4 Working with courts and other local
Relationships with courts
115. The Offender Management Act 2007 retains
services to courts as a function of probation trusts or other
public sector bodies, reflecting the reliance that sentencers
have on the impartial advice given to them by the service. In
2001 the requirement for magistrates' courts committees to hold
regular liaison meetings with their local probation service ended.
In most areas, however, relationships continued as it was recognised
that dialogue was necessary and usually positive. Northumbria
Magistrates outlined the benefits: "The NPT (Northumbria
Probation Trust) has a well deserved excellent reputation with
the courts. Liaison arrangements have been consistently strong
over many years and were sustained during the period during which
such arrangements were no longer required as mandatory. This is
because they have always added value to the work of magistrates
and district judges."
116. It was eventually acknowledged that ending
this formal relationship had been a mistake. In 2008 Lord Justice
Leveson, then the Presiding Judge, issued, in conjunction with
NOMS, a binding set of guidelines for magistrates and judges as
an appendix to probation circular 06/2009, Determining Pre-Sentence
Report type. It set out the levels and frequency of liaison
meetings between the probation service, magistrates' courts and
crown courts and what they are meant to achieve. Importantly,
it raised the issue of probation resources being finitealthough
it states that this should not constrain sentencers.
117. There were few probation areas in 2008 where
liaison did not take place but there were some who needed this
guidance to re-start relations. In most trust areas the probation
service has a positive relationship with its courts. The Birmingham
judges said in their submission: "In Birmingham we maintain
close liaison with the probation service, principally via the
senior officer based at the Crown Court. Such liaison is essential
for effective use of community sentence requirements. The presence
of a team of probation officers at the Crown Court is a vital
part of that process."
And Northumbria Magistrates commented: "Confidence levels
amongst the judiciary remain high but are not taken for granted
with annual feedback being sought to ensure that service delivery
to the courts remains high."
118. Liaison focuses on keeping sentencers abreast
of developments and is also the vehicle for the service to explain
why it has to try to manage the demand for its work. In Brighton
we heard how the Chief Executive of the Surrey and Sussex Probation
Trust had approached this: "Last year, we reduced the occurrence
of community orders imposed by our local courts by 8%, and we
continue to bear down on demand, in an appropriate way though,
because the approach that we've taken with our local sentencers
is to say to them that there may be occasions where other disposals
are more appropriate for the lower-end offender than a community
are also examples of where the courts and probation services work
together to publicise their work, for example using the Local
Crime Community Sentence project to improve public confidence
in sentencing and to raise awareness of the effectiveness of community
sentences and the work of probation staff. These are joint presentations
to a wide range of community groups in a locality.
119. Sentencers have expressed some frustration
about reducing levels of resources. For example, the judges at
Birmingham Crown Court explained: "In Birmingham judges are
in a position to utilise a wide range of activity and programme
requirements [...] The range of programmes and activities theoretically
available is far wider than it was 10 (or even 5) years ago. We
say "theoretically" because there is often a long waiting
time for offenders to take their place on any given programme
] More fundamental in our view is the need to fund and
resource interventionist programmes adequately. We do all that
we can to avoid the short custodial sentence i.e. a sentence of
less than 12 months. For that to be possible we need to have a
full range of alternative disposals available at the time of sentencing.
We recognise also that crimes driven by drug or substance abuse
often can be met best with a sentence designed to tackle the underlying
cause of the offence. Again that requires proper funding of such
120. We heard from the Probation Chiefs' Association
and Napo that savings have been made over the previous two financial
years that have not had an impact on front-line service delivery.
The management ratio overall has come down, as have the back-office
costs. Where possible trusts that did not merge share costs. However,
this year savings were also being made in front-line posts. Napo
gave examples from trusts of the volume of losses in PO and PSO
posts, mainly through voluntary redundancy or retirement.
According to the Probation Chiefs' Association cuts further down
the line were also having an impact, for example, NOMS has not
extended funding for the six intensive alternative-to-custody
(IAC) projects that had been running for two years.
The trusts involved are trying to maintain the work but at a lower
level by prioritising this over services for lower risk offenders.
They also reported information from trusts where partner agencies
had cut their contribution to work with offenders due to their
own need to make savings.
Napo reported that prisons that still had probation officers in
their offender management units until recently were ending their
secondments; this had become a management problem for the probation
trusts who had to take them back and will also have a negative
impact on delivering offender management in prison.
121. Over the last five years or more trusts
have made a considerable success of managing sickness absence
policies nationally. In evidence it was mentioned by both unions
and chief executives as a positive move.
Procedures include a mixture of tight reporting requirements coupled
with employee care measures. Matthew Lay from UNISON gave example
of how this had been improved: "Members who are at work suffer
when people are not at work and vice versa. We had a constructive
engagement. That has delivered some returns and has contributed
to the reduced absence. We have also focused on wellbeing
in work and ensuring that people are respected."
122. A further impact upon resources and workload
has been the significant reduction in standard or full pre-sentence
reports and the increase in fast delivery or oral reports to 70%
of all reports. Whilst this has made a significant saving, the
funds were taken out of probation area budgets in 2009 in accordance
with the calculations from the Specification, Benchmarking and
Costs programme. The Magistrates' Association was concerned about
the probation service's ability to deliver reports as intended
because of cuts in court duty staff:
Reports are now rarely provided on the day,
but within a few days. This is preferable to the original three
week delays that were the norm not many years ago but experience
around the country would suggest that the momentum for speedy
delivery of justice is being lost because of financial imperatives.
'Fast delivery reports' as originally envisaged are not working
and it is feared that the time to produce fast delivery reports
may lengthen even further due to the numbers being requested and
as probation is forced by budgetary cuts to reduce its staff numbers.
123. The level of resources available and the
workloads borne by staff are inextricably linked. We asked a number
of witnesses how high workloads are for frontline probation staff
and what level ought they to be set at. No one answered this question
directly. Barrie Crook from the Probation Chiefs' Association
gave an example of how trusts try to respond flexibly: "I
think it is very difficult to answer the question in quite that
form because you may be aware that the probation service grades
the level of risk of different offenders in four tiers. Most probation
trusts don't work on the notion of an average case load. They
try to allocate a level of time and capacity according to each
Lay from UNISON commented that the probation service does not
have complete control over how much work it gets: "
a trust does not suddenly get any more money to employ more staff
if there is a surge. They have to manage it. The complexities
of that make it inordinately difficult to manage demand and ensure
that you are supplying the right number of staff to do that. Most
areas will try and do that using their own management tools effectively
to do that. As I say, some trusts do it well and some less well."
Inspectorate reports from the Offender Management Inspection programme
indicate that levels vary widely from trust to trust. The national
workload has risen, as have staffing levels, though not to the
124. Trusts have recognised that keeping workloads
to a manageable level is in everyone's interest due to the potential
for harm when things go wrong. We heard nothing to suggest there
is a formula that says that a workload of one size will support
good quality practice while another will automatically lead to
poor practice. Skilled offender managers will do good work regardless,
although they may need to prioritise their efforts so that not
all of their cases meet their preferred standard. They may need
to be able to defend why they done so if things go wrong. However,
a Channel 4 survey of 20 probation trust chief executives in August
2010 found that three-quarters of respondents believed that probation
did not have the capacity to keep up with current levels of offenders
entering the system and over half felt that their capacity to
manage offenders effectively in the community was average (9)
or poor (2), citing that budgetary constraints meant they may
only be able to offer a basic service. While all trusts stated
that they were then able to offer the required levels of public
protection most (16) or all (4) of the time, half believed that
a 10% or more cut in their budgets would result in them being
able to provide this only some of the time.
125. John Thornhill of the Magistrates' Association
took a pragmatic view: "We accept, again, there are limited
resources, but we need to look at how we harness those resources
in the most productive way."
The Birmingham Crown Court judges made a separate point about
transparency: "[t]he problem often facing the sentencing
judge is a lack of information as to when the person to be sentenced
will be able to undertake the recommended programme";
knowing when an offender would start an accredited programme was
an important consideration in sentencing.
126. The balancing act of working within budgets
and providing what sentencers require is a difficult one for trusts.
Hertfordshire Probation Trust explained how this impacts on its
work: "One of the most significant challenges under the current
commissioning model, is that while the Director of Offender Management
(DOM) can commission and set volume targets for the trust to deliver,
the demand is in fact determined by sentencers who are independent
and do not have to take account of the resource implications.
A good example is unpaid work (community payback). For 2010-11
[the trust] has been commissioned to deliver 800 unpaid work orders
] In 2009-10 the area completed 932 unpaid work orders
against a target of 800. The demand from courts is clearly outstripping
the commissioned capacity."
It is not how such work would be completed by providers from the
private or voluntary sectors if it is not stipulated in their
127. We heard how Sussex and Surrey Probation
Trust and key partners were managing their budget through managing
the demands of sentencers.
In 2010, they reduced the number of community orders imposed by
local courts by 8%, for example, through liaison with courts and
discussion about the merits of other disposals including curfews
for offenders posing a low risk of harm. They have also introduced
two senior adult attendance centres to deal with younger adult
offenders where a brief intervention may be more appropriate.
An individual magistrate complained to us about the effects of
demand management where the bench was using sentencing guidelines
and wanted to impose an unpaid work requirement but were initially
told by the probation court duty officer that it did not meet
their internal guidelines. This demonstrates the need for effective
liaison and communication.
Northumbria Magistrates were able to give an example of how good
liaison can take account of that problem: "In a context of
finite resources the well-established liaison arrangements between
NPT and the courts have ensured that NPT has generally been in
a position to provide an appropriate range of options to meet
the courts' needs. Magistrates appreciate that due to financial
constraints the NPT is currently unable to provide the full range
of services to offenders living in the remote rural areas of Northumberland."
128. Our predecessor Committee's Report, Cutting
crime: the case for justice reinvestment stated that:
"There remain wide
disparities in the use and availability of requirements that can
be attached to community orders. The National Audit Office (NAO)
found that many of the 12 sentence requirements available to the
courts are not available in certain areas and offenders often
do not receive vital requirements if they are not available locally.
Potentially rehabilitative requirements such as alcohol treatment
and mental health treatment in particular are under-used in relation
to offenders' needs."
129. In evidence to this inquiry we found no
evidence of progress. The Magistrates' Association said that "services
are provided professionally, but their provision is piecemeal
at bestwhich means that good practice does not necessarily
roll out from area to area and region to region. Specialist programmes
for drug-users, alcohol abusers and the mentally disordered are
The provision of these services is not the responsibility of the
probation service but of health services. Where substance misuse
requirements are available, trusts have developed them as part
of their activity as Drug and Alcohol Team commissioners.
130. Half of all community orders starting in
2010 had just one requirement and a further 35% had two requirements.
The proportions for each number of requirements have remained
stable throughout the last five quarters. Among the different
combinations of requirements, stand alone unpaid work continued
to be the most prevalent, accounting for almost a third of community
orders and 22% of all suspended sentence orders starting in the
first quarter of 2010. In the same period, unpaid work and supervision
were the most used requirements for community orders and suspended
sentence orders. These two requirements accounted for roughly
two-thirds of all requirements attached to orders.
131. It is unacceptable that
sentencers' hands are tied by the unavailability of important
requirements which the probation service cannot provide because
of inadequate resources. We are aware that in the current climate,
demands for more funding are not realistic. However, the fundamental
necessity of giving sentencers all the options they should have
at their disposal makes very clear the urgent need to focus scarce
resources on the front-line and to continue to bear down on inefficiencies
and any unnecessary back-room functions.
132. Northumbrian magistrates told us that their
low use of custody was a mark of confidence in the local probation
trust: "Northumbrian courts are amongst the lowest users
of custodial sentences in England and Wales. There is little doubt
that this is linked directly to the reputation of NPT for providing
community sentences of high quality which are managed in a robust
and professional manner."
133. We heard concerns about the staffing levels
in court which have reduced significantly over the years as the
probation officer role has moved away from 'the officer of the
court'. This is not the case in all courts, as we heard from the
Magistrates' Association, who told us that: "Probation staff
can hear the reasons for the pre-sentencing report (PSR) which
may not always be apparent in the documentation. [They] can be
questioned about offenders' previous response to community orders;
something that is not always demonstrated on an offenders' record,
which itself is often not up to date. [They] can give an update
on the effectiveness and/or progress of a current order."
John Thornhill, the Chair of the Association, also suggested consideration
of using video links in the court building to get quicker access
to fast delivery reports on the same day where probation staff
are based some way away and would otherwise require an adjournment.
134. Judges and magistrates
need to have confidence in the way in which the probation service
relates to and provides information to the court. Sentencers should
be given accurate information at the time of sentencing about
when a community order and any requirements will commence.
Working with local partners
Local joint commissioning
135. The probation service has a long history
of working in partnership with other agencies, either to develop
services specifically for offenders or to develop services for
the general population and from which offenders will also benefit.
The factors underlying the offending of individuals can be complex
and are usually interdependent. For example, an offender may have
a requirement in an order or licence to undertake an accredited
programme; if they become homeless or are subjected to domestic
abuse or experience mental health problems, these will preoccupy
them and will need to be addressed before offending behaviour
work can be effective. The probation service tends to deal directly
with the attitudes, thinking and behaviour related directly to
offending but must commission or negotiate for access to services
to address the underlying factors linked to offending.
136. Formal arrangements have been introduced
since the 1990s across England and Wales that have broadened the
remit of other agencies to include some responsibilities towards
offenders. Clinks gave us examples: "The role of the VCS
in delivering services to offenders and their families should
be seen in the context of two key developments in the early 2000s.
The first of these was the Supporting People programme which,
inter alia, required the probation service to transfer
to local authorities the funding allocated to offender accommodation,
much of which was spent on voluntary sector provision. The second
was the establishment of the Offender Learning and Skills Service,
which again required probation areas to move funding for employment,
training, and education provision to the Learning and Skills Service.
This removed the contracting arrangements from the probation service
and transferred them to the LSC [Learning and Skills Council]."
The Drug (and Alcohol) Action Teams pre-dated these; probation
are commissioners with other statutory agencies and usually work
in partnership with voluntary agencies to deliver services.
137. In recent years, commissioning activity
to reduce re-offending had been further embedded in the work of
a range of local partnerships (and their component agencies),
including: local strategic partnerships (LSPs), community safety
partnerships (CSPs) in England and Wales, multi-agency public
protection arrangements (MAPPA), Child Safeguarding Boards and
local criminal justice boards (LCJBs). LSPs and LCJBs were abolished
by the government in April 2011, although probation's role in
community safety partnerships was cemented by the Policing and
Crime Act 2009 which made the trusts a 'Responsible Authority'
sharing responsibility with other agencies for local targets to
138. Probation is the local lead provider in
offender management that engages with these arrangements; it sits
as an equal partner at the various partnership tables, though
without the financial influence of other agencies. West Yorkshire,
for instance, is one of the largest probation trusts and has an
annual budget in 2011-12 of around £40 million; this is tiny
in comparison with other public services.
Councillor Khan, representing the Local Government Association,
told us how probation senior managers sit at the local commissioning
table as equal partners with agencies that have much greater financial
power e.g., the primary care trust, police and local authority.
In return probation help other agencies to identify and respond
to the distinctive needs of some of some of the most vulnerable
and hard-to-reach people they should be serving e.g. through the
139. Although local area agreements are no longer
in operation, we received evidence about a number of successful
examples of what had been achieved under these arrangements.
Witnesses did not suggest that ending the LAA had created problems;
it had been a useful framework for bringing agencies together
and they would continue to do work collegiately. Local authorities
now had more discretion about where to invest their resources.
Sonia Crozier, the Chief Executive of the Surrey and Sussex Probation
Trust, and Linda Beanlands, of Brighton and Hove City Council,
explained: "So yes, it was over-engineered, but it did serve
a purpose and...it's also given us a very strong foundation now
in terms of that collective responsibility to reduce reoffending,
but now we have greater freedom to determine exactly how we do
that and where we prioritise."
140. As an example of how this works in practice,
Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust illustrated how it
had been successful in generating resources:
We work with a social enterprise to deliver a Learning
Café to improve offenders' skills in the catering trades.
We also work with charities providing housing related support
and with a range of organisations including voluntary and private
sector bodies, and social enterprises which provide supervision
or placements for offenders on community payback. We are developing
our supply chain of local voluntary sector organisations which
can bring specific skills to bear to assist with the delivery
of probation services. We have been particularly grateful for
the role that the private sector has played through Leicestershire
Cares [an offshoot of Business in the Community] which has provided
work placements for offenders, the majority of whom have subsequently
gone on into full-time employment.
141. Where there are no funds to commission services
directly the probation service has to try to persuade mainstream
agencies to provide them. Whilst we heard of some positive examples
of local health services engaging with the probation service,
there was evidence from several witnesses that referred to alcohol
misuse and mental health treatment as hardest to access.
For example, the Howard League cited a report which found that
probation caseloads have high levels of alcohol-related need but
40% of alcohol-related interventions had not commenced four to
six months after supervision had begun. During 2007-08 only 8%
of dependent drinkers received an alcohol treatment requirement
and only one in four alcohol treatment requirements were delivered
in line with existing guidance."
142. The Probation Chiefs' Association highlighted
the highly developed relationships that exist between trusts and
local magistrates and judges, and with local strategic partners,
including local authorities.
Some trusts gave examples of the high level of local influence
that they have within local strategic partnerships, but highlighted
that the nature of their accountability to NOMS constrained their
ability to contribute, financially and strategically.
Probation trusts are small organisations that typically "punch
above their weight" through the involvement of senior managers
in the various local partnerships. Nevertheless, they can experience
difficulties in keeping abreast of all local partnerships as a
result of their size and geographical configuration. The Local
Government Association stated that while trusts work effectively
in many areas, they struggle on existing resources to engage with
local partners; a survey of LGA members revealed patchy engagement
with probation in CSPs.
They have particular difficulties in engaging effectively at district
council level; in some counties there are up to fourteen CDRPs/CSPs.
143. On the other hand, since 2010, trusts have
been divided into Local Delivery Units which offer a better means
of engagement with local partners. Councillor Khan told us that
the LDUs in West Yorkshire were coterminous with the five large
conurbations which meant that at local authority level it was
possible to forge closer links between the borough commander for
the police, the primary care trust, the local authority, probation
and other partners.
This is less easy to achieve in large rural areas.
144. Probation trusts understand their areas
and must organise to make best use of their resources. John Long
from Avon and Somerset Police Crime said to us: "Crime is
essentially a locally based activity; let us deal with it locally,
and so on. I am absolutely in line with that."
145. Probation trusts often
punch above their financial weight in local partnership work,
but such engagement with other agencies is not uniform and probation
trusts and local strategic partners have expressed frustration
about trusts' ability to participate effectively because of national
contractual obligations. Probation work will only be effective
if it can draw upon and work with other service providers; NOMS
and the MoJ must review those contractual obligations which are
a barrier to good partnership working and look to remove those
barriers wherever possible.
PARTNERSHIP SCHEMES AND THE POTENTIAL
TO POOL RESOURCES
146. One of the achievements of the community
safety partnerships in most areas is the creation of effective
Prolific and Priority Offender (PPO) Schemes which work with those
offenders committing the highest volumes of crime. Recognising
the harmalbeit not necessarily serious harm from violencecaused
by this relatively small group of offenders, criminal justice
agencies are expected to deliver a 'premium' service to them to
achieve deterrence, conviction or rehabilitation, and to prevent
new people from entering the pool of prolific offenders. A high
proportion of these individuals are problematic drug users committing
a high volume of acquisitive crime to support their dependency,
typically for shoplifting and burglary or loitering for the purposes
147. Local authorities, police, probation, the
prison service and voluntary agencies work together in these schemes.
We heard that current cuts in public service funding are likely
to have a negative impact on their ability to do that.
Linda Beanlands from Brighton and Hove Council told us: "what
we have seen in recent months, when the local authority and all
its partners have had to sustain cuts, is a real commitment to
taking on each others' issues, to taking on shared priorities.
In fact, if we just look at the community safety partnership pooled
budget, which is perhaps a small example but a very important
one, we had to find a cut in the overall services that we commission
from that, and the PPO project was one of those."
The project survives but with some cuts. The Probation Chiefs'
Association made a similar point.
In a number of areas the prison service is an active partner in
the scheme. However, it is difficult for prisons to get involved
in the schemes if offenders are not located in local prisons.
148. Integrated Offender Management Schemes (IOMs)
have been piloted in several areas to work with those aged 21
and over released from prison sentences of under twelve months
in addition to those on statutory licence or orders. Where they
exist they take responsibility for PPOs, as many of them continually
appear before courts and get short prison sentences. Intensive
Alternative to Custody (IAC) schemes take a similar approach and
will supervise PPOs in the community. The IOM deals with offenders
serving short prison sentences who are not subject to statutory
supervision. The IAC is offered to courts as a requirement in
a community order as an alternative to custody so is enforceable.
149. We heard evidence from John Quick, Assistant
Chief Officer from Merseyside Probation Trust, that the IAC in
Liverpool was achieving significant results in terms of compliance.
During 'normal' levels of supervision, compliance rates amongst
this group of offenders who have been in and out of prison are
around 40% successful completion; in Liverpool compliance was
running at 67%. He attributed this to the successful engagement
of offender managers and other agencies, and an ability to devote
significant time to these individuals.
Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice Board submitted evidence
about their IOM scheme: "Avon and Somerset have been one
of the pilot areas for Integrated Offender Management (IOM) and
have developed a cost neutral, fully integrated model for delivery
of this initiative, increasingly seen as a good practice model
for other areas."
A recent evaluation of the Diamond Initiative in London had mixed
results about the impact of the scheme on re-offending; the evaluation
is cautious and some results are said to be disappointing, reflecting
the challenges of this work and the complexities of evaluation.
150. The Local Government Association (LGA) highlighted
a National Audit Office (NAO) report which noted that that short-sentence
prisoners have on average 16 previous convictions, and around
60% are convicted of at least once offence in the year after they
are released. This re-offending has a significant cost: in 2007-08
the NAO estimated re-offending by recent ex-offenders cost between
£9.5 billion and £13 billion. Effective management of
ex-offenders is therefore vital in the LGA's view in reducing
crime and making communities safer.
151. These partnership initiatives also show
considerable potential to reduce the costs of re-offending to
society and to the local agencies involved. The Local Government
The Total Place pilots showed the costs and processes
associated with 'silo' delivery of re-offending services and the
savings that could result from a true partnership approach. For
example, the Bradford Total Place pilot found that offenders currently
have between 5-10 separate assessments conducted by a range of
agencies as they move in and out of prison, and these could be
reduced to one, with resulting savings in budgets. The LGA therefore
believes it is particularly important for local public service
budgets to be pooled which would improve the quality of service
and reduce costs. The LGA has developed a model to achieve this
through place-based budgets.
152. Councillor Khan agreed with John Thornhill
about the merits of intervening early and preferring to invest
'upstream' in early intervention to prevent imprisonment as a
less expensive option.
Positive examples of investing upstream already exist, for example,
in some areas women who agree to attend an assessment at a women's
centre can do this as an alternative to a fixed penalty, caution
or charge. Offenders serving short prison sentences who do not
get support are the most likely to re-offend thereby creating
more victims and damage to communities 'downstream'.
John Long, Assistant Chief Constable in Avon and Somerset, explained
how expensive policing was and argued that early investment reduces
costs and creates a better environment for potential victims.
All of the trusts submitting evidence were positive that working
in partnership was the most cost-effective and beneficial way
to meet offender needs that were outside of the scope of the probation
service alone to provide and the evidence we received made it
clear that police and local authorities support this approach.
153. We heard about an interesting example of
an Intensive Offender Management programme when we visited Brighton
and Hove. The scheme has built on a positive working relationship
between the probation and prison services at the local prison
HMP Lewes. Probation staff already have a high level of access
to prisoners. In addition, they work with prison staff to identify
children and families of prisoners who need assistance from them
and Children's Social Care Services. In custody the prison IOM
contribution includes access for prisoners to drugs and alcohol
services, the Benefits Agency and the Preventing Offender Accommodation
Loss project. This is a joint venture between probation, HMP Lewes
and Brighton and Hove Council to prevent tenancy loss where possible
or support in finding accommodation on release if not. The probation
trust has invested in two prison officer posts during 2010-11
to engage with prisoners who fit the IOM profile from reception
into the prison. The prisoners are encouraged to sign up for voluntary
contact with the project for twelve months from release. These
prison officers follow them out "through the gate" and
work with them on the scheme in their home locality.
There is a similar approach in the Bristol IOM scheme where there
are three dedicated prison officers who work with prisoners and
agencies on their behalf both pre- and post-release.
154. Some trusts gave us examples of the wider
application of IOM. Avon and Somerset Probation Trust believed
that IOM should become the building block for commissioning offender
services, and suggested that it is also applicable to those offenders
presenting the most serious risk of harm.
Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust has extended the principles
of IOM to drug and alcohol misusing offenders from the point of
155. We are concerned that there
is a lack of consistency of provision for those offenders for
whom probation services do not have a statutory obligation to
provide services, but who nevertheless present a significant burden
on the system. We welcome the Government's proposals to extend
the use of intensive offender management. The Ministry of Justice
should collate evidence on the cost-effectiveness of schemes that
are currently operating across England and Wales with a view to
publishing good practice guidelines. These should be used to encourage
those areas where there is not currently a scheme but where the
scale of persistent offending may justify the investment. There
is also significant potential to extend the IOM model to other
groups of offenders.
156. There is promising evidence
that the new requirements that have been placed on local strategic
partners to reduce re-offending are beginning to bear fruit in
stronger local partnership arrangements, and in achieving efficiencies,
but these have not yet had sufficient opportunity to bed in. Nevertheless,
they provide a good foundation for the introduction of local incentive
models as a mechanism of payment by results.
The role of the probation service
in public protection
157. The probation service is heavily involved
in statutory public protection arrangements; in partnership with
the policeand sometimes the prison serviceit commits
funding and senior and middle manager time to the development
and running of the local and central Multi Agency Public Protection
Arrangements (MAPPA) panels. MAPPA are the statutory arrangements
for managing all sexual and some violent offenders. MAPPA is not
a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which the
police, prison and probation services can better discharge their
statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated
manner with co-operation from other statutory agencies, including
local authorities, health, housing authorities and education authorities.
158. Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust
gave examples of the complexity of services working together under
In particular we prioritise interventions for sex
offenders, those convicted of domestic violence and the mentally
ill. We accommodate many of these offenders initially in our own
approved premises (hostels) where they can be closely supervised
and then work with local authorities to ensure they are accommodated
appropriately subsequently. We have our own psychology service
which is able to assess and treat some of the most complex cases,
and floating housing support to ensure close support for those
in their own tenancies in conjunction with the Supporting People
The Government has signalled its intention of retaining
MAPPA in its green paper Breaking the Cycle.
159. The probation service underpins its work
with offenders who pose a risk of harm to the public through the
accredited programmes referred to earlier. Professor Hazel Kemshall
of De Montfort University outlined what she thought research showed
the probation service was doing well in this respect: "The
first is the community supervision of sex offenders, particularly
through specialist teams and units, group programmes for sexual
offenders and, to a limited extent, also violent offenders. The
evidence also shows that high-risk public protection teams, often
comprising both police and probation co-located together, have
been beneficial. The multi-agency public protection panels for
multi-disciplinary risk assessment and management have also been
However, a lack of consistency between areas proved to be a limitation
to this positive view.
160. Work with other agencies
to secure public protection through the management of offenders
who pose a risk of harm to the public will continue to be a vital
and demanding part of the role of the probation service.
146 Ev w24 Back
Ev w114 Back
Ev w24 Back
Q 524 Back
Ev w16 Back
Ev w114 Back
Ev 184; 173; Q 335 Back
Ev 184 Back
Q 335 Back
Q 374 Back
Qq 167-8, 407 Back
Q 407 Back
Ev 219 Back
Q 165 Back
Q 385 Back
Q 587 Back
Ev w114 Back
Ev w18 Back
Q 524 Back
Ev w1 Back
Wv w24 Back
HC (2008-09)HC 94, para 77 Back
Ev 219 Back
Ministry of Justice, Probation statistics quarterly brief January
to March 2010, July 2010 Back
Ev w24 Back
Ev 219 Back
Q 563 Back
Ev 196 Back
Q 569 Back
Q 568 Back
See e.g. Qq 495-7, 560-2 Back
Q 498 Back
Ev w48 Back
Ev w6; w47; w89, w93, w99, w103, w122, Q 499 Back
Ev 203 Back
Ev 156 Back
See e.g. Ev w18; w Back
Ev w116 Back
Q 567 Back
Q 695 Back
Ev w21; Qq 335, 374 Back
Q 525 Back
Q 335 Back
Q 703 Back
Ev w41 Back
London Criminal Justice Partnership, An evaluation of the Diamond
Initiative; year two findings, April 2011 Back
Ev w116 Back
Ev w116 Back
Q 365 Back
Ev w13 Back
Q 689 Back
Q 508 Back
Q 691 Back
Ev w105 Back
Ev w48 Back
Ev w48 Back
Q 647 Back