ANNEX 1: IMPLEMENTING THE REDUCING RE-OFFENDING
1. The implementation of offender management and
the success of Public Service Agreement 23 in reducing re-offending
rely on addressing a range of offender needs and ensuring that
resources are available at local level to provide interventions
which meet those needs.
INVESTMENT IN MAKING PRISON 'WORK'
2. Cross-departmental development to reduce re-offending
has focused predominantly on prison health (including mental health
and drug treatment) and prisoner learning and skills, responsibility
and funding for which transferred from the Prison Service to the
National Health Service (NHS) in 2003 (followed by Primary Care
Trusts by April 2006) and to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC)
in 2006 respectively. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (SCMH)
highlighted the Government's emphasis on offending behaviour programmes
which seek to overcome cognitive deficits that may give rise to
offending rather than other more practical needs.
Prison health and mental health
3. The Government spent approximately £200 million
on prison health services in 2006-07, representing a substantial
increase on the £118 million spent by the prison service
in 2002-03. The
annual allocation for NHS mental health in-reach services in prisons
has more than doubled from £9.4 million in 2003-04 to around
Savas Hadjipavlou, then Head of the Health Policy and Strategy
Unit at the Ministry of Justice, told us that while this funding
has enabled the health service to move forward considerably in
provision for health and mental health in custody, the scale of
need continues to far exceed provision.
This is supported by research from the SCMH which indicates that
there are significant disparities in the funding of prison mental
health services across England and that these services get only
one-third of the money they need to address the mental health
problems of prisoners.
It is difficult to ascertain whether there have been any improvements
in outcomes for offenders, for example, greater access to services,
as a result of greater spending on prison healthcare.
Learning and skills
4. The Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS)
is organised on a regional basis and applies to England only,
with devolved arrangements for education and training in Wales
negotiated between the Director of Offender Management for Wales
and the Welsh Assembly Government. Like health, funding for offender
learning has increased substantially in recent years, from £59.4
million in 2002-03 to £161.7 million in 2008-09, in addition
to investment in capital infrastructure to provide suitable education
and training facilities in prisons. Jon Gamble of the National
Learning and Skills Council (LSC) explained the dramatic effect
that this funding has had on Ofsted assessments of the quality
of learning and skills provision: prior to OLASS 75% of the existing
learning and skills service were judged by Ofsted to be unsatisfactory,
now 80% of provision is deemed to be satisfactory or better.
However, again, there is limited evidence of the impact that the
additional funding has had on outcomes. While many more prisoners
have been awarded education and skills qualifications, the NAO
was unable to assess whether OLASS made any additional contribution
to reducing rates of re-offending due to lack of data related
to the period preceding its establishment.
5. There are also questions over the extent to which
this provision meets the needs of offenders. We heard from RL
Glasspool Charity Trust that, as a result of limited statutory
funding for support for offenders to enter employment (known as
Custody to Work) either in prisons or in the community, its trustees
are increasingly being asked to provide funding which they believe
should rightly be the dominion of the state.
Ian Porée, Director of Commissioning and Operational Policy,
National Offender Management Service (NOMS), acknowledged that
prisons do not have the capacity to provide enough work placements
or places on learning and skills courses.
Jon Gamble confirmed that approximately 50% of offenders in custody
engage in learning and skills provision in any one year.
This was supported by the NAO, which also found that where prisoners
do have the opportunity to do education and training courses they
often do not complete them because they are transferred between
different institutions, a problem exacerbated by overcrowding
in the prison estate. 
According to the Prisoners' Education Trust, 41% of prisoners
who fail to complete a course do so as a result of being moved
to another prison.
Offending behaviour programmes
6. The number of prisoners who commence offending
each year has fallen since 2003/04 but these figures have recently
begun to rise again, standing at almost 9,400 in 2007-08.
Is not possible to separate the cost of these programmes from
the core prison and probation budgets.
As with offender learning and skills, whilst a high proportion
of prisoners complete their offending behaviour programmes, the
NAO encountered difficulties in determining the impact their completion
has on reducing re-offending.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed that this accords with other
UK research, despite international evidence to support the effectiveness
of such programmes in prison.
The 2002 NAO study, Reducing Prisoner Re-offending, provides
a potential explanation for this, finding that rapid expansion
of programme provision had been carried out without a clear idea
of how such programmes complemented other activities. It also
found that it was difficult for the prison service to assess the
full cost of providing programmes and whether the existing mix
of programmes provided value for money.
This research was conducted prior to developments in reducing
re-offending policy and the establishment of NOMS, however the
NAO has recently revisited this work and found evidence that problems
in assessing cost-effectiveness remain.
The research concluded that key drivers of effectiveness in reducing
re-offending include basic factors such as the quality of a prison's
regime, staff skills, the stability of a prison population, and
arrangements for resettlement. These drivers may be undermined
at present by the "churn" of prisoners caused by overcrowding
and the movement of prisoners between different institutions.
7. Prison drug treatment has seen the biggest rate
of increase in funding of all the 'pathways' which have the potential
to reduce re-offending; the budget was £92 million in 2008/09
and it is set to increase by at least £20 million over the
next 3 years.
As a result, according to the Ministry of Justice, the volume
and quality of drug treatment has improved, record numbers of
prisoners are engaging in treatment and there have been significant
reductions in the proportion of prisoners testing positive for
drugs. The Government
commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a review of how
existing resources for prison drug treatment could be used more
effectively. The report, published in December 2007, painted a
now familiar picture, namely that performance indicators related
to the volume of activity rather than quality and outcome, and
that the demand for prison-based drug treatment exceeds supply.
INVESTMENT IN COMMUNITY PROVISION
TO REDUCE CRIME
8. Combined funding from the Department of Health,
the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice for commissioning
community drugs treatment
increased from £142m in 2001 to £398m in 2007/08.
This is supplemented by mainstream funding from the Department
of Health; funding for residential drug treatment can also come
via local authority community care budgets. Drug treatment in
England is provided by networks of services, rather than by individual
organisations, and is commissioned by "drug action teams",
some of which are integrated into crime and disorder reduction
partnerships. In Wales provision is made through community safety
9. Research commissioned by the Home Office found
that community drug treatment is more cost effective than putting
offenders through the criminal justice system repeatedly without
support to help them address their drug problemfor every
£1 spent on drug treatment, at least £9.50 is saved
in health and crime costs.
Drug action teams received £110 million from the Home Office
in 2007-08 to support delivery of the Drug Interventions Programme
(DIP), (formerly the Criminal Justice Interventions Programme),
a national initiative aimed at directing drug misusing offenders
out of crime and into treatment.
The Ministry of Justice provides an additional £22 million
to fund drug treatment and testing for offenders who are subject
to locally commissioned drug treatment at the behest of the court.
10. The number of offenders entering drug treatment
through the criminal justice system has increased from 438 per
month in March 2004 to over 4,000 a month since January 2008.
This represents 48,000 entrants to treatment per year. While this
represents a considerable improvement, the Home Office has predicted
that it would be possible to achieve a 15% reduction in crime
if there were 200,000 placements in drug treatment per year.
11. In May 2006, the National Probation Service published
Working with Alcohol Misusing OffendersA strategy for
delivery, which complements Addressing Alcohol Misusea
Prison Service Alcohol Strategy for Prisoners, published in
December 2004, in order to create a NOMS strategy to tackle alcohol
misuse by offenders. According to the Government this provides
NOMS "with a coherent framework for tackling alcohol misuse
which is evidence-based, and will lead to greater consistency
and coordination of delivery".
The Government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England
outlines a number of additional measures to reduce alcohol-related
crime, including referral to treatment at the point of arrest
and programmes to reduce violence in some alcohol-related violent
crime areas, for example, alcohol misuse enforcement campaigns
and the tackling violent crime programme.
12. The Alcohol Needs Assessment Research project
found a high level of unmet need for treatment for alcohol-related
disorders and identified large variations in the level of provision
for dependent drinkers across the country.
The Department of Health subsequently published
several guidance documents to encourage local areas to assess
local needs, identify gaps and develop partnership strategies
to develop local interventions for dependent drinkers. Despite
the plethora of guidance alcohol treatment remains the poor relation
to drug treatment, both generally and in relation to provision
Employment, learning and skills
13. OLASS, led by the Learning and Skills Council
(LSC), also has a remit to ensure that offenders in England have
access to learning and skills in the community, although progress
to date has focused predominantly on custodial provision. NOMS
Wales has recently transferred responsibility for offender learning
in Wales to the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning
and Skills. The Department for Work and Pensions has responsibility
for raising the employment rates of offenders as one of the least
qualified and most disadvantaged groups in the labour market.
Offenders are a priority group for support into employment by
Job Centre Plus.
14. Jon Gamble admitted that there was an under-use
of the LSC's learning and skills resources for offenders.
He explained that whilst the Council, with total funding of £4
billion, has the capacity to deliver much more to offenders in
the community, it is difficult for community learning providers
to identify those serving a community sentence, unless they are
referred by probation. Denise Edghill, of Southampton City Council
argued that there is very little suitable provision for offenders
in the community.
Mike Stewart, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion,
agreed questioning the suitability of mainstream provision for
many offenders who typically have very low basic skills and probably
require additional learning support.
Between 2000 and 2006 the European Social Fund made available
substantial funding for tailored support for offenders to access
specialist and mainstream learning and skills. The projects funded
illustrated the potential benefits of taking a more comprehensive
approach to meeting offenders' needs.
15. Department of Health funding to improve mental
health provision for offenders has also focused predominantly
on care for prisoners.
The Government has expressed an aspiration to develop "integrated,
evidence-based services which help reduce social exclusion, and
improve the health, well-being and rehabilitation of those coming
into contact with the criminal justice system in line with NHS
and social care standards", although it is unclear where
the additional resources will come from to implement this.
722 Ev 292 Back
Q 307 Back
HC Deb, 25 June 2008, col 366W [Commons written answer] Back
Q 308 Back
Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Short-changed: spending on
prison mental health care, May 2008 Back
Q 309 Back
Q 385 Back
National Audit Office, Meeting Needs? The Offenders' Learning
and Skills Service, March 2008 Back
Ev 287-289 Back
Qq 393, 394 Back
Q 393 Back
Ev 230 Back
Prisoners' Education Trust, Brain Cells: listening to prison
learners, March 2009 Back
Rehabilitation programmes designed to identify the reasons why
offenders offend and reduce and monitor these factors. Back
HC Deb, 17 December 2008, col 849W [Commons written answer] Back
HC Deb, 3 March 2009, col1508W [Commons written answer] Back
Ev 230 Back
HC Deb, 26 January 2009, col 204W [Commons written answer] Back
National Audit Office, HM Prison Service: Reducing Prisoner Re-offending,
Ev 230 Back
HC Deb, 20 February 2009, col 1342W [Commons written answer] Back
Ev 198; HC Deb, 18 March 2009, col 1214W [Commons written answer] Back
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Review of Prison-Based Drug Treatment
Funding, December 2007 Back
This is known as the pooled treatment budget and is ring-fenced Back
Ev 198 Back
NHS National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, National Treatment
Agency Business Plan 2008-09, 2008 Back
HC Deb, 27 March 2008, col 353W Back
Home Office, Autumn Performance Report 2008, p.23 Back
Home Office, Modelling Crime Reduction for the Home Office's Strategic
Plan: economic and resource analysis, 2004, 38/04 Back
HM Government, Safe, Sensible, Social: The next steps in the
National Alcohol Strategy, June 2007. Back
Department of Health, Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project:
the 2004 national alcohol needs assessment for England, November
Q 393 Back
Q 421 Back
Q 400 Back
Qq 391, 400 Back
Department of Health, Offender mental health care pathway,
January 2005 Back
Department of Health, Improving Health, Supporting Justice,
2007, p 9 Back