Assessing young people in police custody: an examination of the operation of Triage schemes

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Institute for Criminal Policy Research
Home Office
Date of publication
1 July 2012
Occasional paper; 106
Young Offenders, Criminal Justice Services, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

Download (606KB )

This report examines the operation of Triage schemes. Triage schemes are based in police stations and aim to identify the needs of young people as they enter the youth justice system. A key objective of the schemes is to divert young people who have committed less serious crimes away from the formal youth justice system. This research was undertaken to assess the impact of Triage schemes on the numbers of young people entering the youth justice system and rates of re-offending, alongside providing a process evaluation of the operation of the schemes in different areas. The study found that stakeholders believed that the schemes worked best where there was a strong existing partnership between the police and the Youth offending service; and when there was a shared strategic goal to divert young people committing low-level offences away from the youth justice system and to support vulnerable young people. Some of the barriers to the Triage scheme uncovered included poor communication between custody staff and Triage workers, reducing appropriate referrals to the schemes, and low police awareness about Triage and its aims. The recommendations of the report outline the need for inter-agency collaboration and communication, as well as a clear strategy for monitoring the scheme and a reassessment of police training needs.

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