The Ministry of Justice identified funding to invest in sports programmes across England and Wales that effectively delivered against criminal justice outcomes in the financial year to the end of March 2023.
The £5m programme used sport to enhance positive outcomes for vulnerable young people in the context of youth crime. The funds supported 220 voluntary and community sports organisations to carry out targeted work supporting children and young people who were at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
Sport was increasingly recognised as having a role in prevention and early intervention work with children at risk of, or already involved in, offending behaviour. Although sport was unlikely to stop offending by itself, it had the potential to make a positive contribution.
The two key goals for the funding were to:
- Support vulnerable young people, aged 10-17, at-risk of involvement in crime, anti-social behaviour and serious violence—understood as those in the secondary tier of need—through involvement in local sporting activities
- Through capacity building, increase the capability of sport sector delivery organisations to work effectively with their local criminal justice partners, including Youth Justice Services, Police and Police Crime Commissioners (PCC)/Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) structures. This work focused on building sustainable relationships for the medium to longer term to facilitate potential future access to the new ‘Turnaround’ programme and other funding.