More than one-third of sentenced young offenders have no training plan in place to help their release and resettlement, according to a prison inspectorate review.
Despite training plans being mandatory for young people in prison, Anne Owers, the outgoing HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, has found that only 60% of young people surveyed had a plan to smooth their transition back into the community.
Her review, Training Planning for Children and Young People, stated that training plans should underpin and “guide the management of a young person’s time in custody and his or her transition back into the community”.
Owers said: “Training plans are mandatory, so it was surprising that only 60% of sentenced young people surveyed reported having a plan. At the very least, this suggests the need for greater efforts to ensure young people are aware of and engage with the planning process.”
Of those who did have plans in place, only half reported being involved in the development of the plan. The review also found that only 22% of young men surveyed said they were taking part in programmes to address their offending behaviour. This made it harder for them to achieve the targets set in their training plans, the review found.
Inspectors found that some institutions had thorough plans in place, but noted considerable variation in the quality of plans across young offender institutions.
Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “Without effective guidance and support today’s vulnerable young people risk becoming tomorrow’s long-term adult prisoners. This review shows that many young people in custody are not receiving the support they need to get out of trouble.
“Greater effort is needed to ensure young people are aware of, and engage in, the development of their training plans, which have a vital role to play in the process of their rehabilitation and resettlement.”
A response from the Youth Justice Board is expected later today.