Published on January 29, 2008
Slide1: Working in partnership with the National Probation Service for England and Wales and the Metropolitan Police Southwark Gangs Disruption Team : Southwark Gangs Disruption Team Currently Funded from The Neighbourhood Renewal funded up till 2008 Based in Southwark Youth Offending Team 2 Gangs workers Since 2001 1 Practice Manager – 4 Gangs Workers (social work Qualified) Supported by Connexions Worker, EWO & SASBU worker Reports quarterly to the Partnership Quadrant What do we do: What do we do How do we target out client group? : How do we target out client group? We employ a variety of methods from groups, referral based work, 1:1s, citizenship days and tailor made interventions to engage ‘at risk’ youth. This inevitably means having to work in a multi – agency environment, to reach a variety of clients from both the statutory and voluntary sectors. The clients we target are therefore either required to work with us as part of their statutory court order, or engage with us through our community programmes. We aim to ensure that all interventions are ‘needs led’ and ‘targeted’ to the right areas. E.g. – Setting up in ‘hot spots’ identified by the BIU, where there is known gang activity. Group work mission statement: Group work mission statement It is our aim that the group serves to: ‘Provide young people with control over their own lives by increasing their confidence to act on their own ideas, to use the resources available to them and to make their needs known to those that have the power over resources.’ (Badham et al 1989) Custodial Programme : Custodial Programme Background The intervention at HMPS/YOI Feltham was requested as a result of the work that we had already undertaken through the education unit in the summer of 2006. The group was established to tackle some of the issues that were presented by the young people on the unit, who were identified as belonging to gangs, or were seen to be at risk of gang bullying, or recruitment. The gang issues at the unit were reported to be ongoing which is why it was agreed that we should concentrate on a smaller, more targeted high risk group, and offer a more intensive intervention Nature of referrals and group selection: Nature of referrals and group selection Referrals from Personal Officers Information received from offender management and resettlement Information received from the substance misuse team The offending patterns for this group were quite varied ranging from Robbery Drug offences Murder Assault Pre-Programme Assessment : Pre-Programme Assessment During the first session and prior to the group starting, the young people were asked to complete self - assessments. These questions were used as a mapping exercise to extract attitudes to certain offences and behaviours. It was intended that the same questionnaires would then be used at the end of the programme as an evaluation tool, in measuring how attitudes may have changed over the course of the 3 weeks. From the 11 forms that were completed, a total of 16 questions were asked. These ranged from attitudes on: Gang membership Violence The use of weapons The importance of peers Attitudes to women Drug use Faith Findings of pre and post attitude scoring: Findings of pre and post attitude scoring There was a marked shift in all the questions, post programme, with positive shifts in the following: The majority of the group felt that they now had choices in what they did They could see reasons for staying out of trouble They could see the negative aspects of gangs The did not see violence or weapons as the only option Friends did not take priority Their faith made helped them do the right thing Although the group was reduced from 11 to 6 by the 3rd session, there was a definite improvement in attitude, which was supported by the boy’s feedback in the end evaluation. Delivery of the Programme : Delivery of the Programme The group was structured primarily to address the risk that gangs presented both inside and outside the unit. These included the following key themes: Gang rivalry Territory Racial identity Recruitment Exit strategies Harm minimisation Alternatives to gangs Programme delivery:: Programme delivery: As before the programme was delivered using a variety of methods from: Discussion Games Worksheets DVD Music Case studies Personal testimonies Evaluation : Evaluation There was a marked shift in all the questions, post programme, with positive shifts in the following: The majority of the group felt that they now had choices in what they did They could see reasons for staying out of trouble They could see the negative aspects of gangs The did not see violence or weapons as the only option Friends did not take priority Their faith made helped them do the right thing Young people’s feedback: : Young people’s feedback: We need more lessons – as there is nothing like this here at the unit’ ‘The group is as good as it can be, and should carry on running for longer!’ ‘This group should be a permanent thing here’ ‘ I look forward to the group every week, as it gets me out of my cell, but gives me things to think about and helps me plan what I want from life’ ‘ The programme helped me see the negative sides of gang life, and how we need to come to our senses before it is too late.’ ‘I learnt that we need that we need to fix up our attitude to life’ ‘ It helped me see the effects of my actions on other people, and that violence will only escalate the situation to a higher problem.’ ‘ It showed me that young people need to stop acting like fools’ ‘ It taught me that we need to think about things fully before acting’ ‘The group touched a spot that no other youth group has tapped into.’ Feedback – tutors at Feltham: Feedback – tutors at Feltham I think that any further intervention would prove to be very beneficial with our young people at Feltham. The boys have responded very well to the tutors and the issues that they raise. I can see that the YOT are making good progress in educating and encouraging the boys here. This programme has been a very positive experience for Feltham. Every week the students are looking forward to the sessions and even complete homework in preparation for the next session. I am impressed with the effort the students have put in with the discussions and group work and I think the reason they have put in this effort is because the tutors have the knowledge and ability to achieve the aims of the programme. Moving Forward Emerging Messages (YJB: Moving Forward Emerging Messages (YJB Develop partnerships with other establishments to promote the work being delivered in Feltham, and to present the business case for this work to be rolled out to other secure establishments experiencing the same issues, to a greater or lesser extent than Feltham. Ensure that evaluation and monitoring is a continuous cycle to inform the development of the programme for the future, and to ensure that current trends/issues and activity within communities is reflected in the practice of delivering the programme Consider the applicability to the female secure estate Consider the applicability to the younger age group (STC/LASCH) within secure establishments (leaning more towards prevention and generic awareness raising) Work towards accreditation EMERGING MESSAGES: EMERGING MESSAGES It was apparent that the gangs issue is one that that adapts and changes once young people enter the prison system, and is a reality as far as bullying, and violence are concerned Although a lot of the young people had allegiances when they come in, unless there were marked leaders in the system, the borough boundaries and tensions appeared to be relaxed somewhat The boys valued a space in which to discuss their concerns in a safe environment and were more productive in identifying their own resistance strategies, without external pressures Definite changes were seen in the boys behaviour after the group, in that they were more open to challenge, and levels of violence and reprimands had reduced significantly.