The Services we offer
Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP )
This scheme started in 2001 and was one of the first in the country to target persistent young offenders, who are at risk of custody. The programme involves a rigorous timetable of 25 hours per week of scheduled activities. These activities include offence-specific work, which assists young people in thinking about the consequences of their behaviours, and restorative work, which will involve them in doing something useful to benefit the community. They also have the chance to gain accreditation for life-skills and education work, which can help them to return to further education or employment.
Restorative Justice (RJ) Interventions began in January 2002.
This involves young people taking part in initiatives designed to make them think about the impact of their actions on the victim or victims. Examples of RJ interventions can include the young person writing a letter of apology, and in some cases direct mediation work with the victim.
The YOS believes that it is important that victims' feelings and wishes are elicited wherever possible, and seeks to engage them more effectively in the justice system. This work is supported by specialist Victim Officers.
Education is a key component of YOS provision. Our education staff ensure that all young people are attending appropriate education or training, and provide support tailored to their individual needs.
Parent and Carer Support
Parent and Carer Support is also provided, via one to one or group work.
Interventions / Programmes
Interventions / Programmes form part of every young persons order, and are intended to address specific needs or concerns identified via their assessment. A wide variety of group and one to one interventions are available, including drug awareness and education, literacy and numeracy mentor support, and good citizenship. We also run a number of 'offence-specific' group work programmes for young people who commit particular crimes, including robbery, vehicle crime and shoplifting.
Many of these are run in partnership with colleagues from the Police, Fire Service and CVone (the company responsible for safety and cleanliness in the City centre). Many of our programmes result in a reduction in offending by those who complete them. One example was an 8 week / 16 session programme called 'Street Impact', which used different media to explore and challenge young peoples involvement in street crime and drug use. The group devised and produced a CD rom, featuring multiple choice scenarios, video and music, to help other young people consider the implications of their own involvement crime and antisocial behaviour.
12 young people took part in this programme, and during the subsequent six months their offending decreased dramatically. A year after the project ended, 7 out of the 12 have not re-offended at all. This programme was cited as an example of good practice by the Home Office.
The Youth Investment Project (YIP )
The Youth Investment Project (YIP ) , based in Wood End, works with young people deemed to be ‘at risk’ of involvement in Crime. Via its delivery of ‘Positive Activities for Young People’ (PAYP), the YIP has contributed to a decrease in crime in the area over two successive summer holiday periods. (2003 and 2004).
Leisure and Diversion
Leisure and Diversion activities are promoted as a way for young people to fill their time constructively. Activities which are provided throughout the year include sports, arts-based work, music and DJ-ing. YOS works in partnership with the 8 Project, which is part of the Councils Culture and Leisure Department, and the Children’s Fund, to provide diversionary activities.
Referral Panels provide an opportunity for members of the public to get involved in the justice process. Trained volunteers sit on panels with a member of YOS staff, a young person and their parent or guardian (and occasionally the victim) to negotiate a contract of involvement for the young person. The contract will include elements of restorative justice, victim em pat hy and education or training. It can also provide access to support from one or more of the specialist staff based within YOS, these include drugs workers, health specialists, and Connexions personal advisors.