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Getting out for Good: Preventing Gangs through participation

HM Inspectorate of Probation is committed to reviewing, developing and promoting the
evidence base for high-quality probation and youth offending services. Academic Insights
are aimed at all those with an interest in the evidence base. We commission leading
academics to present their views on specific topics, assisting with informed debate and
aiding understanding of what helps and what hinders probation and youth offending

This report was kindly produced by Deborah Jump and Rachel Horan, summarising the
research evidence on girls and gangs, and how this has been utilised to develop the ‘Getting
out for Good’ (GOFG) project which combines gender-specific mentoring with sporting and
cultural activities. The girls and young women (aged 14-21 years) involved in the project
were found to be marginalised and increasingly vulnerable, with frequent issues of parental
neglect, care experience, school exclusion, drugs and alcohol misuse, and significant mental
health and emotional needs. The theory of change for the project was revised over time,
encompassing a focus on improving (i) emotional skills and agency (individual level), and (ii)
social skills and capital (community level). The need for a bespoke approach (aligning to the
need for a personalised approach set out in the inspection standards for youth offending
services) was fully recognised, ensuring that girls and young women are enabled and
assisted in their own unique journeys, particularly at vulnerable points in their lives.

Dr Robin Moore
Head of Research