the building of connections. not only between individuals and relevant services but between the services. themselves, Three types of problem solving approach which were examined by Churchill Fellows are. discussed below First we look at welfare oriented and diversionary work with children. and young people who have offended or are at risk of offending Secondly some. collaborative initiatives between the police and mental health services are outlined. Thirdly we discuss a range of problem solving courts. Integrated approaches to children in trouble with the law. The youth justice system of England and Wales deals with suspects defendants and. convicted offenders aged between 10 and 17 Recent years have seen a sharp decline in. the numbers of children and young people in the youth justice system with first time. entrants having declined by more than 80 since 2006 and 10 to 18 year olds in. custody by more than 70 since 2003 3 The rapidly falling youth justice caseloads appear. to reflect both declining levels of youth crime and greater use of diversionary options by. the police A natural corollary of these trends is a greater concentration of entrenched and. complex needs within the remaining youth justice population posing considerable. challenges for the system and underlining the importance of integrating youth justice. practice within wider service provision Another notable and challenging feature of youth. justice in England and Wales is that at ten years the age of criminal responsibility is. lower than in almost all other European jurisdictions. The Ministry of Justice commissioned a wide ranging review of the youth justice system. in 2015 The final report on this review published on 12 December 2016 calls for. a new system in which young people are treated as children first and offenders. second and in which they are held to account for their offending but with an. understanding that the most effective way to achieve change will often be by. improving their education their health their welfare and by helping them to draw on. their own strengths and resources 4, The Churchill Fellowships which focused on work with children and young people in. trouble with the law variously looked at preventative diversionary alternatives to custody. and welfare oriented initiatives Fellow Laura Baynton for example looked at a. preventative programme in Brazil see Fellowship observations 1 and went also to. Denmark where she was, struck by the language practitioners and politicians used to talk about crime and.
youth justice the strong sense of societal responsibility for crimes committed by. children the widely held pride in the low numbers in custody and the role of the state. in investing in early intervention on a scale unheard of in England and Wales. In the USA Baynton explored the use of after school reporting centres as an alternative. to pre trial detention these are centres to which young defendants not posing a high risk. to the public but who would typically be remanded into custody can be sent to report to. ensure they do not break their bail conditions abscond or offend before their trial 5. Diane Hart s primary interest was in the ways in which different countries work with. children who are removed from home because of their challenging or criminal behaviour. She looked at the Finnish welfarist model of youth justice Fellowship observations 2 the. emphasis on education and the application of love and boundaries in custodial units for. children in Spain and progressive models of what was commonly termed positive youth. development within some custodial establishments in the USA 6 Stephanie Waddell. contrasted approaches to youth offenders in Sweden the Netherlands and France where. she came across a number of promising interventions seeking to address youth violence. through preventative diversionary or enforcement means including the use of the Halt. penalty in the Netherlands Fellowship observations 3 7. Fellowship observations 1, Preventative work with young people at risk of offending in Brazil. Vivo Rio is an non governmental organisation running the innovative Scholastic. Acceleration Programme which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. in catching up and completing school in less than a year The programme s premise is. that educational qualifications are one of the most powerful tools in helping young people. stay out of trouble with the law find and keep work and raise their aspirations. Viva Rio offers young people a chance to quickly recover lost time in their education due to. truancy exclusion problems at home or lack of support and promotes social integration. The programme is run by a team of specialist teachers who are under rigorous. pedagogical supervision and students are expected to complete their primary education. in nine months and secondary education in eleven months as well as receive guidance on. citizenship and employment Set up in 1996 in Rio de Janeiro the approach has now been. adopted as public policy across the country The methodology created by the Roberto. Marinho Foundation is now certified by the Brazilian Department of Education and over. 90 000 young people across Brazil have to date participated in the programme. Laura Baynton visited Viva Rio in Brazil in 2012,Fellowship observations 2. Welfare oriented youth justice in Finland, In Finland the overwhelming majority of children who have engaged in criminal behaviour. are dealt with by the child protection system because such behaviour is regarded. primarily in terms of the risks it poses to their health and development As in other Nordic. countries the state is committed to offering high quality services to support families. including accessible day care Most children growing up in Finland will have benefitted. from this and then attended a school with in built support services including child mental. health practitioners Problems are identified and tackled at an early stage including. emerging conduct disorder If a child does develop behavioural problems this is seen as. a manifestation of a collective failure which should be addressed through support rather. than punishment, The age of criminal responsibility in Finland is 15 meaning that any children who have. engaged in problematic behaviour before that age cannot be prosecuted the families of. such children are offered child welfare or health services and additionally some reparation. work may be undertaken with any victim Even where those aged 15 or older are referred to. a criminal court the most likely outcome is a community disposal or suspended sentence. Only a handful of children are ever imprisoned and there must be weighty reasons for such. a disposal generally understood in terms of serious violence From 2005 to 2011 the. average number of 15 17 year olds in custody at any one time was six most of whom had. been subject to pre trial remand rather than sentenced to imprisonment. Diane Hart visited Finland in 2015,Fellowship observations 3.
Diverting young people from the criminal justice system in the Netherlands. The Halt programme in the Netherlands offers young people a last chance before they. enter the youth justice system This programme which is run by a private sector. organisation is enshrined in the Dutch penal code and has been in existence for over 25. years Children and young people aged from 12 to 18 who have been apprehended by. the police for minor crimes such as theft or nuisance behaviour can be referred directly. by the police or by the public prosecutor for a Halt penalty which involves a mixture of. unpaid work between 6 and 20 hours support to help change behaviour and. restorative justice Those who accept a Halt penalty do not receive a criminal record. and it is not possible to go through the programme more than twice Each year some. 22 000 children and young people are referred to Halt. Parental involvement from the point at which their children are first referred to Halt is. seen as key to the work of the programme Parents are helped to develop skills to. prevent their children from engaging in criminal behaviour in the future and are. expected to be involved when their children offer apologies for their behaviour and. make amends for any damage done, Stephanie Waddell visited the Halt programme in the Netherlands September 2013. Integrated responses to suspects mental health needs. Across much of the world the police are the service that can be most easily called upon. to respond to individuals in mental health crisis and there are high rates of mental illness. within prison populations worldwide 8 In England and Wales as elsewhere there are. abiding concerns about the numbers of people with serious mental health needs who. come to police attention and about the appropriateness or adequacy of police responses. to these needs9 and it is recognised that the prevalence of mental illness among prisoners. is persistently high 10 One current and large scale initiative intended to ensure that. suspects and offenders receive the mental health services and support they require. either within or through diversion outside the criminal justice system is the national roll. out of criminal justice liaison and diversion schemes which undertake screening and. referral of individuals at police stations and courts 11 In July 2016 the UK government. announced an additional 12m investment to extend NHS England liaison and. diversion services from 50 population coverage to 75 by 2018 12 Nevertheless there. Problem solving approaches are those which target the environmental and psychosocial factors bound up with offending behaviour as well as the behaviour itself and therefore entail integrated multi disciplinary criminal justice practices In the field of youth justice for example a wide range of preventative diversionary and welfare oriented initiatives in many parts of the world

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