ADJUST works!

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86% of young offenders engaging with Start360 did not return to custody.

That’s the result of an independent evaluation of Start360’s ADJUST service, carried out by Venture I Network.

To date, the ADJUST service has enjoyed many successes, and these can be measured by considering the progress it has made against the outcomes it aimed to attain. The service was supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which allowed Start360 to designed the ADJUST service to support young people leaving custody, promoting rehabilitation and reducing reoffending.

The full report can be found in our Publications section.

The ADJUST service specifically targets:

  • The high reoffending rate historically and interminably associated with youth offending
  • The underachievement in education and incurring employment barriers which these young people experience
  • The disastrous results of disengagement and detachment from mainstream services resulting in personal problems, problems in the community in the form of nuisance and crime, leading to long term costs and increased criminality, welfare dependency, housing, and a wide range of social and economic factors.
  • The serious implications of non/poor attendance in previous formal education in terms of their ability to communicate, socialise and function within today’s society
  • The impact of the conflict and related civil disturbances in terms of young people’s feelings of isolation, marginalisation and discrimination experienced, which has impacted on their ability to actively engage as citizens within their own communities
  • The requirement to self-explore the above issues and address feelings of anger, frustration, depression, loneliness and increasingly damaged self-esteem.

At the recent Start360 conference held in Belfast,Anne-Marie McClure, Chief Executive of Start360, said,

The fact that 86% of the young people we worked with through ADJUST did not return to custody speaks for itself

These young people have faced barriers across many areas of their lives – the Start360 ADJUST team put each of those people at the centre of the service and ensured that their individual needs were met.

Our mission is that ‘Change Starts Here’ – the young people of ADJUST have made real and positive changes in their lives and I look forward to following their journeys in the years to come.’

 Tom Bennett, Start360’s Research and Development officer, stated

ADJUST is one of our key services working with young people leaving prison. We know it works.

The recent evaluation highlights unbelievable outcomes for an incredibly vulnerable client group.

There is also the real potential that the service will help to save around 7.6 million from the public purse over 3 years’.

The following key points can be drawn from the analysis of ADJUST and from the information gathered during the consultation process:

  • ADJUST has performed effectively in developing a model of partnership working, recognising the holistic nature of resettlement which requires multi-agency co-operation
  • Putting young people at the centre of the intervention ensures that partnerships develop in terms of meeting their needs and creating an enhanced chance of success in terms of both better outcomes for the person and reduced reoffending
  • Honing the potential to develop a flexible programme / intervention around the young person (mentoring, peer support, learning, social activities, group events) was central to its appeal to the young person
  • The appointment of a dedicated mentor who acted as a ‘sounding board’ was imperative to the success of the intervention
  • This holistic approach is also reflected in the comprehensive programme of support which ADJUST covers, including personal development, training and employability and diversionary activities
  • Action plans which are tailored to individual needs based on ASI assessment ensure that every young person is furnished with a personal development plan which is specific to them, providing personal progression routes
  • The experience of ADJUST has highlighted the importance of family work and positive relationships to support resettlement
  • The effectiveness of ADJUST is evidenced by the fact that the service has been successfully integrated into the Offender Management Unit (now known as the Student Development Unit) as a support pathway for resettlement
  • In terms of delivery efficiency, Start360’s team delivered all of the key indicators. Indeed, in the majority of cases these were exceeded and in some cases significantly exceeded. The ethos and value base of Start360 means that it is the ideal organisation to meet the needs of adolescents in the justice system. It is clear that the culture of the organisation is ideal in creating meaningful engagement and building trust within challenging youth relationships, and using this engagement and trust for signposting to training, employment and the overall betterment of the young person.