Research and analysis

Youth Justice Reinvestment Custody Pathfinder: final report

This report presents findings from an evaluation to assess implementation and delivery of Pathfinder.



The Youth Justice Reinvestment Custody Pathfinder, commissioned by the Youth Justice Board (YJB), aimed to test how local authorities could be incentivised to reduce the use of youth custody for 10 to 17 years olds.

The pilot ran for 2 years from October 2011 to September 2013. This second and final process evaluation report mainly covers the implementation of Pathfinder during the final year of the pilot in the 2 Pathfinder sites.

Individual end of pilot targets were set, as measured by the number of custody bed nights. At the end of the pilot, sites 1 and 2 exceeded their targets, as well as exceeding reductions seen in the rest of England and Wales.

The report identifies a number of factors which appeared to have facilitated implementation in the second year. Both sites adopted a ‘systems approach’ that required detailed data analysis, to identify key entry points and stages in the criminal justice system where improvements in practice, processes or interventions can have the potential to deliver reductions in the use of youth custody.