Surrey Youth Restorative Intervention

What is the Youth Restorative Intervention?

 Surrey Police and the Surrey Youth Support Service have co-designed an out of court disposal that builds on the 'Community Resolution' and is called the Youth Restorative Intervention (YRI). The disposal is an alternative to the formal disposals available to young offenders - namely Caution, Conditional Caution or prosecution - and is available in any summary-only or either-way offence committed by an under 18 year old where the case has been admitted.  The disposal decision is designed to have the maximum impact on the young offender to try to prevent further offending and also to ensure maximum victim satisfaction, within the context and framework of the criminal justice system. The traditional disposal of offences committed by young persons has been mainly punitive in nature and without reference to the victim, and research suggests that they are often ineffective in reducing the likelihood of re-offending. Additionally, there can be a disproportionate impact of receiving a formal criminal justice outcome as a juvenile in that future employment prospects in adulthood can be adversely affected. This in turn increases the likelihood of the individual being unable to make the positive contribution to society (in all senses of the phrase) that they otherwise might have been able to.

The YRI allows victims affected by a crime and the young individuals responsible a chance to communicate about what has happened and find a positive way forward.  The YRI is dependent upon the offender's acceptance of responsibility and compliance for making amends for the wrongdoing. It is sensitive to the needs and wishes of the victim and as a result there is a strong pledge to keep the victims fully informed during the process. Some victims express that they do not want to meet the offender but still want to be involved and kept informed. The YRI can also be used when there is no identifiable primary victim, an example of this is a young person found in possession of cannabis. Practitioners encourage these offenders to reflect upon who is harmed or affected by the behaviour and consider how things can be put right. In these scenarios it is crucial that parents and carers are also involved as they are often secondary victims.

The restorative approach involves a Youth Restorative Intervention 'agreement' being drawn up by the Youth Team and the victim. The offender is expected to sign and adhere to the conditions and expectations of that contract which will be designed to provide both restoration to the victim and diversion and support to the offender. Where the contract is breeched the formal sanctions remain accessible, i.e. Caution, Conditional Caution or prosecution.

To find out more information on the YRI, please click here

An independent evaluation of Surrey's YRI scheme was conducted which highlighted Surrey's achievement in reducing youth crime, plus saving £1.36 million of tax payers money. The evaluation also highlighted strong partnership work between Surrey Police and Surrey County Council, resulting in better outcomes for young people in Surrey. To read the full evaluation, please click here


The Howard League RJ Award

Surrey's YRI won the Howard League Restorative Justice Community Award for 2015. The Howard League Community Awards celebrate best practice in diversionary and champion work in the community that challenges and changes people for the better.