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Early intervention in youth justice: reflections on a 12-month triage pilot

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

  • Ben Harper
Publication date27/09/2012
Original languageEnglish
EventBritish psychological society, faculty for children and young people - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 26/09/201227/09/2012


ConferenceBritish psychological society, faculty for children and young people
CountryUnited Kingdom


Triage has been introduced as a national project in England and Wales as an initiative to prevent young people entering the youth justice system. The service is offered to young people and their families aged 10 to 17 who commit first time offences and provides a rapid early intervention assessment. The current study explores the model offered in Sefton which involves clinical psychology input alongside prevention and substance misuse workers. Exploration of the offending analysis reports for the 186 young people who attended triage over a pilot period indicates that triage led to a reduction in re-offending rates and an increase in access to appropriate diversion services, for example, youth services.

Focus groups were completed with young people and their families to explore the experience of triage and the factors identified in reduced re-offending. The results indicated that early access to support services and screening for substance misuse issues were identified as factors in the reduction of re-offending. Recommendations are provided on how clinical psychologists can influence these systems through training and consultancy.