What do ‘They’ Think? Young Offenders’ Views of Youth Offender Panels: A Case Study in one Youth Offending Team

Published 14/12/2011
Type Article
Author(s) Alison Suthers
Corresponding Authors Alison Suthers, student of University of Teesside

This study explores the subjective views of young offenders who have participated on Youth Offender Panels in one Youth Offending Team based in the North East of England. Youth Offender Panels are a core element of Referral Orders and act as a forum for discussion, dialogue and negotiation between the parties involved in and affected by a given crime. Allowing young offenders to speak has proved to be a powerful method of depicting their views on Youth Offender Panels, illustrating the potential of involving young offenders not only in the consultation about, but in the process of, effecting change.

Several themes emerged from the study relating to some of the practical aspects of delivering Youth Offender Panels, young offenders’ inter-action with panel members and the effectiveness of this approach in changing their behaviour. Based on the findings the author proposes that there should be a stronger emphasis placed on involving young offenders in the delivery of Youth Offender Panels with a view to improving their outcomes..