Finding 8: Young offenders

Young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend 

Re-offending rates among young people who took part in Summer Arts Colleges (SACs) were 54% compared to a national re-offending rate of 72% (Stephenson et al, 2014: p.92).

Every young person from the SACs who does not re-offend saves the criminal justice system £14,000 a year. Between 2007 and 2010 this saved the Criminal Justice System more than £1 million (Stephenson et al, 2014: p.103).

Completion of a Summer Arts College meant that a young person was nearly four times more likely to be a high ‘engager’ in education training and employment post-programme (Stephenson et al, 2014: p.84).

US data shows that At-risk teenagers or young adults with a history of intensive arts experiences show achievement levels closer to, and in some cases exceeding, the levels shown by the general population studied (Catterall, 2012: p.24). 


Catterall, James S., Dumais, Susan A. and Hampden-Thompson, Gillian. The arts and achievements in at-risk youth: findings from longitudinal studies (Washington: National Endowment for the Arts, 2012)

Stephenson, Martin, Adams, Maree and Tarling, Roger. The Art of Engagement: Outcomes and Impact of the Summer Arts College Programme 2007–12 (Norwich: Unitas, 2014)