Source: (2004) London: Youth Justice Board

Under the Final Warning provisions, if a juvenile's first offense is within a prescribed range of severity, he/she receives a Final Warning, which is delivered by a police officer in the presence of parents or a responsible adult. Police then refer the juvenile to a Youth Offending Team (YOT) for assessment and placement in a suitable intervention program. Failure to comply with defined elements of the program is citeable in court if the juvenile reoffends. Soon after the Final Warning scheme was launched, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) established a development fund, inviting bids to establish a range of interventions for youth, including those linked to the Final Warning scheme. This report pertains to an evaluation of 30 YJB-funded development projects that sought to establish Final Warning intervention programs. The projects spanned a range of interventions based on restorative justice, educational and career advice, mentoring, and drug and alcohol treatment. Using a questionnaire, data were collected from YOTs and program staff; and 91 interviews were conducted with participants in 21 Final Warning cases sampled from 18 projects. A total of 708 juvenile offenders were included in the sample. The evaluation determined that few of the YOTs that received YJB funds were ready to develop and implement their plans. For various reasons, intervention programs and other aspects of the Final Warning were not a priority. Still, there was evidence of good practice when systematic, coordinated planning was involved. Improvement requires thorough planning for the delivery of warnings, an empirically based assessment of offenders, and the design and delivery of programs tailored to assessments. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.gov.


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