You are here: A new generation of revolving door

New data obtained by Revolving Doors Agency under the Freedom of Information legislation reveals that:

  • Over half of all reoffences committed by young adults are theft and summary non-motoring offences.
  • Young adults whose index offences are theft and summary non-motoring offences also have the highest rates of reoffending in the same category as their index offence.
  • Theft creates the highest level of churn of repeat offences in the same category, with a ratio of 994 reoffences per 1,000 reoffenders.
  • This rate is strikingly above any other crime category. It is 12 times higher than repeated possession of a weapon (for example carrying knives) and 6 times higher than repeated violence against a person.   

These new figures expose the difference in demand created by young adults committing more serious and sometimes violent crime and the group often called ‘the revolving door’ who commit persistent low-level offences driven by a combination of needs stemming from complex trauma and poverty. These repeated, non-violent offences drive demand for our police, courts and justice system but are driven by underlying, unaddressed need.

The volume and churn of young adults who are sucked into the criminal justice system for relatively minor offences highlights the need for a radical new approach. The current failing approach resulted in the proportion of people with a history of repeat offending reaching at its highest ever level, accounting for nearly two fifths of all offenders.

This stark evidence comes at the same time as Revolving Doors publish an evidence briefing “New Generation” highlighting the critical role of Police and Crime Commissioners and police services in preventing the new generation of young adults entering the revolving door. The report brings together new perspectives on characteristics and needs of young adults entering the revolving door.

Revolving Doors Agency is also pleased to announce that they are offering bespoke consultancy and intensive on the ground support for five areas to kick-start local initiatives. These sites will benefit from their research, lived experience, policy, and service design expertise. Their support, which will be free of charge, can help Police and Crime Commissioners and their offices implement new strategies to support better options for young adults, such as deferred prosecutions or diversion schemes to keep young adults out of the criminal justice system.

Revolving Doors Chief Executive Christina Marriott said:

Yet again we see a whole new generation of young adults being pulled into the depths of criminal justice system. If we are to have less crime, fewer victims and safer communities, we must respond to the reality of the young adults who are already in contact with the criminal justice system.  Overwhelmingly, their reality is a life built on trauma and poverty and very little support. The standard criminal justice response just keeps turns their lives from bad to worse.

As a society we should be demanding smarter policing responses as part of a more effective criminal justice system that makes reoffending less, and not more, likely.

New Generation: Evidence Briefing

This briefing brings together the latest evidence on young adults in the ‘revolving door’ of crisis and crime. Its aim is to consider what can be done to prevent these young adults from getting caught there.

On the whole, the criminal justice system fails to recognise the combined impact of trauma and poverty on the lives of young adults. As a result, many of them enter the ‘revolving door’. Numerous services withdraw support when young people are transitioning from children’s to adult services and the police are left to pick up the pieces.

Our evidence suggests that a significant number of young adults are on the cusp of entering the ‘revolving door’. If we don’t intervene, we run the risk of people cycling through the system for a decade or more. Young adulthood is the point where we need to intervene more effectively.

There is also a great deal of evidence to show that each contact with the criminal justice system harms future life chances. The deeper into the criminal justice system young adults move, the more likely they are to reoffend. Proactively diverting young adults away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate support services must be a priority for the whole system.