An Evaluation of the Prolific and Priority Offender Scheme in Four London Boroughs

Final Report to London Probation July 2007

Helen Easton Senior Research Fellow The Crime Reduction & Community Safety Research Group (CRCSRG) London South Bank University

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Contents
Executive summary Definitions Introduction and background Research aims Methodology Findings Conclusions Recommendations References Appendix 1: Re-conviction and cost benefit analysis guidance 4 7 8 23 24 29 80 83 84 89

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Executive summary
Introduction and background
• • This report presents the findings of a qualitative study of 37 Prolific and Other Priority Offenders (PPOs) and 18 practitioners working with PPOs in four London boroughs – Barnet, Islington, Southwark and Lambeth Research suggests that 100,000 of the one million offenders active in the general population at one time had received three or more convictions during their offending careers. A group of 5 000 (0.5% of the active offending population) super-prolific offenders have been found to commit 9% of all crime (Home Office, 2002). This notion of persistence has been challenged (Hagell aned Newburn, 1994; Townsley and Pease, 2002). Nationally PPOs are predominantly white (88%) male (95%) young, begun offending earlier, were more versatile offenders and had nearly 2.5 times the convictions of a comparison group (Dawson, 2005) Recent research reported a 43% reduction in the offending of the entire PPO cohort when comparing the number of convictions in the 17 months before and after the programme (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). The literature suggests that interventions with offenders should be based on an explicit model of risk factors; have a risk classification; target criminogenic needs; be responsive; have programme integrity and treatment should recognise a range of offender’s problems and employ methods from behavioural, cognitive and cognitivebehavioural fields (McGuire and Priestley, 1995). The core features of case management which improved offender engagement were the acknowledgement of offender’s needs and experiences and a continuity of contact (Partridge, 2004). Reconviction is commonly used as a measure of a programmes success, however it is argued that this measure does not allow an examination of why or who a programme works to reduce offending.

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Research aims
The key aims of the research are to: • Examine the range of factors which may be involved in reducing reconviction and reoffending among PPOs in each of four London PPO schemes. • Use an in-depth case study approach with 20 offenders who have responded well to the PPO scheme and 20 offenders who haven’t in order to obtain a range of views and experiences. • Support the development of a methodology to determine the cost benefits of the PPO scheme in London. • To provide constructive recommendations and good practice for PPO schemes across London.

Methodology
• Semi-structured Interviews were undertaken with a total of 37 offenders currently on the PPO scheme in four London boroughs – Islington (9), Southwark (7), Lambeth (10) and Barnet (10). Case study research was undertaken for each PPO interviewed using OASys and Delius. 18 semi-structured practitioner interviews were undertaken.

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Findings
Agency views
• • • • • • • • • • Organisational differences existed between the police, probation and drug services which had an impact on the delivery of the scheme in three boroughs. Police and probation felt they had been ‘left to get on with it’ without much support from strategic partnerships or line management. Limited staff and financial resources were impacting the schemes ability to deliver a premium service in all instances and teams reported having to prioritise the needs of offenders. Barnet had developed good practice in relation to the role of the police in the PPO scheme. Support offered was considered tokenistic in two boroughs as it provided no long term sustainable routes out of offending. Local services may not be configured to meet the needs of PPOs. Key successes were the trusting, honest, consistent relationships which had begun to develop between practitioners and PPOs and the range of interventions provided to PPOs Islington had created a psychodynamic therapy group and Southwark a mentoring scheme for its PPOs. Barnet and Lambeth both had built close relationships with local prisons through the DIP. Key barriers were lack of access to resources, finding and managing housing for PPOs, lack of support from key partners and strategic partnerships.

Offender views
• Of the 24 offenders interviewed in the community: o 17 reported that they hadn’t offended since they had last left custody or had become a PPO whichever was most recent1. o A further five had significantly reduced or changed their patterns of offending. o 18 reported having problems with Class A drugs. Ten of these were no longer using drugs. o A further 5 had significantly reduced or changed their drug use. o Only three reported no significant change in their patterns of substance misuse. Eleven of the 37 offenders interviewed were aged 21 years and younger: five directly attributed the reasons for their stopping offending to the PPO scheme. A further three acknowledged that the PPO scheme had made a contribution but that other factors had also been involved in their ‘decision’ to stop offending. PPOs preferred working with the PPO scheme to previous experiences of probation or youth offending as they felt respected, treated like individuals, listened to, and supported. They felt the scheme allowed room for negotiation and honesty and generally saw that practitioners were committed to supporting them. PPOs understood the two key elements of the scheme and felt the scheme was consistent and did what it set out to do. Offenders who acknowledged they had continued to offend were generally older, substance misusing offenders with a complex range of support needs and an extensive offending history.

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25 offenders were interviewed, however, one had only been out of prison for one week and his responses are therefore not relevant to this discussion.

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Conclusions
• The schemes have generally obtained a good balance of enforcement and ‘social work ethos’ and each borough has developed or accessed a range of interventions in response to the individual needs of PPOs within their limited local resources. Good practice in relation to the police role has been developed in Barnet Generally, practitioners are demonstrating many of the elements of good practice identified in the literature but the nature and extent of this good practice does vary across boroughs and individuals. Barnet DIP and PPO scheme are co-located and are reaping the benefits of better alignment. The relationship between the DIP and PPO scheme in the three inner London boroughs varied and was often dependent on relationships which had been built through the DRR teams. There was a definite lack of strategic level ownership and communication which hampered the progress of each of the PPO schemes. Lack of funding and other resources limited the provision and therefore the potential of the schemes to provide a premium service to all PPOs. Schemes reported having to prioritise provision as a result. Housing remained the most difficult of the PPOs needs to meet. There was a lack of support from housing partners and limited resources with which to support PPOs who had vulnerable tenancies, rental arrears or housing related problems whilst they were in prison. PPOs reported a lack of employment opportunities, particularly the older PPOs with longer criminal histories. There are no meaningful and sustainable routes out of offending and many PPOs struggle when returning to drug using peers and neighbourhoods.

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Main recommendations
1. Improved strategic links with the CDRP and a set of protocols documenting commitment from key partners; 2. Improved two way flow of information between PPO practitioners and strategic partners in order that a) PPO practitioners are informed of changes to guidelines which may affect PPOs and b) so partners are aware of the needs of the PPO team and can develop processes in support of their work; 3. Allocation of a budget for direct work with PPOs2; 4. Facility to support the management of this budget, for example, an allocated finance officer; 5. Development and evaluation of local interventions such as the Islington PPO group. 6. A dedicated and co-located DIP worker for each scheme in lieu of a fully co-located team for inner London boroughs. 7. Development and communication of local protocols outlining the operating principles of the PPO police in relation to on-site arrests, dealing with warrants / outstanding matters, gathering intelligence, communicating with borough police / MPS, day to day work with PPOs. 8. Follow up interviews and case analysis of this cohort of PPOs to conduct an evaluation of the long term impacts of the scheme, the survival of scheme effects and the points of attrition for those PPOs who return to offending. 9. Examination of the current PPO cohort in terms of its contribution to the level of crime and therefore the effectiveness and accuracy of the targeting process in each borough.
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London Borough of Camden has recently committed over £100K to the borough’s PPO scheme through funding identified by the CDRP.

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Definitions
In London, an adult PPO is a person who is aged 18 and over and for whom the following three factors apply: 1) there are six or more indications of criminal activity – either criminal convictions and / or reliable intelligence – over a two year period; 2) s/he has been involved in an offence which falls under PSA 1 or 43 or another crime of local significance; 3) where offending is motivated by drug or alcohol misuse (Government Office for London, 2007). Statutory offenders are subject to statutory supervision by the probation or youth offending services and may include offenders on Community Orders and those on license following release from prison. Non statutory offenders are not currently under statutory supervision. A PPO is usually be identified and supervised by the borough where the offender lives, however in some instances offenders do not offend in the borough where they reside. In London, a person identified as a PPO in one borough is recognised as a PPO across London irrespective of where they live. PPOs offending outside of the borough where they live are known as cross borough offenders. A Persistent Young Offender (PYO) is a young person who has been dealt with by the courts on three or more occasions and who commits another offence within 3 years of their last court appearance4.

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Overall national Public Service Agreement (PSA) 1 is to reduce crime by 15% and more in high crime areas by 2007-08. PSA 4 is to reduce the harm caused by illegal drugs including substantially increasing the number of drug misusing offenders entering treatment through the Criminal Justice System. 4 Youth Justice Board (2000) National Standards

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Introduction
This report presents the findings of a qualitative study of 37 Prolific and Other Priority Offenders (PPOs) and 18 practitioners working with PPOs in four London boroughs. The research has been commissioned by London Probation with funding from Government Office for London to examine good practice in each of the four schemes and to provide information to CDRPs within London about the ways in which the PPO scheme has an impact on the PPOs behaviour and attitude to offending. This study is intended to compliment the recent national evaluation of the PPO scheme which indicated that PPOs on the scheme had significantly reduced their offending when compared to a non-PPO cohort. The first section of this report describes the background to the PPO scheme in England and Wales, the national PPO cohort and some of the findings of a recent evaluation of the national PPO scheme. It then goes on to review some of the literature associated with reoffending and desistance and a review of some of the good practice in relation to initiatives and practices with prolific offenders.

Background
Prolific and Other Priority Offenders The Government White Paper titled Policing a New Century estimated there were one million offenders active in the general population at one time and that around 100,000 or 10% of these had received three or more convictions during their offending careers. It was estimated that this group were responsible for committing at least half of all ‘serious crime’ and a substantial amount of repeat victimisation (Home Office, 2001). This group of offenders is a dynamic group with an estimated one fifth (20,000) moving into and out of the group per year5. Further research shows that a group of 5 000 (0.5% of the active offending population) super-prolific offenders have been found to commit 9% of all crime (Home Office, 2002). Other research has challenged this notion of persistence finding for example that different definitions often identified different offenders and that prolific offending was often short lived (Hagell and Newburn, 1994). The 2002 White Paper Justice for All highlighted the gap between offences committed and those brought to justice with the Government setting a target to increase the number of
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http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppo/ppominisite01.htm

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offences brought to justice to 1.2 Million in 2005/6 (HMIC, 2004) The Carter Review Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime: A New Approach (2003) echoed the need to tackle this group of offenders through more intense surveillance and greater control of those who were a medium- to high-risk. In April 2003 the Persistent Offender Scheme (POS) was launched to ensure that all agencies in the criminal justice system placed a focus on this group of offenders. The Home Office implemented 15 Intensive Supervision and Monitoring Schemes (ISMs) under this scheme to support the achievement of the new Government targets (HMIC, 2004). Several other schemes targeting prolific offenders such as the Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) and Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programmes (ISSP) for young offenders were also initiated (HMIC, 2004), the evaluations of which have formed the basis for good practice in this area (Homes et al, 2005). Following feedback from practitioners and several reviews of existing persistent offender and prolific offender schemes, the government launched the Priority and Prolific Offender Strategy (PPO) in March 2004. The scheme was fully implemented across England and Wales by September 2004. What is the PPO scheme? The PPO scheme is a national initiative which targets the most prolific offenders who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime with the aim of reducing their offending and the subsequent harms caused to communities. The PPO scheme is led by Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) across the country with an emphasis on multiagency working to effectively catch, convict, monitor and manage prolific offenders both in prison and in the community (Dawson, 2005). The PPO scheme allows local areas to identify offenders on the basis of the following criteria: • • • The nature and volume of the crimes they are committing; The nature and volume of other harm they are causing (by virtue of gang leadership or anti-social behaviour); Other local criteria based on the impact on individuals concerned on their local communities. The scheme consists of three complementary strands:

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Prevent and deter: aimed at preventing those most ‘at risk’ from becoming PPOs through youth-justice interventions;6 Catch and convict: aimed at ensuring PPOs are consistently prioritised through the criminal justice system;7 Rehabilitate and resettle: aimed at rehabilitating PPOs in custody or those serving sentences in the community.

Home Office guidance recommended that such PPO schemes should use the National Intelligence Model (NIM); be police and probation led8; and target a minimum of 15-20 offenders from a local area for intensive management. Furthermore, once an individual is identified, schemes were expected to manage offenders through a combination of enforcement measures and incentives to change behaviour. Such incentives, for example, included support with specific rehabilitation, housing, or counselling needs (Home Office, 2004). In July 2006, the Home Office published Rebalancing the Criminal Justice System’. Within this document it was recommended that the PPO scheme be closely aligned with the Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) to ensure that the drug users causing the highest amounts of crime are identified and targeted most effectively9. PPOs: the national picture Nationally, 7 801 individuals had been identified as PPOs by October 2004 (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). Examination of this cohort found that PPOs were predominantly white (88%) male (95%) and young (the most common age was 20 years, however ages ranged from 17 years to 88 years of age) (Dawson, 2005). The PPOs had generally begun offending earlier (15 compared to 21), were more versatile offenders (offending in seven crime types compared to one) and in the last five years had nearly 2.5 times the convictions of a comparison group (ibid).

While CDRPs have overall responsibility for the Prevent and Deter Strand of the scheme, in practice, this is usually managed by local Youth Offending Teams. Guidance was issued by the Youth Justice Board in November 2004 to support their work in this regard (Youth Justice Board, 2004). 7 In London this strand is known as Catch and Bring to Justice (Government Office for London, 2007) 8 With the exception of the Prevent and Deter Strand 9 Government Office for London (2007b)

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The table below shows demographic data taken from J-Track and produced by the Home Office for April 2007 for the entire PPO cohort. Table 1: Demographic data for the national PPO cohort – April 2007
Gender Male Female Age 12 and under 13-17 18-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51 and over Not stated Ethnicity White - British Other white background Other black background Black - Caribbean Mixed - White and Black Caribbean Other (individually less than 1%) Not stated Blank Source: JTrack 0.0% 6% 17% 26% 21% 16% 9% 5% 1% 0% 72% 4% 2% 3% 2% 3% 14% 0% n=11311 96% 4%

According to the recently conducted national evaluation of the PPO scheme 37% of offenders had an acquisitive offence in their history (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). A further breakdown of the types of convictions PPOs had in their history is shown below.

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Figure 1: PPO conviction history

Other motoring offence, 18% Aquisitive offence, 37% Other summary offence, 17% Violent offence, 4% Criminal damage, 3% Drug offence, 4%

Aquisitive offence Criminal damage Drug offence Violent offence Other summary offence Other motoring offence

Source: Dawson and Cuppleditch (2007)

Key findings from the national PPO impact assessment In early 2007 the Home Office published a national impact assessment of the PPO scheme which reported a 43% reduction in the offending of the entire PPO cohort when comparing the number of convictions in the 17 months before and after the programme (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). This reduction in offending was most marked upon entry to the scheme with a reduction of 62% in the first 17 months of the scheme. On average, offending fell from 0.51 to 0.39 convictions per month when the 12 months prior to the scheme and the 12 months following the scheme were compared. This represents a reduction of 24 per cent10. Apart from reducing offending, a key priority of the PPO scheme is increasing the speed with which offenders are processed through the criminal justice system following a new offence. The Home Office research found that PPOs were being processed through 13 days sooner than they had been prior to entry on the scheme. Offenders interviewed during this research were aware of the ‘carrot and stick’ approach and understood the additional enforcement aspects of the scheme as well as the consequences of non compliance. The PPOs welcomed the additional support and their views of probation were positive. The majority of the PPOs reported a reduction or claimed to have stopped offending since their involvement in the PPO scheme (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). A second publication was issued at the same time which highlights the following key recommendations for improving the implementation of the PPO scheme nationally:
Methodological issues prevented the research being able to indicate the extent to which these reductions could be attributed entirely to the PPO scheme.
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• • • • • •

Involvement of all relevant agencies in the selection / deselection of PPOs Co-location of PPO staff Scheme costs should be identified and sources of funding sought out PPOs should be provided with clear information about the scheme and with motivational support. Blockages with communication and data sharing should be identified and resolved. A multi-agency approach is required in order to tackle PPOs specific accommodation, drugs misuse, education, training and employability needs (Dawson, 2007).

Review of key literature
Risk factors associated with offending Well known research by Farrington (1997) identified risk factors which were associated with the onset and the persistence of offending behaviour and the factors which influence desistence from offending. While some evidence exists of a relationship between risks factors and offending, more often, the relationships are complex and not clearly understood11. Farrington et al (1996) found unemployment to have a relationship to offending. The stability and quality of the employment and the satisfaction experienced from work were found to be associated with reduced re-offending (Motiuk and Brown,1993; Farrington, 1989). While a lack of basic skills has not been directly found to be directly predictive of offending, this factor relates directly to other factors which are known to be associated with offending, for example, unemployment, social exclusion or a poor school experience (Proporino and Robinson, 1992). The Social Exclusion Unit report that substance misuse is associated with offending as it may have an impact on other areas of an offender’s life, for example, their chances of obtaining and holding down a job (SEU, 2002). Research has found that treating substance misusing offenders, particularly when they are retained in treatment for at least 12 weeks, has a positive effect on rates of re-offending and that investing in drug treatment can reduce costs in the criminal justice system (Gossop et al, 1997). Similarly, other studies have found that targeting offenders with serious drug problems who commit a high

There is an extensive body of literature relating to risk factors which has been reviewed elsewhere in detail. This report will present a summary of the relevant points only.

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level of acquisitive crime can reduce offending behaviour (Chenery and Pease, 2000; Worrall et al., 2002; Hough et al, 2003). Stable accommodation is both directly and indirectly linked to reductions in re-offending (Harper and Chitty, 2005). According to the Social Exclusion Unit (2002) one in three prisoners is not permanent accommodation prior to imprisonment and up to one third of prisoners loses their housing whilst in prison. Those who receive short prison sentences are reportedly between two and three times more likely to re-offend if they do not have suitable accommodation available when they leave prison (Nacro, 2006). Ex-prisoners face barriers to obtaining and maintaining housing including: rent arrears; insufficient money to make a deposit; discrimination by landlords; a lack of housing advice and support whilst in prison; a lack of supported housing for those with lower level needs upon their release; and the 13 week housing benefit rule12; (Nacro, 2006). A lack of suitable housing can have far reaching impacts for offenders including increased social exclusion13 (SEU, 2002) and harsher treatment by the criminal justice system (Nacro, 1999). Independent housing for offenders may: improve the monitoring of offenders; decrease the likelihood of custodial sentences and increase access to alternative punishments such as curfews; allow offenders independence from substance misusing or violent partners; and finally, through having a permanent address for correspondence it may improve an offenders ability to access health services, employment and training opportunities (Nacro, 1999). Persistence There is a significant amount of research which has established that at any one time a small proportion of all offenders are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime (eg. Wolfgang et al, 1972; West and Farrington, 1977; Home Office, 1985; Farrington, 1987) and it is these findings which have led to policy and practice such as intensive supervision and surveillance programmes and PPO schemes. It has also been noted however, that this group of offenders is not stable nor is the same group of offenders identified when different definitions of persistence are used (Hagell and Newburn, 1994). Furthermore, others have identified that the current practices of identifying the most persistent and prolific offenders may not target the correct group and therefore fulfil the aims of such a scheme – to make the maximum impact on crime. In fact, one study by
Which allows sentenced prisoners to be away from home for 13 weeks before their housing benefit is withdrawn. 13 This may in fact increase with the implementation of Anti-Social Behaviour legislation.
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Townsley and Pease (2002) found no evidence that the group of individuals nominated as the most prolific did make a disproportionate contribution to the level of crime and therefore it may be necessary to conduct studies which target the effectiveness and accuracy of the targeting process (Millie and Erol, 2006). Rehabilitation or desistance? There are two key strands to the literature about re-offending, that which examines desistance by offenders and that which examines the benefits of rehabilitative interventions, however, in reality the boundaries between the two areas are less clearly defined with offender change usually the result of a combination of these two and perhaps other factors. Maruna argues that research into re-offending and offender rehabilitation often focuses on ‘what works’ without attempting to understand how and why rehabilitation works with some offenders and fails with others (Maruna, 2000). In his opinion, research into desistance can assist in identifying ways in which interventions can work to enhance an individual’s own efforts to change. The literature on desistance identifies three broad perspectives: maturational reform; social bonds theory and narrative theory (Maruna, 2000). Maturational theories focus on the link between age and specific criminal behaviours – street crime for example. One such research study found young people who desisted began to realise the consequences of their offending; that it was pointless or wrong; or had begun work, college, a relationship or had assumed responsibilities through leaving home (Jamieson, McIvor and Murray, 1999). Other research found young men slower to desist than young women. This was generally connected to their being slower to assume responsibilities and achieve independence (Graham and Bowling, 1995). Risk factors associated with young men who failed to desist were a high frequency of prior offending; ongoing contact with offending peers and heavy drinking and drug use (ibid). The same research found two factors that were positively associated with desistence for young men – continuing to live at home and a perception that their school work was above average (ibid). Social bonds theories suggest that relationships to family, work and education in early adulthood explain changes in criminal behaviour during an offender’s life through the creation of a reason to stop offending. For those where such bonds are absent there may be a sense of ‘nothing to lose’. In a study of recidivism among property offenders conducted by Burnett (1992) those who were most successful in desisting had also been

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the most confident and optimistic about doing so14. From her research she categorised three types of persisters – hedonists, earners and survivors. The ‘hedonists’ were attracted to the excitement of being involved in criminal activities; the ‘earners’ considered crime a viable way of earning an income and the ‘survivors’ were generally dependant on drugs and offending to support their substance misuse. She also categorised three types of desisters – ‘non starters’ who denied they were criminals; ‘avoiders’ who aimed to keep out of prison as they had established that the costs of crime outweighed the benefits; and ‘converts’ who had found new interests, for example, a job or new partner and who were now not prepared to jeopardise these by committing property crime. For this type of desister an objective change in circumstances was accompanied by a judgement about the value, meaning or importance of this change (Farrall, 2002). Narrative theories stress changes to a person’s sense of self and identity which is reflected in a greater consideration of the future, other people and changing motivations. In one research study the narrative of the persister was of a person condemned to a life of offending, while the desisters felt that they were a victim of society who had turned to crime or drugs to exert some sort of power over their circumstances but were still essentially good (Maruna, 2001). This narrative of desistance however, still meant that offenders did not feel able to make their own choices or manage their lives to overcome societal pressures. Interventions supporting a reduction in re-offending In 2002 the Social Exclusion Unit published a report which indicated that over half of all crime is committed by those who have already been through the criminal justice system and that the costs of crimes committed by ex-prisoners amounted to approximately £11 billion a year (SEU, 2002). According to recent Home Office research the rate of reoffending of adults who were released from prison or who commenced a community penalty in the first quarter of 2004 was 57.6% (Cunliffe and Shepherd, 2007). Research on the effectiveness of schemes targeting prolific and persistent offenders is mixed. Much of the evidence used in the UK to develop approaches aimed at reducing reoffending has come from studies undertaken in the US and Canada in response to pessimism about the ability of interventions with offender to ‘work’. Apart from difficulties in
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Burnett notes that the process of desistence is not straightforward and usually involves a process of shifting back and forth between desistence and re-offending.

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determining whether results from such studies can be generalised into the British context, the nature and quality of the studies conducted in Britain varies dramatically (Home Office, 2004) and only a relatively small body of evaluation research exists. In addition, many studies focus on measuring reconviction which it has been argued is not a useful or accurate way of measuring the impacts of a programme on an offender’s behaviour, nevertheless some of the key findings regarding interventions targeting offenders are outlined below. Meta-analyses of the ‘what works’ literature, research and policy have found that interventions with offenders should be based on an explicit model of risk factors; have a risk classification; target criminogenic needs; be responsive; have programme integrity and treatment should recognise a range of offenders problems and employ methods from behavioural, cognitive and cognitive-behavioural fields (McGuire and Priestley, 1995). Another review conducted by McGuire (2002a) found that offenders often have multiple criminogenic needs, therefore, programmes and interventions are required that will tackle a range of such problems and be multi-modal in nature (McGuire, 2002b). Similarly, work conducted by the Probation Service on case management approaches found that the core features which improved offender engagement and therefore the case management system were the acknowledgement of offender’s needs and experiences and a continuity of contact (Partridge, 2004). The ‘what works’ literature generally shows that re-offending and reconviction can best be addressed through interventions which influence risk factors, particularly problems with education, employment and substance misuse (Harper and Chitty, 2004). Based on findings of this nature, the London Resettlement Strategy has identified seven pathways to help address the key factors which influence re-offending: accommodation; education, training and employment; health; drugs; finance; debt and benefit; children and families; and attitudes, thinking and behaviour (Government Office for London, 2006). Intensive supervision and monitoring Meta-analyses of intensive supervision and monitoring schemes concluded that they have little or no effect on offenders’ future criminal activity (Gendreau, Goggin and Fulton, 2001; Paparozzi, 1994), however when intervention was combined with treatment, a reduction in recidivism was reported (Petersilia and Turner, 1993; Pararozzi, 1994; Gendreau et al., 1993). Research has found the following elements of PPO schemes and other intensive monitoring schemes to be associated with an increase in the likelihood of success: 17

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• • • • • • •

Good communication and information sharing between staff and partner agencies (Chenery and Pease, 2000; Hope et al., 2001; Worrall et al., 2003; Dawson, 2005); A good balance of ‘law enforcement’ and a social work ‘ethos’ (Gendreau et al., 1993); Clear and effective line management between the police and probation staff (Mawby and Worrall, 2004); High levels of motivation among staff and commitment to service operation (Worrall et al., 2003; Paparozzi and Gendreau, 1994; Dawson, 2005); Informing magistrates and crown prosecution service representatives of the schemes (Chenery and Pease, 2000); Using a shared database (Heal, 2001) and having a crime analyst as part of the team (Worrall et al., 2004); Implementing mentors towards the end of the programme (Heal, 2001; Holden, McAllister Partnership, 2003).

What works with who? Much of the research into criminogenic risk factors and ‘what works’ has been undertaken with white male offenders and largely neglects other offender groups. Important differences have been found in the offending behaviour of men and women and it is argued that as a result programmes which focus on male criminogenic factors may be unable to meet the needs of women (Hedderman, 2004; cited in Harper and Chitty, 2005). Similarly, the London Resettlement Strategy also highlights that the criminogenic needs and risk of reconviction of BME offenders differ to those of white offenders (Government Office for London, 2006). What works in probation practice15? The application of the ‘what works’ principles has primarily focussed on particular activities, for example, systems of accrediting interventions, designing programmes that match the level or risk and need with the type and level of intervention or evaluating the programme’s integrity. This has led to increasing concern with which programmes work better than others, in which contexts and for which groups rather than examining the qualities of the interventions which may be a large part of the programmes effectiveness. Some argue that this focus on accreditation, assessment and evaluation has been undertaken to the detriment of developing good probation practice to support the development of quality relationships which can support offenders to desist (Barry, 2000;
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Further detail is available in McNeill, Batchelor, Burnett and Knox (2005).

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Batchelor and McNeill, 2005; Burnett, 2004). Raynor (2004) argues that there is an increasing need for practitioners to be able to use interpersonal skills, flexibility and discretion in their contact with offenders and also to take individual concerns and diversity issues into account. Desistence and the probation relationship Research with probation officers and their clients found that clients who attributed changes in their behaviour to their supervision reported that their supervision had been active and participatory with the sense of being engaged in a joint negotiation with their supervisor (Rex, 1999). Rex’s research found that offenders who reported being more willing to desist also reported feeling personally committed in their relationship with their probation officer and that this sense of commitment was developed through experience of the probation officer’s personal and professional commitment to them. Rex argues that offenders come to view probation officers as role models through a sense of obligation generated by the support and encouragement provided to the offender, with up to half of those interviewed describing this as personal loyalty and accountability to their supervisor. Probationers also found guidance and support regarding personal and social problems which Rex described as work aimed at strengthening social ties, a factor also noted in theories of desistance. It was also reported that positive supervision included a reinforcing of pro-social behaviour and that offenders were motivated by evidence of the probation officer’s concern for them as a (ibid). Desistence and the social context A study examining the progress or lack of progress made by probationers who desist from offending found that in only a few cases could desistence be attributed directly to interventions by the probation officer. Rather it was found that desistence could be related to the offender’s motivations and to the personal and social context within which the barriers to desistence were addressed (Farrell, 2002). In this study Farrell argues that interventions delivered by probation can develop an offender’s human but not social capital as desistence is not only dependent on individual choices, it also occurs in a social and institutional context over which the offender has no control (Farrell and Bowling, 1999).

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Rationale for research
Increasingly there has been a shift away from concern with overall crime rates to a focus on the prolific offending behaviour of individual offenders. This has led to the development of key performance targets around re-offending and the development of initiatives and strategies to deal with individual offending as a way of improving local community safety16. In London, as elsewhere, CDRPs are responsible for local crime reduction initiatives. As the PPO scheme is a major new initiative which aims to intensively target the prolific offending of a small group, CDRPs have expressed an interest in knowing both whether PPO schemes represent value for money and also how best to work with the PPOs to achieve good value and the greatest benefit to their local crime reduction initiatives. Initially a cost-benefit analysis was proposed, however, such a study is limited by the several key problems17 and would not allow any detailed analysis of the elements of the PPO scheme or the offender’s biography which had an influence over their behaviour. The recent national assessment of the impacts of the PPO scheme reports a 43% reduction in the offending of the entire PPO cohort based on the number of convictions in a 17 month period either side of being registered as a PPO (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). However, such a study examines overall recidivism compared to a similar non PPO cohort and provides little detail about the ways in which each scheme has contributed to these successes18. Reconviction was established as a key indicator of performance for the English and Welsh Prison Service by Carter et al (1992; cited in Home Office, 2004), however this method of assessment has been frequently challenged and its limitations are well known. According to Matthews and Pitts (2000) this is for two key reasons: 1) the causal links between the programme and measurement are not easy to identify and often get neglected, and 2) that the recidivism measure can be constructed and defined in a range of often contradictory ways. They argue that recidivism can refer to any single or combination of: re-arrest rate,
Local Area Agreements have also for the first time seen NOMS as a contributing organisation and there is a new mandatory indicator to reduce re-offending (Government Office for London, 2006). 17 See Appendix 1. 18 Similarly, a recent evaluation of the Derby PPO scheme using a small matched comparison group and survival analysis, found that 78% of the Non-PPOs re-offended compared to 50% of the PPOs. It also found that the estimated average re-offending time for PPO offenders is 315 days which is more than double that of the non PPO offenders (Ipsos Mori, 2007). The report authors note however that none of these decreases can be directly attributed to the scheme due to methodological challenges.
16

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reconviction rate, readmission rate and re-offending rate, and that problems exist with any of the measures chosen. Re-arrest rates for instance may be influenced by an offenders being know as a ‘likely suspects’. Reconviction rates may rule out some of these trivial arrests but also miss offenders who avoid conviction for a number of reasons such as legal technicalities resulting in these cases being identified as ‘successes’. Jones (1996) suggests that readmission data is considered more robust as the offence for which someone was sentenced must have been sufficiently serious for them to end up in prison, however, it is likely that it is less serious than the offence for which they were originally sentenced again making questionable what constitutes ‘success’. Self report measures are also challenged for tending to underestimate offending behaviour due to the offender’s vested interest in not making details of their offending known19. Therefore, research examining recidivism rates alone fails to capture the various types of ‘success’ for instance, a reduction or a change to a less harmful form of offending, or a change of attitude or behaviour which may support a future reduction in re-offending. Using a particular model of measuring recidivism may mean that some of these examples are held up as failures and as Matthews (1997) argues, many programmes which aim to reduce recidivism have positive effects but that these effects may have little influence over the chance that an offender will be rearrested or reconvicted. According to Pitts and Matthews (2000) ‘it is necessary to move away from a zero-sum conception of rehabilitation and from the notion that the aim of rehabilitative programmes is to turn bad people into good people or committed criminals into law abiding citizens.’ They advocate that programme evaluations aim to identify which elements of a scheme make change possible and that low level objectives such as developing basic skills such as literacy and numeracy, developing conditions for independent living or attitudinal changes are equally as important as changes in re-offending as it is unrealistic to expect a short term programme to change decades of socialisation. It is for these reasons that qualitative interviews with offenders who have been participating in the PPO scheme have been undertaken and it is expected that such research will compliment the recent national evaluation undertaken by the Home Office

For example a recent Home Office study of offenders on probation indicates that when asked as part of their OASys assessment 65% of offenders assessed by probation as having a high likelihood of reconviction felt that they would definitely not or were unlikely to offend again.

19

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(Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007) and provide additional information for CDRPs and practitioners within London.

Context for research
As PPO schemes are developed to meet local crime reduction needs and have been established within existing community safety structures there is variation in how they work, how they are funded and supported, and therefore ways in which they are effective. There is currently no data available about the elements of the scheme which are associated with reduced re-offending and reconviction, the types of offenders who respond well, the way in which offenders change their behaviour or attitudes when put on the scheme, or about the factors which influence an offender’s progress on the PPO scheme. PPO schemes aim to target the most prolific offenders in each borough in order to reduce the amount of crime they commit and the harm they cause to the local community. This research has been commissioned by London Probation from funding provided by Government Office for London in order to develop a better understanding of how the PPO Scheme in London achieves this aim and to examine the features of the scheme which impact on an offender’s ability to reduce the extent and seriousness of their offending.

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Research aims
This study aims to compliment the national impact assessment study conducted by the Home Office (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007) by examining in more detail four PPO schemes in London. This report will present the findings of 37 qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with offenders and 18 semi-structured interviews with practitioners working with PPOs on the schemes and examine the ways in which each scheme operates to reduce re-offending and the ways in which it is considered effective. The key aims of the research are to: • • Examine the range of factors which may be involved in reducing reconviction and re-offending among PPOs in each of four London PPO schemes Use an in-depth case study approach with 20 offenders who have responded well to the PPO scheme and 20 offenders who haven’t in order to obtain a range of views and experiences. • Support the development of a methodology to determine the cost benefits of the PPO scheme in London from which local benefits in terms of crime reduction can be established and from which funding decisions can be made • To provide constructive recommendations and good practice for PPO schemes across London.

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Methodology
Guidance issued by Government Office for London suggests that PPO panels could use feedback from offenders to identify barriers to progress and success factors in order to highlight good practice (Government Office for London, 2007). This research employs a qualitative methodology based on offender interviews to allow an ‘in-depth’ examination of the types of factors most likely to influence a PPO to change (Sayer, 1992). Research strategy In order to develop an understanding of the causal factors and processes involved in promoting change among PPOs an in-depth case study approach was undertaken which involved interviews with offenders, interviews with professionals working with PPOs and an examination of OASys, Delius and other probation records. Due to the limited budget available for this research it was initially undertaken in three London boroughs - Islington, Southwark and Lambeth - which were selected as they represent a range of locations, offender types and PPO schemes and for the relationships that already existed which facilitated access. London Borough of Barnet later provided additional research funding to the project and have therefore been included as a fourth borough. Offender interviews Interviews were to be undertaken with a total of 40 offenders currently on the PPO scheme in the four London boroughs. Ten interviews were to be conducted in each borough, five with those who have continued to offend and who are not engaging and five with those who are engaging and are thought to have reduced their offending since entering the scheme. Each borough was asked to select ten appropriate participants to be involved in the research. In total, 38 offenders were approached to participate in the research: 10 in Islington, 10 in Lambeth, 10 in Barnet and eight in Southwark. One Islington offender currently in prison refused to participate in the study. Twelve interviews were conducted in London prisons on legal visits and 25 interviews were conducted in the community at the offender’s probation office. Three of the offenders were women and 34 were male. The table below shows the sample composition in terms of ethnicity.

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Table 2: Ethnicity of interviewees (n=37)
Ethnicity Black or Black British:African Black or Black British:Any other black background Black or Black British:Caribbean Black or Black British:Other Mixed:White and Black Caribbean Other ethnic group White:Any other white background White:British White:Irish Count 1 1 5 1 4 1 1 20 3 % 3% 3% 14% 3% 11% 3% 3% 54% 8%

Compared to the both the London and National cohort of PPOs the sample of interviewees had more ‘White British’ respondents than London and fewer than the national cohort (54% compared to 49% in London and 72% in England and Wales). The table below shows the age of each of the offenders interviewed. The average age was 31 years. The youngest offender was 19 and the oldest was 47 years. Over a third of those interviewed were 25 years or younger (35%, n=13) and of these 30% were aged 21 years or younger. Figure 2: Age of interviewees (n=37)

11%

3% <25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50

35%

27%

8%

16%

The interviews were semi-structured and in depth and examined in detail the factors which have had an impact on the offender’s behaviour. They included questions to determine a change in attitude; behaviour; substance use; and the nature, frequency and location of offending behaviour. They also examined how the offender has responded to the PPO scheme and which features of the scheme they felt were most / least effective.

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Each of the interview participants was offered a £20 incentive in acknowledgement of their time and expenses and as a way of encouraging participation in order to meet the short time frame of the research. Those offenders interviewed in a prison setting were offered the same incentive which would be kept for them until their release by their probation office. General research questions The research aimed to explore the following questions: • • • • • • • • • What were offender’s initial reactions to being placed on the PPO scheme? What do the offenders think of the PPO scheme? What interventions have they received? What features of the scheme have they felt assisted them? Why? What features of the scheme do they feel could be improved? Why? How has the nature and extent of offending changed following entry on the PPO scheme? What changes have there been in the offender’s attitudes to their offending and behaviour? How does the offender’s self reported offending and behaviour compare with data held by agencies? How has the offender’s substance misuse, personal, social and family circumstances; and mental state been impacted by the scheme? Case file reviews As part of agreeing to participate in an interview about the PPO scheme, offenders were asked for their consent to examine the Police and Probation data held about them. This data was used to construct a case study of each of the offenders interviewed in order to compare changes in the nature and extent of their offending behaviour prior to and during their participation on the PPO scheme. This case file information was incorporated with the interview data to create case studies of each PPO. Practitioner interviews Brief semi-structured interviews were undertaken with key members of the PPO team or practitioners delivering interventions using a standard topic guide. Those interviewed varied between boroughs mainly due to differing team structures and limited availability, but included Senior Probation Officers, Probation Officers, Probation Support Officers, Police Constables, a mentor and the facilitator of an offender group. In total 12

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practitioners were interviewed either individually or as part of a group. Interviews with practitioners were undertaken largely as background to the research with offenders. However, as these interviews resulted in a substantial amount of data, these have also been analysed in the above fashion and a summary of the findings are presented later in the report. Analysis of interview data The offender interview data was analysed in an inductive manner, with the objective of understanding the ways in which the PPO scheme has had an impact on offending behaviour and attitudes to offending. Case study data will be analysed in conjunction with interview data using an organised analysis framework constructed from the issues emerging in the data. Firstly, data was sorted into primary categories which led to the identification of prominent issues. Secondly, a detailed examination was undertaken of the similarities and differences in offender’s experiences across boroughs, type of offending, age and other key factors. From this over-arching categories and frameworks were developed. Finally, a reflexive consideration of the policy and practice implications was undertaken which contributed to the development of the report recommendations. OASys and Delius data OASys data has been used to support an assessment of those PPOs interviewed who have continued to offend since entering the scheme and those whose offending behaviour has significantly decreased. Data from OASys has been examined in conjunction with data from Delius in order to produce offender case studies. Police National Computer (PNC) Data (MG16s) Data from the PNC can provide data on arrests which result in charges, convictions and sentencing information. The research examined MG16s for a small number of PPOs to assist in developing a methodology which can be used to determine the cost benefits of the PPO scheme in each London borough20. It was not possible in the timeframe or for the budget to examine reconviction rates for each of the schemes and in some boroughs this analysis has already been undertaken21.

20 21

See Appendix 1 for guidance on cost benefit analysis. A discussion of the methodologies used and their limitations is discussed in Appendix 1.

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Acknowledgements and limitations of the study
Quantitative and qualitative research methods As has already been identified, there are limitations in any study which attempts to assess the impact of an intervention aimed at reducing recidivism. In this research a qualitative methodology has been chosen to highlight the ways in which offenders have responded to different elements of the PPO scheme and to try to establish the ways in which the scheme may have an impact on offenders rather than determining an exact measure of the scheme’s success in terms of recidivism. Such an approach acknowledges some of the limitations in quantitative research into recidivism and aims to compliment the recent national evaluation of the PPO scheme which used propensity score matching to analyse reconvictions. Reliability of data sources In some cases the data held on offenders in probation computer systems (Delius and OASys) was inconsistent or incomplete. As such systems have not been designed as research databases but as operational tools to assess and case manage offenders, it is therefore understandable that some gaps and inconsistencies exist. Similarly, there were contradictions between data held in these systems and the qualitative data produced through interviews with offenders and practitioners. Where these differences have been considered significant they have been discussed within the report.

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Findings
‘The London Model’ In London each of the 32 borough PPO schemes are overseen by Government Office for London (GOL) to ensure some consistency in regard to resource planning, performance management and cross borough tracking of offenders, but while GOL takes a strategic overview of the schemes the responsibility for implementation of the scheme remains local in order that CDRPs may respond best to the boroughs needs using the resources available. Each CDRP is therefore responsible for setting up and running a PPO scheme and for creating a PPO strategy which satisfies both national criteria and local needs. The third version of the London Model guidance published by GOL recommends that a specially created multi-agency PPO Steering Group is set up to undertake these strategic activities. (Government Office for London, 2007, p.8). The guidance also recommends a multi-agency PPO Panel be convened where PPOs can be selected and deselected and offender’s needs can be addressed (Ibid). GOL recommends that the operational PPO team should be co-located and should include a Senior Probation Officer, a Probation Officer, a Probation Service Officer and Police Officer, an Administrative Support Worker and a Drugs Worker, however, there is some variation in relation to this depending on local circumstances. London Probation has agreed to provide a probation support officer (PSO) to the PPO team to work with nonstatutory offenders on the scheme who are not normally part of the probation caseload, however, funding for this post is dependant upon the CDRP. In Intensive DIP boroughs the drugs worker should be provided by the DIP due to the likelihood that a significant number of PPOs will have substance misuse problems (ibid). The main functions of the PPO team are: completing and reviewing offender assessments, sentence plans and action plans; maintaining face to face contact with offenders (with 4 contacts per week recommended); working with the DIP to ensure appropriate referral, assessment and treatment for substance misusing offenders; monitoring and enforcement of statutory cases; motivating non-statutory cases; record keeping; referring offenders to appropriate interventions and monitoring progress; visiting PPOs in prison; attending court; making home visits; exchanging information and intelligence with the Police; making contact with the offender’s family; preparing pre-sentence reports; contributing to remand planning, sentence and release planning; completing national performance management 29

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data returns; working with other agencies to identify potential PPOs; referring cases to the PPO panel; marketing the PPO scheme locally and providing advice to other agencies; meeting PPOs at the prison gate upon their release; interventions (Ibid). PPOs: the London picture According to data produced by the MPS in December 2006 there were 1100 PPOs in London compared with 1232 at the latest assessment by the Home Office. The MPS data suggests that around half of these 1100 were remanded in custody or were serving a prison sentence at the time of the research; over 90% had been arrested since the beginning of the scheme; about half were currently known to probation and over a quarter were known to drug treatment services (MPS, 2006). According to this data, one fifth of the PPOs could be considered cross border offenders in that they were last arrested outside their home borough. The most recent data produced in the March 2007 Headline Measures report published by the Home Office22 show that the population of PPOs in London is significantly more diverse than in England and Wales as a whole. There are also differences in the ages of offenders as the table indicates. Table 3: National and London PPO cohort demographics
PPO Cohort Gender Male Female Age 12 and under 13-17 18-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51 and over Not stated Ethnicity White - British Other white background Other black background National 96% 4% 0.0% 6% 17% 26% 21% 16% 9% 5% 1% 0% 72% 4% 2% London 96% 4% 0.0% 4% 17% 23% 16% 15% 12% 11% 2% 1% 49% 5% 9%

engaging resources for PPO

22

http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppo/ppomf04-07.xls

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Black - Caribbean Mixed - White and Black Caribbean Other (individually less than 1%) Not stated Blank Source: JTrack

3% 2% 3% 14% 0% n=11311

11% 3% 12% 12% 0% n=1232

The March 2007 PPO Headline Report shows that in London fewer PPOs were assessed as having an alcohol problem than in England and Wales (18% compared to 27%). There is no difference in the numbers of PPOs testing positive for drugs (56%). The table below, taken again from the same report compares the most recent offences of London PPOs compared with the national cohort and shows there are few differences. Table 4: National and London PPO cohort – recent offences
Most recent offence Breach offences Burglary Driving offences Other Robbery Summary offences Theft and handling stolen goods Theft from shops Vehicle crime Violence against the person Source: PNC

National 6% 22% 7% 14% 4% 15% 8% 9% 5% 9% n=9300

London 5% 21% 8% 18% 4% 13% 9% 8% 5% 9% n=1007

Criminogenic needs In January 2007 London Probation conducted an examination of the OASys data held on each of the London PPOs and compared it to London offenders as a whole (Bellair, 2007). Unsurprisingly, this data found that in London PPO offenders generally had more criminogenic needs than the overall offender population and having nearly double the ‘need’ across most factors. This study found that 93% of the PPO population in London had accommodation needs, compared to 46% in the general offender population and 79% had drug misuse needs compared to 35%. PPOs were also found to have a higher risk profile and a greater risk of reconviction than other London offenders (63% were assessed as having a high risk of reconviction compared to 15%). This study also found that in terms of ethnicity, a significantly greater proportion of London PPOs were ‘White British’ (54%) than in the general London offender population (40%). 31

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Four different schemes – Four different approaches PPO schemes have developed to meet local crime reduction needs and as such there is variation in how they work, how they are funded, the structures and services which they are supported by and therefore in the ways in which they are effective. While the purpose of this research is not to evaluate the effectiveness of each of the schemes individually, some detail about each of the schemes is offered as background and to assist in the discussion of good practice. London Borough of Islington Islington is one of 14 inner London boroughs bordered in the North by Haringey, the East by Hackney, the West by Camden and in the South by the City of London. In terms of population Islington is the second densest area in London with a density of 118 people per hectare compared to the London average of 4623. According to the ONS 2005 Mid-Year Population Estimate Islington has approximately 182,600 residents. Around a quarter (24.7%) of Islington’s population are from ethnic minority groups. The three largest ethnic minority groups in the borough are Black African (6%), Black Carribean (5%) and Bangladeshi (2%)24. Of the 188 Super Output Areas (SOAs) in Islington, 43% of those are in the top 10% most deprived. As a borough overall, Islington is ranked 3 out of 354 Local Authorities in England and Wales25. In Islington there are currently 48 PPOs. Of these 2 (4%) are female and 46 (96%) are male, nearly half are White British (49%) and 13% are Black Caribbean. The PPOs ranged in age from 17 to 52 years. A recent analysis of reconviction rates among PPOs in Islington found there had been an average reduction of 9% in the rate of reconviction of all PPOs since joining the scheme26.

23 24

Census 2001 Census 2001 25 www.odpm.gov.uk Indices of Deprivation 2004 26 Please see Appendix 1 for further discussion of the methodology used.

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Figure 3: Ethnicity of Islington PPOs

4%

6% 2%

13% 6% 6% 4%

Any other Asian background Black Caribbean Black African Any other Black background White and Black Caribbean White and Asian Any other ethnic group White British White Irish Any other White background

49% 8%

2%

The Islington PPO scheme operates as part of the Islington Crime Drugs and Youth Partnership (ICDYP). The Team currently consists of one Senior Probation Officer (SPO) (with joint responsibilities for Drug Rehabilitation Requirements), one Probation Officer (PO), two Probation Service Officers (SPOs), one drugs worker and two Police Constables (PCs). One of the PCs works directly with offenders on a regular basis, the other works in the Borough Intelligence Unit (BIU) at Tolpuddle Police Station. The team do not currently have any administrative support. The PPO team operate out of the Highbury Magistrates Court / London Probation building in Holloway Road. Their premises are shared with the Camden probation team. In Islington the PPO PSOs and drug worker share an office, however there is no co-location of the Police and Probation despite close working relationships. Services for drug users are also not co-located in this borough. Unique to Islington is the weekly PPO psychodynamic therapy group which is led by a therapist with experience of working with violent prisoners. London Borough of Lambeth Lambeth is also an inner London borough. It is bordered by Croydon, Merton, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster. Lambeth has five key town centres: North Lambeth, Streatham, Clapham and Stockwell, Norwood and Brixton. The population has recently

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been estimated to be 269,10027. Lambeth is also one of the most densely populated areas in England with a density of 99.2 people per hectare28. Lambeth is also ethnically diverse borough with 38% of the borough’s population coming from ethnic minorities, the seventh highest proportion in the country29. The borough has the second highest proportion of Black Caribbean residents in the country and the fourth highest proportion of Black African people. There are also approximately 150 different languages are spoken across the borough30. Lambeth has areas of both affluence and deprivation, however some of its pockets of deprivation are among the worst in the country. Of its 177 Super Output Areas (SOAs) Lambeth has 50 of these in the top 5% most deprived in terms of crime and 11 in the top 5% in terms of income. There are currently 55 PPOs on the Lambeth PPO register, including 7 PYOs. Of these, 47% are White British and 38% are Black Caribbean. PPOs in Lambeth ranged in age from 15 to 47 years old. Figure 4: Ethnicity of Lambeth PPOs
Black Caribbean 7% Black African 38% Any other black background White and Black Caribbean 47% 2% 2% 2% 2% White and Asian White British (blank)

The Lambeth PPO team currently consists of one PSO, one PO and one Police Sergeant. The police and probation team are co-located and are based at Stockwell Road Probation Office. As with the other PPO teams they are managed by an SPO. In Lambeth PPO referrals and ongoing work with PPOs is managed in the Joint Action Group (JAG) which
ONS 2005 Mid-Year Estimate http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BA67FA12-CCA8-4F90-AC1152FBABE1B2A4/0/Aboutlambeth.pdf 29 ibid 30 2006 Lambeth Pupil Survey.
28 27

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meets monthly. The Lambeth PPO team do not have an administrator however at the time of the research the team had been informed that they would be provided with such a post. London Borough of Southwark 31 Southwark is also an inner London borough. It has borders with Lambeth in the West, Lewisham in the East, and the City of London and Tower Hamlets to the North. The population of the borough has recently been estimated to be 254,70032. There are 84.9 people per hectare in the borough33. Around 40% of Southwark’s population are from black or minority ethnic groups with the two largest minority groups being Black African (16%) and Black Caribbean (8%). Southwark’s population of Black Africans is the largest proportion of Black Africans of any Local Authority area in England and Wales34. According to the 2004 Indices of Multiple Deprivation Southwark is ranked 12 out of 354 Local Authority Areas in England and Wales, however levels of deprivation vary significantly across the borough. Of the 164 SOAs in the borough, 24 or those are in the top 10% most deprived. In Southwark, there are currently 58 PPOs listed on the PPO register. Of these 53 (91%) are male and 5 (9%) are female. Over half are White British (n=31, 52%) and nine (16%) are Black Caribbean35.

The Southwark PPO scheme has been the subject of two recent studies. Cinnamon and Hoskins (2006) outlines the way in which the PPO scheme in Southwark operates in practice and Sveinsson (2006) undertook a case study of the Southwark PPO scheme by interviewing 20 offenders with the aim of informing and developing local practice. 32 ONS 2005 Mid-Year Estimate 33 2001 Census 34 2001 Census 35 In the data provided, eight PPOs had either refused to provide and ethnic group or one had not been recorded.

31

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Figure 5: Ethnicity of Southwark PPOs

14%

16% 2% 9% 7% Black Caribbean Black African Mixed Caribbean Other Ethnicity White British (blank)

52%

The PPOs range in age from 51 years old to 18 years old. Over a third (36%) of Southwark PPOs are aged under 25 years, with a further 21% aged between 25 and 30 years. The Southwark PPO team currently consists of five full time staff members - a probation officer; a probation services officer, an administrator and a co-located police constable. There is also a police sergeant based at Southwark Police Station who also has responsibility for the police team who deal with ASBOs in the borough and a police administrator. The PPO team is managed by a Senior Probation Officer who also has responsibilities for managing the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement team. In Southwark PPO referrals and ongoing work with PPOs is managed in the Joint Action Group (JAG) which meets monthly and which is attended by key partners. In Southwark, the work of probation and the police is supported by a mentoring programme delivered by a South London charity. London Borough of Barnet The London Borough of Barnet is a large North London borough which covers an area of 33.8 square miles. It is bordered by the London boroughs of Harrow, Brent, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and the County of Hertfordshire. Barnet is the second most populated borough in London with a population of 314,564 people and 126,944 households in 2001. According to mid year 2004 estimates the population of Barnet is growing with an estimated population at this time of 326,747. Barnet has 13 major town centres. According to the 2001 Census, the largest single minority ethnic groups are Indian (8.6%) and Black African (4.3%). Barnet has the seventh largest number of Indian residents of 36

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any of the 32 London boroughs and the twelfth highest number of Black African residents. The 2001 Census also revealed that 14.8% of the population in Barnet are Jewish, the highest proportion for any local authority in England and Wales. The three most deprived areas in the borough (all in Colindale around the Grahame Park Estate) are in the top 14 most deprived in England. In Barnet there are 30 PPOs currently on the PPO register. Twenty nine of the PPOs are male and one is female. While the PPOs range in age from 18 years of age to 45 years of age, nearly two thirds are aged under 25 years (63%, n=19)36. Of those aged 25 and under nearly three quarters are aged 21 years and under (n=14). The average age of a PPO in Barnet is 25 years. Barnet’s PPOs are predominantly White, with only one of 30 PPOs being of Black Caribbean origin. Figure 6: Ethnicity of Barnet PPOs

7%

3%

7% 3% Black - Caribbean Mixed - White and Asian Other white background White - British Not stated

80%

The Barnet PPO team are co-located with Barnet’s DIP at The Grove37. The Grove is operated by Turning Point in conjunction with the NHS. The PPO team consists of a colocated Police Sergeant, a POs, one PSO and an administrator shared between the DRR and the PPO team. The team are overseen by a SPO and are supported by a police officer in the Borough Intelligence Unit. The drug services provided at The Grove include: group and individual working and counselling; complementary therapies; assessments for prescribing services; a daily drop in service; referrals to detox and rehabilitation services;

20% are aged 26-30 years, 10% aged 36-40 years and 7% 41-45 years old. Barnet is a non-intensive DIP borough in contrast with Lambeth, Islington and Southwark who are all intensive DIP schemes.
37

36

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support in custody suites, courts and prison; housing, benefits and rental deposit support; and an out of hours helpline.

Agency views
This section of the report presents the views of 18 practitioners involved in working with PPOs in Islington, Southwark, Lambeth and Barnet. Those interviewed included Senior Probation Officers, Probation Officers, Probation Support Officers, Police Constables, a DIP worker, a mentor and the facilitator of an offender group. The interviews undertaken were largely to gather information about the operation of each of the schemes, however, several key issues were highlighted and are presented below. Multi-agency working The PPO scheme was set up as a joint police and probation initiative and traditionally new partnerships such as these have experienced difficulties (Crawford, 1998). Each of the boroughs reported that determining how to work locally has had its challenges. Practitioners from each of the PPO schemes mentioned the organisational differences they faced in attempting to work in partnership, particularly the differences in organisational culture between the Police and Probation, with the Police being necessarily enforcement focussed but also using seniority in the management of staff. In contrast, probation has historically been more oriented towards a social work model and these differences remain despite recent shifts in both organisations. The interviews with practitioners found that these differences in organisational culture impacted on the operation of the PPO scheme, particularly in terms of line management arrangements for the Police who were based in a co-located team. This in turn, determined the amount of support received by the Police in general, the approach taken to offenders and the process of gathering intelligence. The relationship between drug service providers and probation also faced problems, particularly related to information and data sharing about offenders attending drug services and while the situation was generally felt to have improved with the development of information sharing protocols, offender confidentiality agreements and joint attendance at PPO Panel meeting it was still reported that improvements needed to be made in practice in this area. Such issues were less of a problem in Barnet where the PPO team had co-location with the DIP, a police sergeant with significant experience and good links back to the borough; and fewer PPOs. The small co-located team in Barnet had developed responsive, close 38

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relationships which benefited the closer alignment of the scheme, particularly through better sharing of information and communication about clients. The team had developed strong operational practices and joint working which they each reported as beneficial to their work with PPOs. Policing The Police have several functions in relation to the PPO scheme, the most obvious being under the catch and bring to justice strand. Other responsibilities are outlined in detail in the guidance issued to London schemes and include: internal and external information and intelligence exchange; agency liaison; screening PPO referrals; PPO home visits (including visits to follow up non-attendance); meetings with PPOs; contributing to assessments and court reports; providing police expertise to PPO scheme; linking with local police, particularly core teams and Safer Neighbourhoods Teams; informing borough tasking and co-ordinating process for effective monitoring / targeting of PPOs; prison visits and meeting PPOs at prison gate; carrying out drug testing; and attending court (Government Office for London, 2007). Generally, the teams reported a strong and constructive relationship between probation and the police which was facilitating work with PPOs through closer working relationships and improved access to information. However, the ways these core functions were exercised by the PPO Police officer varied somewhat between the schemes and it was clear that working as a member of the PPO team may produce challenges for the police particularly, in striking a balance between gathering intelligence and building trust with PPOs. The probation officers interviewed highlighted that the co-location or close involvement of the police in probation activities meant that the approach taken by the individual officer played an important role in determining the local operation of the scheme and the nature and extent of their involvement in direct work with offenders. The practitioners reported that the new role required knowledge, skills and behaviour which may not traditionally be learnt through enforcement led policing. One Police officer regarded his previous experience and training in specialist covert policing useful as it had assisted him with the challenging function of maintaining rapport with offenders without losing boundaries a skill which may not be developed in enforcement oriented policing. Two practitioners felt that

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the police may have found their ‘lock ‘em up attitude’ challenged through working closely with offenders and participating in the complex work of preventing re-offending38. Generally, the police involved in the scheme felt their line management was not directly taking responsibility for their day to day work. In one borough this was also identified by the SPO who reported it difficult to get in contact with the police sergeant who was not colocated. This meant that the PPO police officers were left to develop their own good practice and often sought guidance and support on practice issues from probation. This was beneficial in that it strengthened relationships in the PPO team. For example, in Southwark, the SPO reported that the closer working between the police and probation had contributed to better offender management through having more information on which to base assessments of re-offending and risk. However, in other cases, perhaps where fewer resources where available, feeling unclear about how best to work with offenders may have left the police focussing on traditional and more familiar functions such as gathering intelligence. In Barnet, the co-located police sergeant had developed a strong set of operational principals which he felt were supporting the teams work with PPOs39. Gathering and sharing intelligence internally and externally is a core function of the police involved in the PPO team. The approach taken varied across the four boroughs and this was identified as an area where policing and probation boundaries rubbed together with differing results. In one borough there was concern that the responsibility of the PPO police officer in gathering intelligence during joint meetings had not been made fully transparent to the PPOs. This lack of clarity had the potential to undermine the trust which had been established the relationships between PPOs and practitioners, which in turn may affect the degree to which an offender may feel able to talk to any member of the team about issues or concerns in future and therefore the overall effectiveness of the PPO scheme. This variation of approach in combination with levels of resourcing also impacted on the relationships PPO police had with the other functions of the police service (Safer Neighbourhoods Teams; core teams etc) and how other policing functions were undertaken with PPOs.

For instance, offenders who no longer swear at the police officer or who allow them to sit in the room during meetings. 39 Interviews with Barnet’s PPOs confirmed this as many reported that the practices used had meant they had stayed involved with the scheme at times when they previously may have disengaged.

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Good Practice – Police function in the PPO team
In Barnet, the police sergeant is co-located and therefore well integrated into the PPO team. Generally, he reports that he receives the strategic support required from the MPS and that he has developed local practice in the following ways: • Intelligence – Intelligence is gathered about offenders to monitor their activities and that there is a two way flow of intelligence into and out of the PPO team. He recognises that PPOs are reluctant to talk if they are concerned about the flow of intelligence back to the borough police. He is therefore usually not present in one to one sessions with PPOs and therefore does not gather a significant amount of intelligence other that that from other sources which is screened to ensure its credibility before it is forwarded onto the borough police. • Liaison between MPS / borough police and PPOs – The police sergeant plays a significant role in the team through his regular contact with the borough police. His key functions in this regard are to: o communicate regarding the progress of PPOs in order that SNTs can manage their contact with individuals in the community (a policy exists where those who are engaging positively are not to be targeted but that those who aren’t are closely monitored); o o o support PPOs in retrieving property kept whilst they were in custody; attend the Police station when PPOs are arrested; monitor police processes; advises PPOs regarding outstanding matters and warrants including arranging appointments to resolve such issues and ensuring PPOs are not gate arrested on leaving prison; o o o set protocols with borough police in order that PPOs can attend The Grove without fear of being arrested on site; liaise with neighbouring borough police when a Barnet PPO is wanted; communicate with borough police regarding the scheme, its progress, potential barriers and possible solutions (the DIP were recently invited to present details of their programme to senior Police in the borough); and

o Undertaking reconviction analysis through accessing police national
computer data.

Arranging and attending meetings with PPOs – The police sergeant has been provided with the use of a police vehicle. Only he is permitted to drive this vehicle and therefore he is often responsible for transporting PPOs to important meetings, for instance, recently a prison visit was arranged for a PPOs new twin daughters to be

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taken to visit a PPO in prison outside London as the mother was unable to afford or manage this journey alone.

First point of contact – for PPOs who turn up without appointments and for those who are being newly introduced to the scheme.

Managing ‘cross-border’ PPOs While the guidance issued by Government Office for London (2007) indicates that:‘within London Probation it has been agreed that if an offender appears on the PPO list in one borough then that individual should be treated as a PPO throughout London regardless of which borough they live’, several of the practitioners identified potential problems with identification, selection and monitoring of cross border offenders, stemming from the policing focus on location of offending and probation’s focus on where the offender resides. It was also recognised that a person identified as a ‘priority offender’ in one borough may not be in another due to the scope within the scheme to identify offenders based on CDRP priorities. Three of the four boroughs studied identified that this had created some tensions between the borough where an offender lived and the borough where the offender committed crimes in that the later wanted the offender selected as a PPO while the former did not identify them as a priority offender and had limited resources and other more problematic offenders. In one instance a Barnet PPO was accused of a very serious incident in another borough and was being pursued by the CPS and the police from this borough. The police sergeant reported that a conflict arose between himself and the DCI in charge of the investigation in the other borough which resulted in him making a complaint with the support of his senior management team. This incident highlights important issues in terms of cross borough policing with other boroughs. Strategic level support and ownership Another theme common to each of the PPO schemes was a feeling that greater accountability and ownership was required by the CDRP and Senior Management Teams of the police. One borough felt that ‘it has been left to probation to sort everything out’. In two others that there were only limited resources within probation to deliver not only a priority service to offenders but also all the performance management requirements and administrative functions which had developed as a result of the scheme.

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It was felt that this lack of strategic ownership and accountability had several important impacts on the scheme: 1) lack of awareness among other agencies about their requirement to support this borough wide initiative 2) a lack of support in accessing and managing financial support for the scheme; and 3) lack of strategic guidance and information for operational teams. As one SPO reported: ‘They are supposed to guide us but we don’t get much information. Generally information flows upwards, not the other way.’ (SPO) These weaknesses meant probation were often struggling with administrative issues rather than delivering or developing the priority service needed by the PPOs and undertaking other tasks which would potentially improve the schemes results (marketing, attending court visits, lobbying for funding etc). Such problems with strategic level support and ownership meant that the PPO teams were left to find their own solutions, for example, one team took proactive steps and invited a strategic level member of the housing team to attend a meeting with the PPO team in order for them to establish how the PPOs could best be supported but felt let down when they didn’t turn up to any more meetings and the issues hadn’t been resolved. Key interventions The practitioners interviewed reported that they had used their limited resources to deliver or source a range of interventions targeted to the needs of offenders. These included:

• • • • • • • • •

the provision of bus tickets / passes to assist access to probation and other appointments; accessing funding from grant sources for clothing, training and household goods; Purchasing food, clothing or furniture when necessary; Paying small bills or providing ‘pay as you go’ electricity; Attending courts (where possible); Home visits; Joint police / probation prison visits at the beginning, during and towards the end of an offender’s prison sentence (where possible); A mentoring scheme (in Southwark); A psychodynamic therapy group, one to one counselling and group outings (in Islington);

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• • •

Sessions with a restorative justice practitioner (in Barnet); Providing personal support to PPOs during times of crisis, for example, the death of a parent or during a hospital admission; Providing personal support to PPOs attending new drugs or Education, Training and Employment (ETE) services often by attending initial meetings or making contacts;

Supporting PPOs in dealing with personal matters relating to housing, benefits possibly by writing letters, obtaining identification or assisting them by lobbying strategic level support for their case.

• •

Creating development opportunities for PPOs eg. speaking at schools, football coaching training etc. Assisting PPOs in finding suitable employment.

In Islington and Southwark, particularly, the practitioners considered the support offered by the scheme to be ‘tokenistic’ and ‘superficial’ and recommended that in order for PPOs schemes to have success in the long term there needs to be a ‘trajectory out of offending’ with good quality housing and stimulating, satisfying opportunities to allow PPOs a legitimate alternative lifestyle to that of drug use and offending. As one SPO put it: ‘There needs to be a real programme to get PPOs out of an area where they are offending and into a community where they can survive, with networks and links, jobs and a house. Currently we are managing PPOs in the environment where they got into drugs and they can’t get away from those negative influences. They need stable opportunities.’ It was also felt that the current scheme could not deliver on this need due to problems with funding and a lack of resources which were exacerbated in boroughs where there was no co-location with the DIP, there were more PPOs and the PPOs had greater needs. Firstly, each of the PPO teams mentioned that very little financial support was given to the PPO team for their work directly with offenders. Secondly, what money was given was often limited either due to its being short term in nature meaning an intervention which was funded during one financial year may not receive funding in the next period, or that the source of the funding meant it can not be spent on a particular activity. This raised a question about the nature of the PPO scheme. Does it provide a premium service in terms of a speedy response to crisis or does it provide a premium service to support a long term reduction in re-offending? 44

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Probation practitioners also reported that their service delivery to PPOs relied on local services which may not be suited to offenders or which may require chaotic offenders who lack confidence or money to travel across or even outside the borough. This may make it unlikely the PPO will attend without some intensive support from one of the PPO team which draws on already limited resources. In once borough the practitioners reported that they were pleased that one of the external providers had taken proactive steps to seeking out opportunities to develop programmes for PPOs in their area, however, this was not generally the case. Despite the barrier of funding, each of the boroughs had developed creative ways of working with PPOs to maximise the support they received from the scheme. Two of the boroughs had developed interesting and unique interventions (see below) which were providing support to their PPOs and which were felt by both practitioners and offenders to be having very positive outcomes. In Barnet, the co-location of the DIP provided increased access to services for the entire PPO cohort, whether or not they were Class A drug users. For instance, one young PPO had self referred to see the psychologist to work on his anger and ADHD which he felt was complicated by his history of cannabis use. Another had regular sessions with the restorative justice practitioner and several obtained support with benefits from the floating support worker who attended the DIP. In these cases, the ease of access to the services and the PPOs familiarity with the practitioners which had developed through a shared space (common kitchen and dining room) meant PPOs took opportunities that may be available in other boroughs but for the reasons mentioned are not often used by PPOs.

Good Practice – PPO Group40
In Islington, there is a psychodynamic therapy group and one to one therapy sessions. This was started up with the aim of increasing engagement among PPOs with the scheme itself and as an opportunity for the PPO team to work regularly with offenders – talking, listening and sharing, and through this creating trust. In addition, it has become a place where probation and the police can take on board the PPOs issues offenders and show accountability to the PPO group. The group also works on aspects of negative

At the time of conducting this research the PPO team were negotiating the continuation of funding for this intervention.

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transference to probation as an institution and the authority figures PPOs encounter within it, encouraging PPOs to take responsibility by modelling appropriate responses. The PPOs attend voluntarily and among those participating none have reoffended and most respond positively to it with one commenting it is the ‘highlight of his week’. It is considered successful as it provides the PPOs with access to a role and status, such as the feeling that they are supporting their peers and are a valid member of the group, and with skills such as pro-social behaviour which is condoned, supported and rewarded.

Good Practice – Mentoring
In Southwark, the PPO scheme are supported by a mentoring scheme delivered by YourStory, a South London based charity. The mentoring programme supports the monitoring taking place by probation and the police and the key aim is ‘to assist offenders in complying with orders and the overall PPO initiative, rather than experience short periods in prison and repeatedly fail to settle into the community’ (Cinnamon and Hoskins, 2006). Mentor contact with PPOs is led by probation but delivered by YourStory mentors who may meet the PPO in a social setting, go the gym, playing football, visiting museums or art galleries, going shopping, or even in prison while a PPO is on a custodial sentence. Mentors provide feedback to probation following all of their activities. The mentors reported that they often had telephone contact with PPOs between meetings and aimed to support the PPOs in meeting their own needs often continuing to see the PPO after their license expires to allow a smooth transition. The mentoring scheme is thought of highly by both practitioners and PPOs in Southwark, however, a recent rapid review of the literature of the impact of mentoring on re-offending which examined 18 studies (of which only two were conducted in Britain) found that mentoring had significantly reduced offending by 4 to 11 per cent (Joliffe and Farrington, 2007)41. However, mentoring was found only to be successful when used as part of a number of interventions suggesting that its use in the PPO scheme is likely to increase its effectiveness. Other elements of programmes which were found to be associated with greater success in reducing re-offending were programmes where the mentor and mentee spent more time together during each meeting (eg. over five hours) and met at least once a week, factors which also exist in the Southwark mentoring programme.
This result was largely driven by studies of lower methodological quality with studies designed to produce a more accurate assessment of the impact of mentoring finding that mentoring did not make a significant impact on re-offending.
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At the time of writing, London South Bank University are conducting an evaluation of the mentoring work delivered by YourStory and while the literature review suggests that as an intervention, mentoring shows promise but is not proven successful as a means of reducing re-offending, it appears the Southwark model has several key elements associated with success. Key successes Practitioners recognised that changes in PPO behaviour were often the result of multiple factors and usually involved the concurrence of personal events, the support of the scheme and the deterrence of the catch and convict strand. Each of the boroughs were clear about offenders with whom there had been a dramatic change in attitude and behaviour. The extent to which this can be attributed to the PPO scheme is difficult to assess, however it is useful to explore the elements which may have contributed to this. Further examples are provided from the offender’s point of view in the next section. However, some examples of working which practitioners felt made a difference are highlighted here. The interviews with practitioners and offenders and the relevant literature all suggest that one of the key elements supporting success with PPOs is the development of a trusting and consistent relationship between practitioners and PPOs where mutual commitment can be demonstrated and there can be a joint negotiation between practitioner and PPO. Due to the local variation in the configuration of services, strategic support, resourcing, and practitioner attitudes and working preferences, the PPO team’s capacity to develop this type relationship varied. In some boroughs the PSO and PO worked incredibly closely with PPOs which often cemented the relationship and had benefits as the PPOs felt confident speaking with practitioners about all their needs. In contrast, in Southwark, much of the one to one work with offenders (undertaken by PSOs and POs in boroughs such as Islington, Lambeth and Barnet) was supported by the YourStory mentors which had the effect of strengthening the mentoring relationships but at the same time reducing key relationship building opportunities with practitioners. It is important to mention, that even when these relationships are particularly strong, there are still occasions where offenders may not confide in their worker. In one case, an offender had such a strong relationship with the PPO practitioners that he felt ashamed to talk to them about his drug relapse and in this instance the presence of someone to speak to outside the probation team may have assisted him in accessing the support he needed. 47

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As offender needs differed from location to location and between individuals it is difficult to be prescriptive about what elements of the relationship led to a positive outcome, however several examples of work with offenders stood out as good examples. In one borough a PSO was praised by her colleagues for instilling a sense of ‘reward and recognition’ for PPOs who had made significant achievements. It was reported by a member of her team that she worked hard to develop a strong personal relationship with PPOs which could support a system where benefits associated with the scheme became related to a PPO’s progress towards milestones. This was also positively noted by the offenders who were under her supervision. In another borough, the PPO team were working with a PPO who was in custody and whose belongings would be destroyed if a storage solution was not rapidly found. The team were concerned that the loss of belongings would have a significant negative impact on this PPO however, they had no budget from which to pay for removal and storage. The team successfully found a person from a local church who would be willing to store this PPOs belongings in their garage but were required to move the items themselves – using the allocated police vehicle and the POs own car. Activities such as these highlight the limited resources with which PPO teams are expected to work and their creativity and commitment in finding solutions for the benefit of PPOs. Such activities are time consuming but reap direct benefits for PPOs and are therefore considered worthwhile by the team. In another borough, practitioners highlighted the attendance of non statutory cases as a success for the scheme but reported that working with this group effectively was often dependent on the needs of the statutory cases at the time as resources were limited within the team. According to one police officer an unexpected benefit of the PPO scheme has been its ability to break down some of the offending relationships previously held by PPOs, as one offender had reported to him that the threat of being more closely monitored had meant his previous associates had begun to avoid him. Generally, both probation and the police reported a satisfying working relationship within the team and a real sense of joint working and of co-operation despite being representatives of different organisations. Most felt that they presented a united front which 48

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added to strengthen the scheme and encouraged participation among the PPOs and that they were only hindered by some of the barriers mentioned below. Key barriers to effective working Funding Perhaps unsurprisingly, the key barrier identified by all the practitioners involved in this research was funding42 – either lack of funding all together or difficulty applying for, accessing and managing funding that was available. Each team reported that they had no dedicated funding other than money provided by the DIP and that all their work had to be undertaken within an existing budget and through standard funds which were limited in terms of what they were able to fund. Two of the four boroughs had obtained short term funding which had been used to deliver key interventions, however, at the end of the financial year it was doubtful if these grants would be maintained, making it difficult to plan for continuous provision. Most of those interviewed were of the opinion that negotiating funding took valuable time from direct case work with PPOs. In one borough the PPO team were provided some support from the CDRP who had a Finance Officer however this support was limited and unpredictable. Despite making good use of the sources of funding and grant schemes available to offenders there was a limited awareness of the channels available to obtain further funding, how much would be available, for what purposes it could used or how to make a bid. It felt to most of the teams that they had been left to deliver a substantial local crime reduction initiative with limited strategic financial support. Assessments Practitioners in inner London boroughs also mentioned that there were gaps in provision around assessing the learning and mental health needs of PPOs. The team in Lambeth particularly identified problems with the assessment timeframes of some agencies who were not able to meet the premium service remit which left the responsibility for finding alternatives to the POs and PSOs. In Lambeth, the assessments required for a PPO to attend a dry house on release from prison were lengthy and could not be arranged until the PPO had a scheduled release date. The PPO team noted that often the period of notice given by prisons meant they were unable to book an assessment appointment and that the option of accommodation in this service was therefore unavailable.

42

This was also identified in Dawson (2005).

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Housing Early research into the national PPO scheme found that in general there was a mismatch between the offender’s criminogenic needs and the involvement of agencies able to meet these needs (Dawson, 2005). The interviews with practitioners involved in supporting PPOs confirmed these findings, particularly in relation to housing. In each of the boroughs there were problems in obtaining housing for PPOs other than hostels which were not appropriate for all offenders. In one case in particular this had resulted in the PPO being housed outside their ‘home’ borough in a one bedroom flat. While the housing was more appropriate than that offered within the borough, this meant the PPO needed to travel by several buses to get to appointments with probation and drug services. This PPO also had significant health issues which had resulted in recent hospitalisation and was thus not an ideal housing solution. Some of the other housing issues identified by and routinely dealt with at great length by each of the practitioners were offenders who had lost their housing during a custodial sentence; offenders who faced problems with rent arrears; offenders stigmatised and victimised in their community; and slippery definitions of vulnerability and prioritisation. In once instance a PPO had accrued £4000 in rent arrears for which he needed to attend court. The PPO team supported the application and made several contacts with housing in order to prevent him being evicted. In addition, he and his family had collected £1000 towards the debt, but the claim was rejected by the housing team and the PPO was evicted from the property. One PPO team emphasised the difficulties they face housing PPOs who have been released from prison with short notice, on a Friday, or who need to be assessed prior to entry to supported housing. Problems housing PPOs at this time mean that some of these PPOs will return directly to substance misuse and offending. In response to this a member of the team suggested they need access to a pool of money which can be used for providing short term housing in a B&B to cover the gap between prison and a place in rehab, or to cover the cost of rent deposits on privately rented premises to bypass local authority processes. Staffing and other resource issues Most of the practitioners reported that there were many activities listed in the ‘London Model’ guidance which they were unable to undertake regularly largely due to a lack of 50

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team resources. One team also commented that they found the limited staff resources meant it was difficult to plan around holidays, illness and training. Another mentioned the difficulty they would face if a substantial number of PPOs were released from prison in a short space of time. Although they were aware of the benefits, most teams reported some difficulty in attending PPO court cases and making regular visits to offenders in prison, particularly if the offender was in custody in a prison outside London. They felt they needed to prioritise certain activities such as attending the Job Centre or housing appointments with PPOs but that they usually took a long time and were therefore labour intensive. In one borough the PO reported that he had begun to take a strategic approach with prison visits, targeting particular offenders who he had assessed as being able to benefit from the contact in prison simply due to the fact that he knew he alone could not undertake this level of support for each of the borough’s PPOs. With additional staff resources, the PPO teams reported that they would be able to attend court to support the PPOs and return the results directly to the team; attend the Police station if a PPO is arrested; develop the scheme through communication and marketing; attend strategic meetings to promote the scheme with support agencies; negotiate agreements with other agencies about service provision; make applications for funding and undertake monitoring and evaluation of the scheme43. One practitioner reported that the SPO who managed the PPO team was only a half post and felt that the PPO team really needed a full time manager to accommodate the volume of work and the high level of needs among the offenders. Increasing the availability of the SPO may also help in developing strategic links with the CDRP and other agencies which would assist in communicating the aims and objectives of the scheme and its benefits to the borough. In each of the inner London boroughs the Police officers involved directly with the PPO scheme reported that they had no access to a Police vehicle which would assist them in their responsibilities to conduct home and prison visits and would also make supporting some of the offenders less resource intensive. One Police officer reported that he had encountered a difficult situation when he had been travelling by bus with one of the PPOs
With the support of a crime analyst it should be possible to examine the impacts of the scheme on local crime rates and whether the correct PPOs had been selected for the scheme as part of such activity.
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only to discover he was using a forged bus pass. In Barnet, the police sergeant has access to a police vehicle which he uses, for example, to drive PPOs to appointments, take family members or the PPO and DIP team for prison visits, move PPOs belongings, however, the vehicle can not be used by other PPO team members who often resort to using their own cars. DIP alignment and drug services The closer alignment between the PPO scheme and the DIP has recently become a priority and was also raised by many interviewees as something that required attention. In one borough, it was felt that the DIP links are largely only present due to the SPO’s joint responsibility for DRRs and the PPO scheme, and that much of the joint working in this case was occurring as a function of personal relationships and experience rather than structured accountability. In another borough, it was felt that the DIP and CDRP were not meeting their responsibilities of providing a drug treatment pathway for the borough’s PPOs. In this borough it was acknowledged that an action plan for the improvement of the alignment between the DIP and the PPO scheme had been created. The PO reported that a lot of time was being spent by practitioners trying to find appropriate drug treatment services for PPOs. It was also recognised that due to the requirement on PPOs to have multiple contacts a week, having treatment services at another location may make it difficult for PPOs to manage, particularly if they have also been housed out of the borough. In response to this, one borough had ‘bought in’ a drugs worker to operate on site with PPOs only. At the time of writing this post has now been replaced by a member of the borough’s DIP team as they move towards closer alignment. In the early stages in one borough there had been issues with information sharing between drug services and the PPO team which had resulted in one high risk PPO obtaining several prescriptions for painkillers. In this borough, the drug treatment services were provided in another part of the borough and while well respected the flow of information between probation and the drug services had been limited despite a service level agreement having been drawn up for that purpose. In this instance information was shared informally at the PPO Panel meetings but not routinely outside this forum due to the need for client confidentiality. In this borough this has been remedied through obtaining the PPOs consent to share information which has improved the situation but has not mainstreamed the sharing of information on all PPOs. 52

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In general, the practitioners were satisfied with the services provided by the DIP but ideally would like a dedicated and co-located DIP worker for the PPO team to support offenders in rapidly accessing treatment pathways through contacts with PPOs in prison and in the community, to manage their contacts with drug services in the borough and to share information between drug services and those working directly with PPOs. One of the most significant features of the Barnet PPO scheme is its co-location with the DIP which has significant benefits and some drawbacks. The benefits of co-location and of therefore having three agencies on one site include: • • Consistency of approach leading to better management of offenders who may play practitioners off against one another; Improved monitoring of breaches (for instance, if a PPO doesn’t attend a drug treatment appointment in the morning this information is immediately available to the PPO team); • • Close monitoring of those disengaging from treatment; Improved information sharing between the DIP and the PPO team. The DIP have overcome potential confidentiality issues by discussing these with clients at assessment and asking them to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the sharing of their personal information; • Co-ordination and flexibility of appointments which facilitates attendance for PPOs and minimises missed appointments. Drug testing appointments are strategically scheduled either side of the weekend for all DIP clients including PPOs. • Improved communication between teams which fosters a sense of accountability. There is also improved attendance at joint meetings, rapid access to monitoring information and a greater sharing of general information about PPOs (for instance, if either team was advised of court or prison release dates these could be quickly communicated face to face). • Three way meetings in community and prison with offenders which enabled better planning and management to be undertaken (often the DIP worker, police sergeant and probation officer travel to visits together in the car and allows joint discussion of treatment plans without the need for a scheduled meeting). • Improved contact with local prison (Wormwood Scrubs) through DIP off-site team who have easy access, keys and strong relationships with CARATs team (such relationships are assisting the borough in its obligations to provide ongoing support to prisoners under the London Resettlement Strategy). 53

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• •

Ease of engaging PPOs into treatment due to existing familiarity with services; Access for all PPOs (regardless of their DIP status) to a range of services provided through the DIP including: psychologist, counselling, complimentary therapy, prescribing services, support with housing / benefits etc.

Several problems with such close working were also identified including: • Unclear boundaries between the roles and responsibilities of DIP / Probation workers, (for example in Barnet drug testing is undertaken by the DIP team which removes this as an interaction between PPO and probation officer); • • • Despite improved levels of communication channels are mostly informal and information about PPOs may be lost as a result; Team meetings becoming hijacked by joint agendas as no joint team meetings are in place; Imbalances in information sharing (particularly highlighted by the DIP who felt they were forthcoming with information about DIP clients but that they didn’t receive PSRs or MG16’s in return44). • Managing clients / PPOs who were banned from using the drug service45.

Support services For many practitioners, there was some frustration that other agencies could not provide dedicated support for the PPO team and while many have begun to routinely attend PPO Panels, there is limited operational support and the PPO team are still having to attend appointments with PPOs at services like the JobCentre to ensure the case is dealt with completely and effectively. The PPO teams frequently reported feeling frustrated at the lack of commitment by other agencies. This may be the result of a lack of accountability and the problems of aligning strategic priorities and performance management frameworks. Non statutory cases The teams also identified the difficulties faced in identifying suitable PPOs as the offenders identified by the police as prolific may not be known to probation. Such non-statutory cases were difficult for probation to work with as little information was available or could be
Pre sentence reports or police national computer data about offences and convictions. In one case, a PPO was banned from the drug services at the The Grove which he took as being banned from the building and therefore didn’t attend his probation appointments which led to his recall. Another was banned for using crack on the premises. Both DIP and PPO practitioners identified that arrangements needed to be put in place should this situation arise in future.
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recorded on them and often work with this group depended on the offender’s motivation and the team’s commitment to manage statutory PPO cases.

Offender’s views
Interviews were conducted with 37 offenders who are currently registered on the PPO scheme in Islington, Lambeth, Southwark and Barnet: nine in Islington, ten in Lambeth, eight in Southwark and ten in Barnet. Twenty five were conducted in the community at the offender’s probation office and twelve were conducted in London prisons. Three of the offenders were women and 34 were male. Twenty of the offenders were White British (54%), five were Black or Black British Caribbean (14%), four were mixed White and Black Caribbean (11%), three were White Irish (8%) and there was also one Black or Black British: Any other black background (3%), one Black or Black British: Other (3%) and one White: Any other white background (3%). Offending and personal histories Due to the research budget and timetable for this research it was difficult to conduct a detailed investigation of the offender’s previous convictions or their social or personal histories, however, some of this information was discussed during interviews. The findings presented here are therefore indicative and useful as a background to the sample of offenders interviewed. The PPOs most recent OASys assessments indicated that the sample ranged in age at first conviction from 11 years to 33 years old. The average age of first conviction was 15.8 years. For nearly half (49%) of those interviewed burglary (residential, non residential, artifice and combinations of these) was the main type of offence they had been committing leading up to becoming a PPO. A further 16% had committed robbery, 8% theft, 11% y According to their most recent OASys of the 35 offenders for whom data was available 71% (n=35) had regularly used a Class A drug in the last 6 months and 26% (n=9) had used Cannabis. Of the Class A drug users 34% (n=12) had used Heroin as their main drug during the last 6 months, 31% (n=11) had used Crack and 6% (n=2) had used Cocaine. The PPOs self reports and data held in Delius and OASys indicated that most had faced serious disruption during their early years including the loss of one or both parents; drug or alcohol abusing parents; parents who are also offenders; parents or siblings with mental health issues; violence and bullying; learning difficulties and ADHD; sexual, physical and

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emotional abuse; family separation or being placed in care; early substance misuse; homelessness; school exclusion or truancy or any combination of these46. How the PPOs were advised they were on the scheme The PPOs reported that they had been informed they were on the scheme in a variety of ways including: in prison either by their own probation officer or probation and police officer on a visit (which were sometimes for this purpose alone); by a probation officer based in the prison; by staff running prison skills programmes or drug services or at a meeting with probation in the community. Some of the PPOs suggested that the amount and type of information they received had been minimal with one offender knowing nothing about the PPO scheme and several not remembering much about the way they had been informed or who had told them. Others acknowledged that at the time they had been told they were not receptive at all and did not engage with the probation or police officer who was explaining the scheme. Two offenders reported that they had heard rumours about the scheme through associates whilst in prison which they admitted had left them with preconceived and often negative ideas about the scheme which were informed by limited information. One of the two reported being told about the PPO scheme early in his sentence and that he was not provided with any further information until just prior to his release which had left him feeling anxious about life outside prison for several months. In her discussion of the Newcastle PPO scheme Seebohm (undated) suggested that ‘the tone set during the first contact with an offender is key to their compliance’. This view was also held by one of the POs interviewed for this research and was echoed in many of the PPO interviews, however as is identified later in this section, there may be other opportunities to change offender’s initial reactions. One offender who had been a PPO since the outset of the scheme, reported that he had initially been met by threats that ‘they would have him back in prison within 7 days’. Fortunately the PPO team in this offender’s borough has seen a change of team and have developed their practice to the extent that this offender has completely turned around and is constructively preparing for his release from prison (see example below). Reactions to becoming a PPO
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Further analysis of the interview data would allow a more detailed examination of some of these issues.

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Initial responses Many of the offenders interviewed reported moving through a range of emotions after being advised they had been selected as a PPO. This was particularly well detailed during one interview with a drug using offender who had a long criminal history and was now in the community. At the time of interview he had been engaging with the scheme regularly and indicated that he was no longer offending or using drugs and that the scheme had provided him with numerous benefits. He reported that he was advised by his probation officer who had visited him in prison in Oxford. While he had refused to see his officer initially, at the second meeting he responded to the news with anger due to recent problems with his mother, who had been ill and accidentally burned her house down. He reported that his initial reaction was fuelled by rumours among inmates who ‘didn’t really know what the scheme was about’ and by the idea that members of the PPO team would come and meet him at the prison gates. Following his second visit he had become apprehensive as it had become a choice to a) agree to the conditions and be released with support or b) not agree and face additional observation by the Police. He later became curious as he was provided more information but reports that ‘What I was told was pretty sketchy in the beginning…it wasn’t in depth enough for me to understand what was going on and what my responsibilities were’ but he acknowledges that this may have been due to his emotional state at the time as he was very concerned about his mum. After being released from prison in late 2006 and having worked on the scheme for around three months at the time of interview he reported that he was now enjoying the scheme. When asked why he felt it was working he replied: ‘I don’t know why….Well… I do know why…because someone has taken an interest in me [taps chest]. At last they are looking at me. At the root of my problems, at the cause of my problems…’ For some, as in the case above, the initial reaction of anger or apprehension was directly due to being notified about the catch and convict elements of the scheme and the increased involvement of the Police. This initial response however was tempered in most cases when the offender began to see the types of support on offer and how it could assist them in making change, although, for one offender, the two elements of the scheme were difficult to reconcile.

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‘To be honest it was a bit intimidating at first. I had all sorts of irrational thoughts, especially with the old bill being there because I had never heard of this sort of thing before…that was my first thought ‘They’re here to nick me’. It put my back right up to be honest…600 Police officers around [area] had been given my photograph and told ‘look just look out for this man’…that didn’t sound too clever…but after that they said that they were here to help me and it made me think to myself well what are they doing that for if they are trying to help me.’ Some felt surprised that they had been selected as one of the ‘Top 40’ offenders. For two PPOs this was because they felt too young to be named a prolific offender and three others indicated that ‘there were worse people out there’. Several offenders reported that being notified they were PPO and being forced to confront their list of previous offences had been a shock as they hadn’t realised the extent of their offending and substance use or that agencies were so acutely aware of their patterns of behaviour. According to one offender interviewed in prison: ‘[It] made me reflect and think about what I was doing and where I was going…they were all drug related crimes and I didn’t feel good about it…I had been smoking crack every day…It made me uneasy to think people know what I am doing and that I am committing offences.’ Another response among PPOs was apathy because they thought of the PPO scheme as ‘just another government initiative’. Two offenders interviewed in prison felt that it meant nothing to them as in reality they would not be subject to either the ‘catch and convict’ or ‘resettle and rehabilitate’ elements of the programme until they were released. Interestingly however, one offender who held this view and was considered by the PPO team to have been unresponsive, later reported that having been notified about the PPO scheme while serving a sentence had meant that on being transferred to another prison, where he could no longer deal or use drugs, he had begun to consider his options and had ‘geared himself up to go to rehab’. He said that he had started listening when he realised they were not making threats but had identified the key issues he was facing and were developing a release plan which would respond to these issues. He reported: ‘They talked to me straight and they didn’t come in threatening me. I’m just waiting. I’m expecting results. They’ve promised certain things. Knowing this has put it in my mind. I’m geared up for it, planting my foot…’ 58

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Views about the PPO scheme Labelling There has been some discussion of labelling theory in relation to the PPO scheme (Seebohm, undated; Sveinsson, 2006). In his study of the Southwark PPO scheme Sveinsson reports that offenders felt ‘labelled’ by the title ‘prolific offender’ and acted to rebel against this label in a number of ways. He further argued that this may indeed end up having a counter-productive effect on the borough’s crime reduction efforts. Sveinsson’s findings may in part be due to the focus on ‘labelling’ as a topic of investigation as this was something rarely reported by during the interviews undertaken for this research. In contrast, the offenders interviewed for this research often reported being more concerned about the additional Police attention being a PPO would involve than having a problem with the label itself. For instance one of the female offenders felt that being on the scheme may have an impact on the sentences she would receive. Others that being a PPO meant their picture was up in all the police stations and that anything they did was being observed by local neighbourhood police. As one PPO put it: ‘I didn’t like the idea of being scrutinised, the label so much didn’t bother me, it was just the scrutiny, you know they were looking at me with a magnifying glass, that’s how it seemed, that’s the impression they gave me and I was more worried about them finding, you know, coming up with other charges…but apart from that it didn’t bother me.’ Other PPOs who had accepted their lengthy criminal histories, felt that the label was a true reflection of their offending and therefore did not object to it. None of these offenders however, suggested that they were reacting against this ‘label’, partly it seemed because the scheme had incentives for involvement and disincentives for continuing offending which the offenders seemed to understand. Even those who were selected by their probation officer as not having responded to the scheme did not report resisting the scheme due to their having been labelled but rather they attributed any continuing offending behaviour to an ongoing problem with substance misuse or through an ingrained pattern of offending behaviour. Increased contact levels

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For some of the PPOs interviewed, there was a recognition that the additional attention from the police and increased accountability to probation would be difficult to manage. One offender viewed this as a particular an issue as they had been housed outside the borough (due to a lack of suitable housing within the borough) and were required to attend probation and support services in the borough where they were supervised. This was compounded by the fact that this offender was also a drug user who had serious health concerns, and reports suffering from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The offender reported: ‘It’s too much. Every appointment I go to I am late. It is too much pressure for me…I have to do this group [drug user’s group]…It is making me depressed. I have to get three buses from [home] to get there. It takes me 1 and a half hours!’ For another young male PPO on an 18 month order, coming four times a week for 18 months was going to be very difficult due to his responsibilities to his new baby. In contrast, a young male PPO who after being released from prison was living with his mother who had mental health issues compounded by excessive alcohol use and a brother who also had mental health problems reported that while he once found it difficult to remember attending probation since being a PPO had begun to attend regularly. He felt that rather than just being a meeting to keep he was receiving practical support each time he visited which reassured him, took the pressure off and therefore made it easier for him to remember to come. While some found the increased reporting requirements difficult, others enjoyed attending probation and the related support sessions. In Islington in particular, there seemed to be a high degree of voluntary engagement by PPOs largely through the weekly PPO psychodynamic therapy group which is led by a therapist with experience of working with violent prisoners. Attendance at the group is voluntary for PPOs and the meetings are divided into two one hour sessions. The first half hour is for the PPOs to work with the therapist and each other alone and during the second hour visitors and agency staff are invited in to discuss matters raised in the first hour or relevant to the PPOs as a group. During the second session, problems are discussed and resolved either by the other PPOs or with probation or police representatives which provides the PPOs an opportunity to solve problems for themselves with the support of agencies and services and a sense that probation are accountable for at least investigating if not delivering on the issues raised in this forum. Members of the group are also able to work with the facilitator on a one to one 60

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basis if they feel it useful and these one to one meetings are often held of site at a local café. The group acts to role model positive interactions and encourages transparency, good communication and respect between PPOs and the agencies with whom they have contact. As one PPO explained: ‘When we is in the group, if there is anything we need, we put it down on paper. We call in the probation after and we put it to them. ‘Can they help us?’ They take it down. We want answers the next week, or if not they’ve got our phone numbers before next week. We want to know they have followed it up and they do it! They fucking do it! They help us in every possible way, you know, I can’t knock ‘em …’ The group has played an important role in developing relationships of trust and mutual respect between PPOs, the police and probation, particularly as it has been the site of common experience and positive role modelling. Another non statutory PPO who regularly attends the group and is no longer using drugs or committing burglaries explained: ‘That group… my first session here, I actually witnessed someone getting arrested. That was [another PPO] and I couldn’t quite understand and I thought ‘Hold on’, it was just the way they come for him. As soon as we stepped outside they was there… I mean it wasn’t the most serious crime in the world, alright it was a criminal act but it wasn’t the most serious crime in the world…and I thought to myself… ‘Is it worth it?’…I’ve just seen someone getting nicked, you know what I mean, and I’ve heard everyone talking about this meeting on a Thursday that everyone goes to and to be honest I just felt like saying ‘Sod all this’. I mean I only go there voluntary….what I found really good as well, is the way everyone come back in here, rallied together. All the people on the PPO scheme, [the group leader], [the Police officer] and [the probation support officer]. It’s the way they come in and everyone interacted with each other and sorted it all out. Everything was done calmly. It was just the way everyone come together. I thought ‘Well, there’s got to be something in this.’ It was the way everyone, not just the PPOs but everyone on the team got together and done their bit.’ In Islington several of the PPOs who were performing well on the scheme felt proud of their involvement in the PPO group and even looked forward to attending. In some cases, those who now fully engaged in group, had previously been reluctant to participate in group work due to their previous experiences. These PPOs reported that the Islington 61

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group was less rigid than other groups they had previously attended as it allowed open discussions and interaction between members. They also enjoyed the supportive peer group which had developed and the feeling they were contributing something back to other group members and indirectly to society through the continued non-offending of members whom they had supported. Directly related to the increased levels of contact is the possibility of developing a stronger and more constructive relationship between the PPOs and their supervisors which the literature considers important in supporting offenders to change (Rex, 1999; Burnett, 2004). Many of the offenders rated their experience on the PPO scheme positively in comparison to previous experiences of probation which they felt had been just about fulfilling the responsibility to protect the public and administer justice. Their experiences on the PPO scheme whether in the community or in prison had been vastly different as one interviewee describes: ‘Probation is actually taking an interest in me at last. Previous probation orders have been attending, ticking boxes, walking out the door, goodbye. Ultimately I was a revolving door prisoner. Now then, for the first time they are actually listening to my problems and I am putting my problems on the table and they are saying ‘Right, there is this problem and this is what we can do about it.’…I think for somebody who wants to engage genuinely and honestly then it’s a good thing. If I was to sit here and be giving probation a load of rubbish I think they would know about it. If I was committing crime again if I was using, using, committing crime, burgling using, they would know and ultimately I would be recalled.’ For many offenders the most positive elements of the scheme were related to the work they had been undertaking with probation and the relationships which had developed both with the police and probation. The nature of the work obviously varied across each of the PPO cases, however there were some elements which seemed to be particularly well received by offenders and tended to be related to positive change. Firstly, in one borough, the PPOs felt that they were being acknowledged by their case managers for progress towards goals however small and even if accompanied by other less constructive behaviour. For others the PPO team’s work towards identifying their needs and supporting them to meet them had been the most important element with one young PPO who was no longer offending saying: ‘I need the help and I want the help and for the first time ever I have been given an order and am getting the help I need.’ 62

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Another element of the scheme which was viewed positively was the constructive two way negotiation between offenders and their supervisors. Many felt more able to engage with the scheme when they were able to identify their own needs and work towards their own solutions with the support of the PPO team. This seemed to be working particularly well through the PPO group in Islington where a sense of mutual respect and trust had been developed and was maintained at each session. Across each of the boroughs it was common for the PPOs to mention that the scheme was consistent in its approach and that practitioners followed through on their promises, for example, probation arranged meetings, made phone calls, searched for housing or employment options or that police were keeping an eye on offenders and feeding back intelligence in the way they had instructed PPOs they would. There was also a sense that the PPO teams would go a step further for PPOs particularly if they had shown willing and made some progress. Several offenders indicated there had been some flexibility in rearranging appointments or interventions in order to prevent the offender breaching for a minor incident. This use of discretion and the practitioner’s commitment was viewed highly by those who had received it and one offender who could speak for several of those interviewed put it like this: ‘They actually do what they are saying they are going to do. It’s like they are totally different…these people, actually, they don’t want to breach anybody you know. They want you to crack it. They want you to get through it and to come out the other end and they are doing everything they can to make it happen…. I trust them. I mean I’ve never trusted these people before. I even trust [the police officer]....it was just seeing him go out of his way to help me. He actually come and spent ages down the social security with me. He got the manager, things like that…He just went out of his way.’ Police involvement in the scheme Nearly all of the PPOs interviewed initially felt resistance to the idea of the Police being involved in the work with probation, however, many had changed their opinion once they had some experience with the PPO police officer. Several of the PPOs felt that the police’s involvement in the scheme was not to be trusted, which is not surprising given their previous offending behaviour and experiences of contact with the police. Their usual response to the presence of the Police in joint meetings was to look away or not respond 63

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to their questions. In three cases, PPOs identified that they felt the PPO police had shared intelligence which had led to their arrest or charge and had therefore lost any trust which may have been established. Despite initial mistrust and the exceptional cases where offenders had developed trust and then had an experience which had undermined it, most of the offenders interviewed had been surprised by the work of the PPO police and considered them ‘different’ to the ‘other’ police in the rest of the force. The PPOs who were most positive towards the police were those where relationships of trust and understanding had been built up over a period of time and where the police had taken an active role in working with the offender to meet their needs (eg. taking them to the benefits office, speaking on their behalf at court etc). In Barnet, several of the PPOs reported that the support they received from the police sergeant and the trust he had developed through his ways of working has meant that they had continued to engage (in both drug treatment and probation) as they no longer feared being arrested on site, knew they would be supported if they were arrested and taken into custody and had someone with whom they could consult about outstanding matters. As one PPO described: ‘Like when I might have had a feeling that I have been wanted or something. Whereas before I would just disappear and that’s how I was getting breached on all my orders and it wasn’t true. Now I can come in and ask them. There’s a police officer here. He can phone up and see if I am wanted or not.’ Despite improved relationships between the PPOs and the scheme Police, the PPO’s relationship with ‘other’ police (eg. Safer Neighbourhoods Teams or CID) did not usually benefit. Several PPOs reported that they had been arrested and remanded in custody for ‘alleged’ offences during periods where they had not offended and as a result felt they were being targeted based on their previous behaviour or through being labelled a PPO. As one Barnet PPO described: ‘As soon as you get caught by the police, as soon as they know you are a PPO, that’s it, they assume you have done something. They try to get you for anything. They get on the radio and say ‘Has anything happened around the corner?...They just assume it is you.’

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Others felt that they were stopped and searched on a daily basis and were treated badly by their local police teams or that they were the subject of intrusive overt surveillance even when they were no longer offending and were engaging with the scheme. The additional ‘supervision’ by the police clearly angered some, while others reported that being addressed in the street by local police teams on first name terms was embarrassing and insulting particularly when the police mentioned their knowledge of the PPOs previous history. One offender identified this as a particular problem due to the police approaching him when he was dropping his children off at school and was concerned that he would be identified by other parents as an offender or that his children would be the subject of differential treatment or bullying. This increased attention was particularly frustrating for PPOs who had stopped offending but none reported that this had affected their motivation to change. Rather in Islington and Barnet, several PPOs who reported this experience had actually discussed the matter with the PPO teams and when a PPO had been engaging well and not offending, the local police teams were asked to reduce their attentions to that offender, which also acted as a recognition of their reduced offending. Several offenders reported that the additional surveillance acted as a deterrent, as it meant the scheme was fulfilling its aims and objectives. One offender from Southwark reported that he had been cycling on the pavement near his neighbourhood and had been stopped by the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). After being stopped he had returned to his bike and cycled on thinking no more of it. He was shocked to turn up to his next meeting at probation and be told by his probation officer that the PCSOs had seen him riding his bike on the pavement and took this as a confirmation that the police and probation were actually keeping a closer eye on him. Many of the younger PPOs, particularly those who had been PYOs and had transitioned into probation after turning 18, reported that this had acted as a deterrent from continued offending. Key risk factors Housing The reality for many offenders who currently have housing but who have been sentenced to a period in custody is that they may lose their housing whilst in prison due to rent arrears accumulated after the 13 week housing benefit provision expires. This accumulation of rent arrears may mean that they will be illegible for re-housing upon release. It is also reported that offenders may not have access to any advice or support in 65

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this regard during their imprisonment, nor will many Local Authorities give a commitment to re-house prisoners on release in return for terminating their tenancies on imprisonment. While the definition of priority need in the Homelessness Act (2002) includes prisoners it is uncommon that housing is available for those leaving custody. Many of the PPOs interviewed reported that they had encountered problems in relation to housing and that while this was often an area where they had received intensive support from the PPO scheme, success was only possible within a limited framework. For one offender, such limited access to suitable housing meant he would attempt to get into residential rehab upon leaving prison despite already refraining from drug use as he felt this would improve his chances of getting suitable accommodation longer term. Another reported that she had been left to manage her housing issues alone during her custodial sentence and that during this time she had lost her local authority housing. The authority agreed to store her property for a standard period of time, however this period expired two weeks before she was released and despite writing letters and making an appeal, she had lost not only her flat but all her possessions. As she was serving until the end of her sentence as she had been recalled she felt that she would not be a priority for support on her release and had thus made her own appointments with the Homeless Person’s Unit. Typically, in each of the four boroughs, only crisis accommodation was available and this too was dependent upon assessments and application which PPO practitioners needed resources to support. PPOs were reluctant to be housed in hostel type accommodation due to the restrictions it placed on them and for offenders who were also drug users this type of accommodation posed a high risk due to the potential to encounter other drug users. In two cases, PPOs reported significant problems with their current housing as a result of their association with other offenders or substance users. One young PPO who had been housed out of his borough had had his accommodation taken over by an older violent offender resulting in him moving back to his mother’s house which was subsequently burgled and damaged by this other offender. The other of the two reported that he had faced anger and resentment from other local drug users who were living on the streets as he had his own property. He was going to be evicted for anti-social behaviour despite making regular complaints about the broken lock on the common door to his flats which 66

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gave access to the stairwell where people were using drugs and claiming that they were friends of his. Substance misuse The April 2007 returns submitted by the MPS indicate that 28% of the entire London PPO cohort are currently on a drug treatment programme. A study of OASys assessments indicated that 79% of London PPOs had drug misuse needs (Bellair, 2007). Three of the four boroughs involved in this research are ‘intensive’ DIP boroughs indicating a generally high level of substance misuse among offenders which is likely to be even higher among PPOs. Of the 24 offenders interviewed in the community47 18 reported having problems with Class A drugs. Ten of these were no longer using drugs and a further 5 had significantly reduced or changed their drug use (for example, no longer using crack, no longer injecting, now taking methadone). Only three of those interviewed reported no significant change in their patterns of substance misuse. According to the data held in OASys, most of the offenders interviewed had been using illegal drugs regularly which is not surprising given the extent of drug related offending in each of the boroughs researched. Of the 37 offenders interviewed, 71% were assessed as having significant issues with Class A Drugs, (34% heroin, 31% crack and 6% cocaine) and 26% were regular users of Cannabis48. Often the information on probation computer systems differed from the self report information provided by offenders. Again this is unsurprising as substance use patterns change over time but it highlights the need for a close alignment with DIP and drug services and probation in order that work with PPOs can continue to address these issues. Several offenders reported during interviews that they had been using drugs whilst in prison, had been using illegal and prescription drugs in combination and had been using drugs from a very young age. Problems with substance misuse were one of the main reasons offenders reverted to offending behaviour. One PPO who was interviewed at the end of his recall described his experiences of leaving prison as ‘a constant battle with cravings’ and despite being picked
47

One offender had only been released from a custodial sentence in a week prior to the interview and has therefore been excluded from this analysis. 48 Data was unavailable for two offenders included in the sample. Many had problems with poly drug use, however this was difficult to assess in the time given.

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up from the prison by his probation officer and taken to hostel accommodation where there was relapse support was recalled back to prison within 10 days for failing to keep his appointments. He reported that he had left the hostel straight away and walked to Brixton market where a dealer he knew gave him free drugs and that had he not been recalled for failing to stay at the hostel, he would have probably ended up back in prison for committing offences to obtain more drugs. Employment, Education and Training The research related to risk factors and the national evaluation of the PPO scheme indicate a connection between employment, education and training and offending behaviour. In London nearly double the number of PPOs had this as criminogenic need when compared to the overall offender population (62% of all PPOs compared to 33% of the London offending population). Several of the practitioners also indicated that this was one of the most common of the PPO needs but also one of the most difficult to work with as it was dependant on other factors such as housing or substance misuse and having basic literacy and numeracy skills, for instance, one young PPO indicated that he would like to work as a bicycle courier but couldn’t as he was unable to read a map. In some cases the PPO scheme had supported PPOs to learn to drive or to obtain CSCS (Construction Site Certification Scheme cards) to improve their employment prospects. The PPOs who had received this kind of support were very grateful to the team for their support. Many of the PPOs reported that they would like to work but that they faced discrimination in accessing employment due to their criminal records. Several admitted that perhaps the only option for them in relation to employment was to become self-employed. However they also recognised that for this to be a realistic alternative they would require training and financial support. As one offender said: ‘People like me we can’t walk out there and into a job. Maybe [help] around training and helping to finance starting our own business, you know like, I’d do delivery work. If I had the money to go and get a van or something, you know just delivering parcels and stuff like that…because no one’s going to employ me. I’m not deluded in that way. I don’t think I could work for other people. I’ve been my own boss for too many years and I’m used to having money…’

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PPOs from each of the four boroughs who had worked with the scheme to change their patterns of substance misuse and offending were proud of their achievements and wanted to return something to their community. Several reported that they would like to deliver preventative talks in schools or act as mentors. In one case, a non-statutory PPO who had proven himself to probation and the police was supported in applying and had been accepted to undertake training as a football coach with Arsenal Football Club. Such unique opportunities, set as milestones and rewards for other achievements seemed to be working with offenders who were ready to change.

Success or failure?
As has been identified, it is widely recognised that quantitative studies of reconviction and recidivism do not provide much information to practitioners about how best to work with prolific offenders to enable them to desist from offending. Measuring reconvictions or rates of re-offending neglects to uncover the types of change, the mechanisms through which change operates and may categorise positive improvements as ‘failures’ due to prosecutions for old offences or small reconvictions. More detailed studies can take into account offence seriousness and survival analysis but they are still limited in their understanding of the way social and personal factors intersect with interventions and supervision. Burnett (1992) described desistence from offending as vacillating’ and ‘back and forth’ which suggests that offenders go through a process of adjusting to no longer offending. This idea was confirmed in many of the interviews with offenders frequently reporting that they wanted to stop offending and drug use. Of the 24 offenders interviewed in the community 17 reported that they hadn’t offended since they had last left custody or had become a PPO whichever was most recent49. A further five had significantly reduced or changed their patterns of offending (for example, from prolific burglary to occasional shoplifting). Two PPOs who had desisted from their previous levels of offending and who had been caught for minor offences expressed great regret at their actions, something which they acknowledged as a positive change. One offender who was engaging and highly motivated and who was considered a success by all with whom he was involved had still re-offended while on the PPO scheme and under a model which assessed success purely on reconviction he could be deemed a

25 offenders were interviewed, however, one had only been out of prison for one week and his responses are therefore not relevant to this discussion.

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failure. With a different approach however, he can be considered a successful case and the elements contributing to this success and the knock on benefits can be established and potentially explored further (see case study 1). It can therefore be argued that success may mean a decrease in the volume or frequency of offending or a change in the seriousness of offending which may have the desired impact on local crime rates. Alternatively, it may mean a reduction in substance use, the development of new coping skills, improved literacy, regular attendance at probation, negative drug tests, beginning a support group or no longer swearing at the police. Amongst the 37 PPOs interviewed the majority of offenders agreed to discuss their patterns of offending and the changes in their offending behaviour and lifestyles. One PPO who had been convicted of a number of commercial burglaries reported a total of 25 convictions along with 256 offences ‘taken into consideration’. When asked how many burglary offences he had committed he admitted ‘it must be about a thousand’ committed over a two year period of heavy cocaine use where he would make at least £1,000 a day by committing burglaries which he then used on drugs. He also indicated that he had committed two burglaries which had made him £100,000 of which he used £50,000 to attempt to set up a drugs business. Similarly, other offenders reported committing 2-3 burglaries a day and only ever receiving convictions for a fraction of the offences they committed. One particularly prolific burglar reported: ‘When I’ve got an addiction going, especially if it’s crack cocaine, it’s astronomical the crimes I commit. I’ve done 50 burglaries a night, you know what I mean, 50 offices…I’ll do the safes in ‘em usually, if they’ve not got a safe in them, then computer chips. I don’t like walking out with any property on me because I am too well known down in the West End, because that’s the only place I will work, because that’s where the money is…I’d have bundles, lumps of money, you know what I mean. I’d open a safe and there would be £90K there and it would last me 5 or 6 weeks. I was going out shopping, I got a place over at Regent’s Park all done with criminal money, you know what I mean….I was in treatment and they done a family questionnaire…they estimated in between £2m and £2.5 m which is crazy!!…I’ve done £5K of crack in 16 hours.’

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While the first of these offenders was only due for release from prison, the other was considered a success on the PPO scheme as he was no longer offending and was regularly engaging with the PPO team. This offender however, also expressed concern that he felt he had become institutionalised and was anxious about what would happen after his period of supervision ceased as the felt it provided him with some boundaries and consequences which assisted him to live in the community. While most of the PPOs interviewed in the community reported that they had either ceased offending or had significantly reduced their offending, this had often been as the result of a number of factors and had fluctuated back and forth over time depending upon their social and personal circumstances. There were several key ways which had supported PPOs to be actively involved in the scheme and stop offending. They include: • • • • • • • • Deterrent effect of a either long or repeated prison sentences and the availability of an alternative in the PPO scheme; Being linked with rehabilitation services during a prison sentence; Being motivated by personalised, ’honest’, flexible, responsive support and developing trust with the PPO team through their actions; The support of a peer group who had maintained a period of non-offending (Islington); A system of rewards and progress for non-offending eg. access to training courses and development opportunities; Being ‘kept busy’ by the requirements of the programme; Reduced contact with offending peers who did not appreciate the additional supervision that the PPO scheme attracted; Receiving emotional support in dealing with personal circumstances eg. death of a parent, drug using family members, offending peer groups, threatened tenancies. Those offenders who had engaged with the scheme reported several positive ways in which their attitude had changed: • Increased co-operation with the Police in relation to outstanding matters: This seems to be mutually reinforcing as several of the PPO realised the police attitude towards them improves as they engage with the scheme and are no longer being identified in relation to new offences. • Engaging with probation immediately on release from custody: One offender reported that she left prison and went directly to The Grove where she organised appointments, signed up to being a PPO and saw a drugs worker. This meant she quickly arranged a

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prescription and reinforced the decisions she had made in prison to seek support with her substance misuse and reduce her offending in order to gain access to her children. • Personal development and increased communication: This was particularly noticeable among young male PPOs. The scheme provided them with structured, needs based support, positive role models and individual treatment. • Improved self esteem: This was particularly the case in Barnet and with some PPOs who had actively engaged in the scheme in other boroughs. In these cases the PPOs self esteem improved as the PPOs were not wanted for any offences and they felt secure that the PPO team would support them if they should be wanted in future. In some cases this reinforced the PPOs choice to stop offending. PPOs in Islington also reported improved self esteem through the work they had been undertaking in the PPO group and offenders in Lambeth reported that their relationships with their PSO / PO had helped them become ‘more opened’. While there were several ways in which the attitudes of the PPOs had improved, there were cases where this was not the case. One PPO reported that he had mentioned his ‘temptation’ to offend in order that the team provided him with some financial support. Another, a young male PPO interviewed in prison, admitted that he had stopped engaging with probation a few weeks prior to his license expiry date as he knew he could only be recalled for this period of time and thought he would take the chance. Those offenders who acknowledged that they had still been offending were typically older, substance using offenders with a complex range of support needs and extensive offending history. One had serious mental and physical health issues which had seen her recently hospitalised. The PPOs interviewed who were not engaging with the scheme were also less positive about the interventions and support they were receiving and had often identified themselves as ‘offenders’ or coming from a ‘criminal area’ or having an ‘offending family’. They frequently reported the scheme to be ‘just the same as everything else’, ‘too much pressure’ or ‘setting them up to fail’. Young PPOs / PYOs Eleven of the 37 offenders interviewed were aged 21 years and younger. The views of this group of offenders provided useful insights about the role of transitions between youth and adult supervision and desistence from offending as a result of maturation. The younger PPOs had mixed views about the PPO scheme which were often influenced by their

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previous experiences of adult probation or work undertaken with the youth offending team (YOT). One of the 11 PPOs aged under 21 was currently serving a sentence in a Youth Offending Institute. He was selected by the probation team to participate in this study as he was to be an ‘active non engager’. During the interview he reported that he had begun offending at age 13, was a PYO at 17 and had transferred over to the supervision of the probation team at 18 years of age. He had committed a range of motor vehicle crime which he viewed as ‘not serious’ but which were in fact considered very high risk by those who worked with him. His case raised several issues about points of transition between the youth and adult criminal justice systems, particularly as he was due to attend court the outcome of which may mean he is sentenced to a further custodial sentence which felt he may have to serve in an adult prison as he is soon to turn 21. This seemed to provoke some anxiety in him as he was feeling pleased with his progress in the youth justice system50. This PPO also reported preferring working with the YOT as ‘they treat you like you are younger’. Another of the young PPOs agreed that he had preferred working with the YOT as he felt they were more flexible but also acknowledged that they unlike the PPO scheme had not stopped him re-offending. This was not a commonly held view among the other nine young people interviewed who generally preferred working with the PPO team for a number of reasons. One felt that he had been ‘interrogated’ by the YOT (and adult probation) in the past, another that YOT had not given him the time, personal attention or care that he had received from the PPO team and which he attributed to his positive progress. Each of the other young PPOs in some way attributed their reduced offending to a process of ‘maturation’ either as individuals or within their peer group. In addition, all recognised that the PPO scheme had played a part in this either through providing them the support that they needed or through the deterrent effect of additional monitoring by the Police. The younger PPOs reported that the PPO scheme had in some way helped them stay out of trouble by: • supporting them to stop using drugs (particularly in Barnet through contact with DIP services);
50

Another young PPO reported enjoying his time in the youth offending institution for this reason.

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• • • • • •

providing them with advice about how not to offend; assisting them in identifying and finding a solution to their problems; actively listening and making time for discussions with them (particularly when there was a temptation to return to offending or substance use); providing small amounts of financial support at crucial times when offending may have seemed an alternative; helping them to find training and employment opportunities and providing moral support when applications and interviews were not successful; and through ‘having a good relationship with the officer.’

These PPOs could be described as being ‘maturational desisters’ as most mentioned they had begun offending either as a result of a disruptive home life or through becomming ‘involved in the wrong crowd’ or a combination of both. Now that this group of peers was no longer offending and had begun college or work or their personal circumstances had improved they were no longer offending. Several of these PPOs also mentioned having girlfriends and being or about to become fathers which they felt was a reason they were no longer offending. As one PPO described ‘I miss the excitement but I look at the baby and realise it is not worth it.’ Five of the 11 young PPOs directly attributed the reasons for their stopping offending to the PPO scheme. A further three did not actively make this association but acknowledged that the PPO scheme had made a contribution but ultimately it had been their ‘decision’.

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PPO case study examples
The case studies below highlight the different needs and outcomes of three of the PPOs interviewed as part of this research and consider some of the implications for practice with PPOs in general.

1. Engaging and performing
Personal history • • • • • 37 year old white male Had spend much of his youth in local authority care Heroin user Known to other PPOs in area Is currently a carer to his mother

Offending history • • Residential and commercial burglaries, thefts. Began offending at 13 years old.

Progress on PPO scheme • • • • • Notified he was a PPO prior to release from prison at the end of 2006. Has committed no burglaries, thefts or other acquisitive offences since being released onto the PPO scheme. Obtained his own methadone prescription and is now mostly testing negative when drug tested which he reports is a first. Despite initially not being interested, he now reports attending the voluntary PPO group weekly and has begun other group sessions which he has also never done before. Was arrested outside probation during a PPO group for a minor offences committed in early 2007. Was supported through this by the PPO Police Officer who attended the custody suite and courts and as a result received a fine. This experience has developed trust across the PPOs attending the group and has allowed this PPO to continue to progress rather than face a set back. • • Thinks that without the scheme he probably would have gone back to drug use and daily offending. Below he describes the impact the scheme has made on him and the ways in which it has supported him: 75

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‘What kind of happens with me and what I find really positive for me is we discuss my problems and at the outcome of this discussion ideas and suggestions from all sides, from probation and my side, are put forward and we come to a solution and an agreement…I discuss a problem and I see a bit of light and come to a solution…it helps me more if it is something I have done of my own back….rather than them saying ‘You must do this’…I think it has had a positive effect on me, well I know it has, because I am sitting here talking to you.’ Implications for policy and practice • • • Reinforces the importance of a collaborative, personal and needs based approach from the PPO team Highlights the benefits of the PPO group as a sight of pro-social modelling which assists offenders identifying and resolving their own needs Reinforces the benefits of voluntary elements for PPOs for whom this is appropriate.

Recommendations • • • Consider developing and funding similar interventions with PPOs across London. Further support for the PPO scheme to allow needs based working with PPOs including supporting PPOs during custody and court cases. Development of local policing protocols to allow PPOs to attend probation and interventions without fear of arrest and a process whereby PPO police are notified of PPOs outstanding issues and can support them in arranging to be accompanied when attending the Police station to report.

2. Reporting but not engaging
Personal history • • • 39 year old black male. Began using cannabis at 18 and crack at 25. Also uses heroin. Has had extensive periods of homelessness.

Offending history • • • Began offending at 16 when he assaulted a Police Officer Has been convicted of a sexual offence Generally shoplifts and has been banned from many shops in his area. 76

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Recent progress • • • • Is attending probation regularly and undertaking drug tests which are generally positive for crack. Jeopardised his drug treatment by shoplifting in the chemist where he picks up his prescription. Finds working with the Police on the scheme difficult as he can not accept that they do not have ‘a hidden agenda’. Reports that his house is regularly visited by the borough police and that information has been given to the council he is operating a crack house. He claims this is due to the broken lock on the communal door which he has reported as broken but which has not been repaired. This has led to other drug users in the area claiming they know him and using drugs in the common areas. • Reports that he does not find probation supportive due to racial and class differences which create a lack of empathy among his supervisors and as he feels judged based on his previous offences. • • Reports that support offered with employment has not been followed up on. He doesn’t feel that it is his responsibility to follow this up with probation. Feels that the government have funded yet another initiative which is having no direct impact on him and that he is not benefiting from any of the money which has been put into drug treatment. Implications for policy and practice • • • Importance of being able to meet the diversity needs of PPOs Developing practice which can overcome perceived judgements and build constructive relationships with challenging offenders Need to support vulnerable offenders in maintaining tenancies and managing possible victimisation from other offenders / drug users. Recommendations • Investigating interventions which meet the diversity needs of offenders and ensuring access to these where necessary. In this case for instance it may be useful to provide mentoring support on a one-off basis even if providing mentoring across the scheme is not possible.

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3. Not engaging and recalled to prison
Personal history

• • •

40 year old mixed white and black Caribbean male Began offending around 15 years old. Used cannabis and alcohol heavily from a young age. First used crack at 17 years old. Family was broken up when he was put into foster care.

Offending history

• •

Around 50 prior offences for theft, burglaries (commercial and domestic), affray and robbery. Hasn’t ever received benefits when he has been in the community.

Progress on PPO scheme

• • • •

Notified of being on the PPO scheme in 2005 after being charged in prison for two outstanding incidents. Maintained crack use throughout but is in prison and is not currently using. Began a prison sentence in 2006 but was recalled after 10 days in the community where he had lapsed back into crack use and breached his bail. After being released on a Friday, he left the hostel, went down via Brixton market to his friend’s house. During the first few days out of prison he was beaten up by people he owed money and is unclear what happened after this until he was arrested and returned to prison.

Reported that there was no difference for him being on or off the scheme.

Implications for policy and practice • • Management of PPOs with substance misuse needs released into the community at the end of the week when support services are unavailable. Providing ongoing support to PPOs during periods of imprisonment to ensure a better transition into the community. Recommendations • • Three way meetings with PPO prior to release with Police, Probation and DIP Ongoing visits and support to PPOs whilst in prison to develop continuity of support and maximise engagement on release.

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DIP support worker for PPO team who can provide support during initial period of release and who can accompany PPO to local drug treatment services on day of release.

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Conclusions
Good practice
General The schemes have generally obtained a good balance of enforcement and ‘social work ethos’ which was identified as important within the key literature as it increased the likelihood of the scheme’s success. Each of the boroughs had developed or accessed a range of interventions in response to the individual needs of PPOs and with limited resources. In Islington the PPO team had developed a psychodynamic therapy group, in Southwark a mentoring scheme and Lambeth and Barnet had both developed close working relationships with their local prisons with the support of the DIP. Policing Strong relationships have been built between the police and probation practitioners in each of the PPO teams with three teams having co-located staff and the fourth having a very well integrated police officer. Good practice in relation to the police role in the PPO scheme has been developed in Barnet, where the PPO police sergeant has worked with the scheme since its inception. The key features of this which both PPOs and practitioners felt were crucial to the success of the scheme include: • • • • • A clear policy about not arresting PPOs / DIP clients who are attending The Grove Clear communication with Safer Neighbourhood’s Teams and borough police about PPOs current progress Negotiating between PPOs and the borough police regarding outstanding incidents and arrest warrants. Supporting PPOs who are held in custody or who are attending court. Obtaining the use of a police vehicle to transport PPOs to meetings, pick them up at the prison gate, take family members and probation / DIP on visits to offenders in custody, and moving PPOs belongings. Probation The probation teams have developed a range of creative support measures for PPOs and are accessing resources which are available through charities, trusts and other organisations. Generally, practitioners are demonstrating many of the elements of good practice identified in the literature: being highly motivated; showing commitment to service operation; using flexibility, discretion and interpersonal skills in contacts with PPOs; allowing PPOs to be active and participate in negotiations; showing concern for PPOs as 80

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individuals and through addressing risk factors. It was these factors which PPOs considered most positive about the scheme and which they felt supported them in desisting from offending. The nature and extent of this good practice, does however, vary across boroughs and individuals. DIP / PPO alignment There is much evidence that the DIP in Barnet, despite being a ‘non intensive’ programme, is supporting the PPO scheme in many ways. Key to this are: • Joined up working with PPOs serving custodial sentences – joint visits, facilitating access to training within prison, identifying the throughcare needs of offenders due for release from custody. • • Access for all PPOs to DIP services including counselling, psychology, complimentary therapies, drugs workers, floating support worker. Direct daily communication about the engagement of PPOs with drug related requirements. In inner London boroughs where co-location is not possible there is some evidence that the DIP is working with the PPO scheme however this varies significantly across boroughs and the research suggests that there is still a need to develop work in this area rather than rely on relationships which exist largely due to the joint DRR /PPO responsibilities among probation teams. Lambeth and Barnet both had close links with their local prisons fostered through close working with the DIP.

Gaps and barriers
The key barriers to more effective practice identified during the research were: • • A lack of strategic level ownership and communication with the operational teams about how to overcome barriers, identify funding and access support from partners. Limited financial resources and financial management. Additional funding could, for example: support the teams in providing housing rental deposits or in securing short term accommodation for PPOs when other avenues have been exhausted or are not available; or allow teams to deliver a premium service to all PPOs despite their status as statutory or non-statutory offenders and during periods of imprisonment. • Difficulties finding suitable accommodation for PPOs and a lack of support from key partners in relation to this, for example, during periods in custody, for those PPOs who were vulnerable in their current accommodation or those with rental arrears. • Lack of employment opportunities for PPOs with lengthy offending histories.

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Limited staff resources which mean the teams are limited in their capacity to deliver on all the activities suggested in the ‘London model’ guidance. In some cases activities needed to be prioritised due to competing demands. Few resources mean supporting non statutory offenders or dealing with cross borough offending is difficult.

Inner London boroughs had greater numbers of PPOs, particularly those with substance misuse problems and were less integrated with the DIP than the Barnet PPO scheme. This meant less direct access to DIP services for PPOs and also less direct communication and information sharing between teams. There were also no dedicated DIP workers with responsibility to PPOs and often knowledge of DIP services was dependent on the shared DRR / PPO roles within probation rather than that of the PPO team itself.

There are no meaningful and sustainable routes out of offending and many PPOs struggle when returning to drug using peers and neighbourhoods.

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Recommendations
The general findings of this evaluation of the PPO scheme in four London boroughs are consistent with the findings of the national evaluation conducted by the Home Office (Dawson and Cuppleditch, 2007). The results of this study suggest that the four schemes have developed good practice and have engaged some of the boroughs most prolific offenders despite having limited resources. Closer strategic links and better communication with the CDRP may improve the financial resources available to each of the schemes and allow the PPO teams to work more closely with offenders across the key areas recommended in guidance issued by Government Office for London. Closer strategic and operational links may also improve the commitment of some partners and ensure services are commissioned to better meet PPOs needs. The following are the key recommendations which have emerged from this research in four London boroughs. 1. Improved strategic links with the CDRP and a set of protocols documenting commitment from key partners; 2. Improved two way flow of information between PPO practitioners and strategic partners in order that a) PPO practitioners are informed of changes to guidelines which may affect PPOs and b) so partners are aware of the needs of the PPO team and can develop processes in support of their work; 3. Allocation of a budget for direct work with PPOs51; 4. Facility to support the management of this budget, for example, an allocated finance officer; 5. Development and evaluation of local interventions such as the Islington PPO group. 6. A dedicated and co-located DIP worker for each scheme in lieu of a fully co-located team for inner London boroughs. 7. Development and communication of local protocols outlining the operating principles of the PPO police in relation to on-site arrests, dealing with warrants / outstanding matters, gathering intelligence, communicating with borough police / MPS, day to day work with PPOs. 8. Follow up interviews and case analysis of this cohort of PPOs to conduct an evaluation of the long term impacts of the scheme, the survival of scheme effects and the points of attrition for those PPOs who return to offending. 9. Examination of the current PPO cohort in terms of its contribution to the level of crime and therefore the effectiveness and accuracy of the targeting process in each borough.
London Borough of Camden has recently committed over £100K to the borough’s PPO scheme through funding identified by the CDRP.
51

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References
Beaumont, L (2007) MPS Prolific and Priority Offenders: The London Perspective, May 2007 (April 2007 returns) Bellair (2007) Priority and Prolific Offender Profile Report, Unpublished. Burnett, R. (1992) The Dynamics of Recidivism, Oxford: Oxford Centre for Criminological Research. Brand, S and Price, R (2000) The economic and social costs of crime, Home Office Research Study 217, London: Home Office. Carter, P. (2003) Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime: A New Approach, London: Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Cinnamon, K and Hoskins, J (2006) ‘The Prolific and other Priority Offender initiative in practice’, Probation Journal, 53. Chenery, S. and Pease, K. (2000) The Burnley / Dordrecht Initiative Final Report. University of Huddersfield / Safer Cities Partnership, Burnley. Unpublished. Cunliffe, J. and Shepherd, D. (2007) Re-offending of adults: results from the 2004 cohort, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 06/07. Dawson, P. (2005) Early Findings from the Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Evaluation, Home Office Development and Practice Report 46, London: Home Office. Dawson, P (2007) The National PPO evaluation – research to inform and guide practice, Home Office Online Report 09/07, London: Home Office. Dawson, P and Cuppleditch, L (2007) An impact assessment of the Prolific and other Priority Offender Programme, Home Office Online Report 08/07, London: Home Office. Dubourg, R., Hamed, J., and Thorns, J. (2005) The economic and social costs of crime against individuals and households 203/04, Home Office Online Report 30/05, London: Home Office. 84

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Farrington, D. (1997) ‘Human Development and Criminal Careers’, in M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (2nd edn). Oxford: Clarendon Press . Fulton, B. and Stone, S. (1992). ISP Overview: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Intensive Supervision. Corrections Today, December 1992. Gendreau, P., Goggin, C. and Fulton, B (2001). Intensive Supervision in Probation and Parole Settings in Hollin, C. The Handbook of Offender Assessment and Treatment. John Wiley & Sons. Gendreau, P., Paparozzi, M., Little, T. and Goddard, M. (1993). Does ‘punishing smarter’ work? An assessment of the new generation of alternative sanctions in probation. Forum on Corrections Research, 5, 31-34. Government Office for London (2006) Reducing Re-offending in London: Phase Two of the London Resettlement Strategy- A Consultation Document, London: Government Office. Government Office for London (2007a) The London Model: Guidance for Setting Up and Running Prolific and Other Priority Offender Schemes for Adult Offenders in London, London: Government Office. Government Office for London (2007b) Aligning the Prolific and Other Priority Offender Programme and the Drug Intervention Programme (DRAFT), London: Government Office. Graham, J. and Bowling, B. (1995) Young People and Crime, Home Office Research Study 145, London: Home Office. Harper, G and Chitty, C (2005) The impact of corrections on re-offending: a review of ‘what works’ (3rd edition), Home Office Research Study 291, London: Home Office. Heal, A. (2001) Persistent Offender Partnership Programme. NACRO Evaluation Report. Unpublished.

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Holden McAllister Partnership (2002) Evaluation of the Burglary Reduction Initiative Leicester: Final Evaluation Report for the Steering Committee. Unpublished. Home Office (2001) Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform, Crm 5326, London HMSO. Home Office (2002) Justice for All, White Paper CM5563, London: HMSO. Home Office (2004) Criminal Justice Interventions Programme and Prolific and Priority Offenders Programme: Partnership Guidance for CJITs and PPO schemes, London: Home Office. Homes, A., Walmsley, R. and Debidin, M. (2005) Intensive supervision and monitoring schemes for persistent offenders: staff and offender perceptions, Home Office Development and Practice Report, 41, London: Home Office Hope, T., Worrall, A., Dunkerton, L. and Leacock, V. (2001) Final Evaluation Report for the Newcastle Prolific Offenders Project. Keele University/Staffordshire Probation Area. Unpublished. IpsosMori (2007) Safer Derby: Evaluation of Derby Prolific and other Priority Offender Scheme (An Executive Summary) Derby: Derby Community Safety Partnership Jamieson, McIvor and Murray, (1999) Understanding offending among young people. Edinburgh: The Stationary Office. Lloyd, C., Mair, G. and Hough, M. (1994). Explaining reconviction rates: a critical analysis. Home Office Research Study, No. 136. London: HMSO. Lyon, J., Dennison, C., and Wilson, A. (2000) ‘Tell them so they listen’: focus group research for young people in custody. Home Office Research Study No. 201. London. Home Office.

Millie, A and Errol, R (2007) ‘Rehabilitation and Resettlement: A Study of Prolific Offender Case Management in Birmingham, United Kingdom’, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 50. 86

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Maruna, S. (2000) ‘Desistence from Crime and Offender Rehabilitation: A Tale of Two Research Literatures’, Offender Programmes Report, Vol 4 (1). Mawby, R.C and Worrall, A. (2004). ‘Polibation’ revisited: policing, probation and prolific offender projects. International Journal of Police Science and Management 6,2, 63-73. McGuire, J. and Priestley, P. (1995) ‘Reviewing “What Works”: Past, Present and Future’, in McGuire, J (ed.) What Works: Reducing Reoffending – Guidelines from Research and Practice. Chichester: Wiley. McGuire, J (2002) ‘Integrating findings from research reviews in McGuire (ed.) Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment – Effective Programme and Policies to Reduce Reoffending.. England: John Wiley and Sons. McNeill, F., Batchelor, S., Burnett, R., and Knox, J. (2005) 21st Century Social Work: Reducing Re-offending: Key Practice Skills, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Nacro (1999) Going straight home, London: Nacro. Nacro (2006) Going straight home: A policy briefing on the role of housing in preventing offending, Nacro Policy Briefing, London: Nacro. Paparozzi, M. A. (1994). A comparison of the effectiveness of an Intensive Parole Supervision Program with traditional parole supervision. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Rutgers University, Brunswick, New Jersey. Paparozzi, M. and Gendreau, P. (1993). An ISP that Works! Treatment, Organizational Supportiveness and Officer Roles. Unpublished manuscript, Bureau of Parole, Trenton, New Jersey. Petersilia, J. and S. Turner. 1993. ‘Intensive Probation and Parole.’ Pp. 281–335 in M. Tonry (ed.), Crime and Justice: A Review of the Research, Volume 17. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Rex (1999) ‘Desistence from Offending: Experiences of Probation’, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol 38 (4). Sayer, A (1992) Method in Social Science: A Realist Approach, London: Routledge. Seebohm, L (undated) The Newcastle Prolific and Priority Offenders Scheme: An innovative approach to supervision and monitoring, Available at: www.crimereduction.gov.uk/ppo/pponewcastle.doc (Accessed 28/05/07). Sveinsson, K. (2006) Prolific and other Priority Offender Scheme in Southwark: A case study to inform the development of practice. Worrall, A., Mawby, R. C., Heath, G. and Hope. T. (2003). Intensive Supervision and Monitoring Projects. Home Office Online Report 42/03. London: Home Office. Worrall, A., Dunkerton, L. and Leacock, V. (2002). Targeting and treatment? Do Prolific Offender Projects have a future? Probation Journal, 49, 4, 277- 286. Worrall, A. (2001/2002). Prolific Offender Projects – a new route to public protection? Criminal Justice Matters, 46, 22-23, Winter 2001/2002. Youth Justice Board (2004) Prolific and Other Offenders Strategy: Guidance for YOTs, London: Youth Justice Board.

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Appendix 1 – Re-conviction and cost benefit analysis guidance
Reconviction analysis Two of the four boroughs who participated in this research had undertaken recent reconviction analysis, both using methodologies created locally. A description of the approaches taken, an outline of the findings and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach is outlined below. A further discussion of some of the key points to consider when undertaking such analysis is also included. London Borough of Barnet London Borough of Barnet examined offending rates prior to and since being formally adopted as a PPO. The measure used is the number of offences committed in the last 12 months prior to the formation of the PPO team (early 2006) and the number committed in the 12 months following this. Data was taken from PNC checks undertaken specifically for the purpose. Barnet did not include in their cohort five offenders who were currently serving custodial sentences or had recently been released from custody following after serving lengthy sentences. Overall, there were 123 offences prior to the PPO team’s inception and 38 after which amounts to an overall reduction in offending of 69%. London Borough of Islington In Islington a different approach was taken with an offending rate calculated for each offender before and after their joining the scheme. The offending rate was calculated by dividing the number of convictions by the number of months before the scheme or since being adopted by the scheme using PNC data. The averages over each offender were calculated and used as a comparison from which the reconviction rate of the overall sample could be established. The results found a 9% reduction in reconvictions over the entire cohort with a conviction rate of .30 prior to the scheme and 0.21 following the scheme.

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Table A1: Example of reconviction methodology (London Borough of Islington)
Name XX YY DOB 01/01/01 02/02/02 Convictions prior to PPO 31 8 Months prior to PPO 118 47 Offending rate 0.26 0.17 Convictions since PPO 13 2 Months since PPO 14 32 Offending rate 92.86 6.25

Discussion There are however, some limitations of using these methods to determine the success of a PPO scheme. Firstly, the sample of PPOs chosen differs in each borough with Islington establishing the overall reconviction rate for the entire cohort including those who could not be re-offending as they are currently in custody. Removing these offenders from the analysis may have a negative impact on the rates of reconviction, however, it may be also be difficult to establish the amount of time each offender has spent in custody over the entire period of the study in order to take this into account. Neither method compares the reconviction rates of PPOs with similar offenders in the general offending population in order to see if PPOs rates of reconviction differ significantly from those of offenders who are not on the scheme, nor does it establish if the type of offending has changed or possibly reduced in seriousness, for example, no longer involving violence or a shift from commercial burglary to shoplifting. There is also no discussion of offences which have been committed versus those for which a conviction has been recorded since the offender became a PPO. Neither example attempts to undertake a survival analysis to look at the reduction in reconvictions over time since becoming a PPO. It may be useful, for example, to look at reconviction rates at six month intervals after becoming a PPO to see if the scheme works better in the initial stages or after some time. Similarly, it may be useful for a deeper examination of cases where reconviction rates are significantly lower or higher than average. As identified in the introduction to this report, calculating reconviction rates may give some idea about the effectiveness of the PPO scheme, but it should also be undertaken in conjunction with other assessments of effectiveness. It is also important to note that measuring the reconviction rates of the PPO scheme may be paradoxical as one of the scheme’s key aims is to ‘catch and convict’. Cost benefit analysis: Is the PPO scheme value for money? 90

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Assessing the cost / benefits of the borough’s PPO scheme may provide powerful information from which decisions about strategic priorities and resource allocations can be made by CDRPs, however, the accuracy, and therefore usefulness, of any cost benefit analysis however is dependent upon how accurately costs and benefits are determined, something which may prove very difficult particularly due to the unreliability of some of the data and methods used to gather it. To conduct a cost / benefit analysis of the PPO scheme in each borough, three key steps should be included: 1. Calculate the costs of running the scheme locally (eg. staffing, funding interventions and expenses). 2. Calculate the costs of the offending of the PPO cohort (over and above that of nonPPO offenders) using recent Home Office guidance (Dubourg et al, 2005). 3. Calculate the benefits of the PPO scheme over and above that of non PPOs: a. changes in rates of recorded crime over the ‘priority’ offences for which PPOs are targeted, b. changes to the nature and frequency of offending by PPOs, c. general improvements in PPOs (for example a reduction in substance use), and d. improvements in partnership working and community cohesion. Costs of running PPO schemes The local funding available to PPO schemes varies but may include the following: police, probation and DIP staff costs (including posts which have a partial responsibility to the PPO scheme); costs of travel cards (over and above those give to other probation clients); costs of interventions (for example, psychodynamic therapeutic interventions in Islington or mentoring in Southwark); miscellaneous budgets allocated by CDRP (for example, money allocated for petty cash which supports ad-hoc interventions such as payment of small bills, purchasing of groceries, fork lift license training etc). Costs of offending committed by PPOs In 2000 the Home Office published ‘The Economic and Social Costs of Crime’ (Brand and Price, 2000) which provided an estimated cost for the main high profile crimes (burglaries for example were estimated to cost an average of £2.3K)52. The report estimated the cost
52

Drug-trafficking, handling stolen goods, pubic order offences and summary and non-summary motoring offences are not included in the estimates.

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of crime in England and Wales to be £60 billion. According to Brand and Price (2000) calculating the cost of crime relies on the use of officially recorded police statistics which is problematic as there is an extensive underreporting of most crimes, particularly incidents of violence against the person and to compensate for this a multiplier was used to ascertain more closely the ‘actual’ levels of crime. The findings of the initial analysis were updated in Dubourg et al (2005) where new estimates for the costs of key crimes against individuals and households. While the figures calculated within these reports are estimates of the average costs of key crimes they may be useful in estimating the costs of crimes committed by PPOs as they include costs to the criminal justice system including police time and sentencing costs, and for violent crimes the physical and emotional costs, costs in lost output and health costs. Costs which may not be considered are effects on community cohesion, quality of life or the reputation of an area. It needs also to be stressed that the Home Office guidance may not accurately reflect the costs of crimes committed only by PPOs. Benefits of the PPO scheme The PPO scheme may have the following benefits for the borough however these may be difficult to accurately calculate. They include: • • • • • • An overall reduction in the borough’s priority crimes through the correct targeting of PPOs and their rapid recall to custody upon breach ; Overall reduction in offending among PPOs through a combination of targeted support and rapid recall to custody upon breach; A reduction in the seriousness and frequency of offending among individual PPOs; Reduction in the resources needed to support PPOs through improved multi-agency working and a strategic approach; A possible reduction of offending in non-PPO groups due to the deterrent effect of the scheme; Possible improvements in public opinion and fear of crime through communication of positive outcomes. To measure the benefit of the PPO scheme for the borough overall, it may be possible to estimate the impact of the PPO scheme on the priority crimes for which PPOs are targeted. Once this figure is calculated, the economic and social costs may be established using current Home Office estimates of the costs of crime (Dubourg et al, 2005), however, this method would have particular limitations. For instance, while the aim of the PPO 92

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scheme is to target the most prolific or the ‘priority’ offenders in a borough, research indicates that the process of selection may not actually identify these offenders (Hagell and Newburn, 1994; Townsley and Pease, 2002). Even if these offenders were identified it may not be possible for probation or the police to work with these offenders for a number of reasons. Therefore, schemes may not identify or work with the most prolific offenders or those who make the most impact on local crime rates. Reconviction analysis, such as that conducted in Barnet and Islington, comes with its own methodological problems which have been discussed but may be useful in providing an overall picture in combination with other methods of assessment such as qualitative interviews with PPOs or an examination of OASys assessments (as used in this research). While there are other potential benefits, such as improved community cohesion or reduced fear of crime it would be extremely difficult to disentangle the effects of the PPO scheme from other factors and they are therefore not able to be accurately measured.

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