Challenging received wisdom and spreading innovation: Lessons from the Youth Justice Board

How the UK's successfully reduced youth crime with smarter insitutions that delegate power and encourage experimentation

Read this if you

Case study abstract

In the early 2000s, the UK government redesigned its institutions and policy design processes, at local and national levels, with the explicit aim of identifying, applying and sharing more effective solutions to prevent young offenders from committing crimes and going to prison. 

By creating and sharing responsibility with the Youth Justice Board and Local Offending Teams and incentivizing them to work autonomously across silos, while playing a central role in monitoring, documenting, rewarding and spreading successes, the government was able to considerably lower the number of juvenile offenders sent to jail. 

The fact that the government was able to stick to its innovative approach for over ten years helps explain how the players involved changed culture and methods, while the government’s difficulty in spreading the innovations to other policy issues sheds light on the challenges of building on success in a fraught political environment, however collectively intelligent the innovations may have been.

Read the full case study “Challenging received wisdom and spreading innovation: Lessons from the Youth Justice Board”

Inspiration, key principles, practical do’s and don’ts

In open acess thanks to the Porticus Foundation

Related resources

Explore inspiring case studies on Collective Intelligence applied to public problems

Open access handbook for change makers

For policy makers, researchers, activists and practitioners of collective intelligence

Handbook of Collective Intelligence for Democracy and Governance

Join our newsletter

Every 2 weeks, you’ll get: