Interventions News

Issue 27 – September 2007

Introduction 27/01: Update on Prolific and Other Priority Offenders 27/02: East of England PPO Conference 27/03: Rise in Numbers of Offenders on Drug Rehabilitation Requirements 27/04: Publication of National Alcohol Strategy 27/05: Alcohol Best Practice Projects 27/06: NOMS Launch Planet Payback 27/07: Unpaid Work Annual Conference 27/08: Snapshot of Unpaid Work 2007 27/09: Revised Unpaid Work Training 27/10: Unpaid Work Self Assessment


27/11: Northamptonshire’s Criminal Justice Pharmacy Scheme 27/12: OASYS, The Next Release 27/13: The Future Role of the Correctional Services Accreditation Panel 27/14: One-To-One Process Evaluation 27/15: Offender Management Phases I and II – The View From The Frontline 27/16: “This course has given me a real future...” 27/17: Some Forthcoming Events NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Contact Details

This issue of Interventions News provides yet more information about the range of activities being carried out as we modernise and update our suite of interventions. Read about our work with prolific offenders, substance misusing offenders and the new Government alcohol strategy. If you have ever wondered what Planet Payback has to offer you, now is the time to learn more. We are also pleased to welcome Phil Bowen to the Unit to take over from Claire Wiggins, heading the Intensive Interventions Team. Accompanying this newsletter is an Interventions News Special on Domestic Violence which outlines the work being done in this important field. I hope that these publications will be of interest to all probation staff and if you too have a story to tell why not share it with the rest of us by writing an article for this newsletter. Contact details for the editor, John MacGregor, are on the back page. Sarah Mann Head of NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit, Ministry of Justice 27/01: UPDATE ON PROLIFIC AND OTHER PRIORITY OFFENDERS


PPO Toolkit A toolkit (pin-board of good practice) has been put on EPIC – please have a look and let us know of any other items that you may have; no matter how small! e_delivery/interventions/noms_probation_intervent ions_and_substance_abuse_unit/drugs_alcohol_p pos_young_adult_offenders/prolific_and_other_pri ority_offender_ppo_toolkit.htm PPO Regional Events The last two regions to hold their PPO events are the South East and the East Midlands; both of which are still being planned, however they are aiming for November events. We will update you nearer the time. FURTHER INFORMATION: Corinna Griggs, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 0760 Robin Brennan NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 0916

Performance Visits London Probation Area will be the first to be visited to help enhance PPO performance; a previsit questionnaire was sent out to Chief Officers on the 17 August to allow areas to make preparation for the visit.

1. PPO Team in NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse

3 year contract provides stable future for JTrack Following formal tender, PA Consulting Group has been awarded the JTrack application support and maintenance contract for an initial 3 year period from 1 June 2007. The length of this contract will provide stability and demonstrates commitment to JTrack as the national system underpinning the PPO strategy. Development work will bring JTrack access to the Government Secure Intranet. In recognition of the further benefits that could be realised by extending JTrack access beyond

2. PPO Programme Team in the Home Office


Police and CPS users, PA Consulting Group will be developing a gateway making JTrack accessible to Government Secure Intranet users – Probation, Prisons, Crown Courts and Magistrates Courts. Extending access to these key partners is expected to strengthen the role of JTrack as a multi-agency tool for local partners operating together to concentrate their joint efforts on those individuals identified locally as causing most harm to their communities. Prison data available for PPOs on JTrack The Home Office have secured a weekly download from Prison Service IT systems that allows for routine cross reference with JTrack to reveal the location of PPOs in prison custody and their release information. This functionality represents a significant development allowing PPO scheme practitioners to use JTrack to monitor the movements of PPOs through the prison estate. “Power Search” Functionality New advanced searching functionality allows users to quickly identify which PPOs in an Area: • Are frequent offenders across scheme boundaries.

People dedicated to working with the East of England’s most prolific offenders were able to learn from each other in a bid to improve the management of PPOs, at a key conference this summer. About 150 people from the complete range of organisations involved in managing PPOs, including probation, police, drug agencies, prisons and councils took part in the conference. The aim of the conference, which was held at the Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket, was to examine “PPOs and the premium service: what is it and how can we improve it?” Keynote speakers included Bernard Lane, head of the PPO programmes team at the Home Office, Robin Brennan, policy development manager at NOMS, and Tim Scotson, strategic manager for PPOs, Leicestershire and Rutland. Delegates were able to take part in two of six workshops: • Moving Forward Together, exploring the partnership and links between Bullingdon Prison and the Oxfordshire PPO system, Project Iris.


• •

Are being released from prison in the next 28 days. Have been convicted this month. Have committed an offence, by offence type, in the past 3 months – including multiple offence search criteria.

• • • •

FURTHER INFORMATION: Gwyn Jones, Home Office Drugs Unit Email: Tel: 020 7035 0100

The offenders’ experience: what the premium service means in reality, which included video interviews with offenders. Lessons from the national evaluation, looking at the key findings and discussing possible implications for supervising PPOs. Through the gate (in and out) – what does it mean for a PPO, focussing on how to deliver an effective multi-agency approach to PPOs leaving custody.

PPOs in a rural area: delivering the premium service in Lincolnshire.


Alignment of DIP and PPO, which examined what is required for the two programmes to work effectively together.

The conference ended with an opportunity for representatives from the six counties that took part to work out an action plan for their area. Steve Johnson-Proctor, Essex Probation Area assistant chief officer said: “Input from Leicestershire was very interesting. It looked as if they had devised a model, which could be taken and applied to most areas with a little modification. I gained the impression throughout the day that this is what people wanted, a PPO model that was clear to them and all involved and worked the same in one part of any county to another. Jon Frayne, Hertfordshire Probation Area assistant chief officer said: “I thought that the conference was a great idea for people to share ideas and to learn about different models for what a premium service could look like. It also allowed people from different agencies within areas to discuss ways forward and to come up with some quite innovative thinking.” Norfolk Probation Area assistant chief officer Judith Blackman said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for people working with PPOs to talk to practitioners from other agencies in their own county and also to find out and learn from what is going on in other counties. Participants really enjoyed having the time and space to be able to do both of these things. They also went away with a feeling of being valued for the work that they do.” Suffolk Probation Area assistant chief officer Julia Sharp said: “This day was an excellent opportunity for networking between regional cross-grade and multi-disciplinary staff. The programme offered delegates the opportunity to hear the national picture and then focus on what this meant to them as an area.” She added: “The key messages were clearly that the PPO intensive approach

works, in terms of reducing reoffending, and there were some good examples of what areas, including Suffolk, could look at to replicate some of the more intensive programmes.” FURTHER INFORMATION Juliette Maxam, Communications Officer, Suffolk Probation Area Email: Juliette.Maxam@ Tel: 01473 282345 27/03: RISE IN NUMBERS OF OFFENDERS ON DRUG REHABILITATION REQUIREMENTS

The Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) is the main delivery route for drug interventions within community sentences for adult offenders, having replaced the Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) for offences committed on or after 4th April 2005. DRRs are more flexible than DTTOs, are aimed at a wider target group and treatment is more closely tailored to individual need. The result is that courts can now address a wider range of drug-misusing offenders within the community sentence framework. This has been reflected in the substantial rise in the number of orders made from around 6,000 DTTOs in 2002/3 to 15,798 DRRs/DTTOs in 2006/7, of which 98% were DRRs. Whilst the profiled commencement target for 2006/7 of 16,000 was narrowly missed (by 1%), the profiled target for completions, 5,000, was exceeded by 19% with 5,939 completions. This was an increase of 49% in the number of completions compared with the 2005/6 (3,977). The growth in orders made and completions has continued into 2007/8 (April to July), with the number of commencements up 8% (5,466) and completions up 16% (1,957) on the same period last year.


It is also encouraging that the completions rate of those on DTTOs/DRRs has also increased considerably from 28% in 2003/4 to 44% in 2006/7. We know from DTTO research that offenders who complete have significantly lower reconviction rates (53%) than those that don’t (91%). Guidance for DRRs issued under PC57/05 is currently under review and there will be further help available through Managing Drug Users under Probation Supervision – guidance for probation offender managers, CJITS and CARAT teams. Both documents will be issued in autumn 2007. FURTHER INFORMATION: Fiona Bauermeister, NOMS Intervention and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Fiona.Bauermeuster@ Tel: 020 7217 0768 27/04: PUBLICATION OF NATIONAL ALCOHOL STRATEGY

Harmful drinkers whose patterns of drinking damage their physical and/or mental health and who may be causing substantial harm to others.

From a NOMS perspective, the Strategy recognises the range of provision we currently offer to alcohol misusing offenders in custody and the community and commits to support our key strategic aims and objectives with reference to a number of priority actions for 2007-08. Copies of the strategy are available from: Alcohol-strategy.pdf Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/ DH_075218 FURTHER INFORMATION: Robert Stanbury, NOMS Intervention and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 0767 27/05: ALCOHOL BEST PRACTICE PROJECTS

A new Government Alcohol Strategy for England, Safe, Sensible, Social – The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy, was published on 5 June along with a review of progress made against recommendations in the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England 2004 and a series of new actions and next steps as annexes. The Strategy focuses on promoting sensible drinking as the norm and targets three specific groups of drinkers who experience, and are responsible for, the greatest harm: • Young people under 18, in particular those aged between 11-15.

Further to their successful bids under PC 31/2006 and the interim event on 14th February 2007, representatives from the seven probation areas and partner agencies were invited to give final reports at an event held on 11 May 2007. The presentations covered the nature and scope of the project, and included progress made, the role of partners, barriers or difficulties encountered and how these were addressed, plans for continuation of the project or wider roll-out, key learning points and outputs.

Young adults, especially 18-24 year old ‘binge’ drinkers.


Copies of the presentations given on the day can be found at: service_delivery/interventions/noms_probation_ interventions_and_substance_abuse_unit/drugs_ alcohol_ppos_young_adult_offenders/alcohol_ best_practice_event_may_2007.htm

dioxide emissions and reforestation by engaging in environmentally innovative projects. Planet Payback was launched at a national seminar held at London’s Wetland Centre in Barnes. The day, attended by Gerry Sutcliffe the then Under Secretary of State for Justice, and representatives from probation areas, environmental organisations, NOMS and DEFRA, was an opportunity to share good practice, network and meet potential future ‘green’ partners. Inspiring presentations were given by North Wales, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire and their partners on current successful environmental projects working in partnership with a variety of green organisations and other agencies. The presentations are available to download from EPIC. Speaking at the event Gerry Sutcliife said: • “I am delighted to be here today with organisations that strive to make a difference to our planet. I want us all to start looking ahead and making a difference. That is why we are here today creating this drive for offenders to take that step.

NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit is also holding a conference on 11 October 2007 to launch outputs from the 7 alcohol projects. The main purpose of the event is to disseminate the best practice learnt from the projects in order to inform the wider development of alcohol provision across the NPS. Representatives from the probation areas and partner agencies involved will give presentations and take questions on the key learning points. Reports, manuals and guidance from the projects will be available for delegates to take away. Details of this event and booking information will be available on EPIC in due course. FURTHER INFORMATION: Stephen Lee, NOMS Intervention and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 8003 27/06: NOMS LAUNCH PLANET PAYBACK

Community Payback schemes were introduced in 2005 to raise the profile of projects carried out by offenders, and to give local people the chance to decide what projects they work on. Today is the next step which I hope will see this work further reduce the carbon footprint in England and Wales.”

In June, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit launched Planet Payback, a Community Payback initiative to increase the number of unpaid work projects that reduce climate change and continue the push to stay green. The initiative encourages environmental charities and organisations to work with probation areas in delivering environmentally friendly unpaid work projects such as recycling, reduction of carbon

NOMS are currently working to develop central partnerships with a variety of green organisations in order to support the probation areas regionally. Progress in this area will be reported at the Annual Unpaid Work Conference. FURTHER INFORMATION: Alexa Gainsbury, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 8992


NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit plan to hold the next Unpaid Work Annual Conference on 13 December 2007 at The Crown Plaza, Birmingham NEC. Through a series of presentations, panel discussions and workshops the Conference aims to communicate ministerial and policy objectives on targeting resources on medium and high risk offenders and the commissioning and contracting of unpaid work. It will also offer an opportunity to discuss and update probation areas on the recent national initiatives, the Mayoral Project and Planet Payback, designed to increase the visibility of unpaid work. NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit are currently developing partnerships to support the delivery of these initiatives and the conference will be used to update providers on progress made. David Hanson, Minister of State for Sentencing and Offender Management, has been invited to address the delegates giving his views of where unpaid work fits into the government agenda. Roger Hill, Director of Probation has been asked to chair the day alongside Sarah Mann, Head of NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit. The conference will consist of workshops run by probation areas exhibiting best practice in the areas of commissioning, Planet Payback, successful partnerships and financial management and will offer a useful networking opportunity. The conference will be of benefit to Probation Area Managers, including Chief Probation Officers, Directors of Interventions, Assistant Chief Officers, and middle managers, and will be attended by third sector representatives and


NOMS and ROMs representatives. The day will be hosted by NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit. Attendance information and the day’s Agenda will be provided nearer the time. FURTHER INFORMATION: Alexa Gainsbury, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 8992 27/08: SNAPSHOT OF UNPAID WORK 2007

The second national Snapshot survey of unpaid work was conducted during March 2007. This involved probation areas recording details of all unpaid work projects taking place during the month, with the result that a total of 3465 projects were included in the Snapshot survey. The national picture of unpaid work which emerged was broadly similar to that of the first Snapshot in March 2006, with the most numerous projects involving environmental work or painting and decorating. Charity shops were also well represented in the survey, as were the number of projects which were directly related to improving community safety. Overall 37% of projects were ‘badged’ in some way as part of the Community Payback initiative, compared to 25% of projects in March 2006. In some areas the publicising of work projects to local communities appears to be the predominant model of delivery. The largest commissioners of unpaid work were again the voluntary sector, local authorities and community groups, closely followed by schools, colleges and faith groups. The Snapshot provides a vibrant demonstration of the broad range of unpaid work and the many links established by probation areas with a wide range of partner organisations.


The number of projects taking place as individual placements was 14% fewer than recorded by the 2006 Snapshot. Some areas have reported that their use of individual placements has declined as a result of concerns relating to risk management in these placements. This was not the intention of Probation Circular 20/2006 on Assessing and Managing Risk in Unpaid Work or the guidance contained in Section B of the Manual on the Delivery of Unpaid Work. In contrast the Snapshot also revealed that a number of areas are actively promoting the use of individual placements as a cost effective means of delivering unpaid work. It was intended that the Snapshot would also demonstrate the extent to which unpaid work benefits diverse groups in the community. Unfortunately, this information appears to have been misreported by a proportion of areas and it was therefore not possible to include the data in the Snapshot report. Copies of the Snapshot report will be distributed to probation areas during September and a copy will be posted on Epic. It is planned to repeat the Snapshot during March 2008. FURTHER INFORMATION: David Mead, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 5120

The Unpaid Work training materials have been revised in line with the requirements of the Manual on the Delivery of Unpaid Work. Like the Manual the training materials are designed to be suitable for any organisation responsible for the unpaid work intervention. To ensure unpaid work is delivered to the required standards, all staff should have access to relevant elements of the training. Some the revised training materials are based on those developed to support the delivery of ECP, whilst others are new. Staff who have undertaken the ECP pro social modelling and placement quality standards training should not need to repeat these elements of the unpaid work training. The Risk Assessment and Risk Management, Performance Management and Skills Learning are new training materials. The Unpaid Work training materials are therefore divided into a total of five modules: •


Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Offenders. This training is intended for all unpaid work staff. The learning outcomes include knowledge of the principles of risk assessment, risk management and public protection, with particular reference to the delivery of unpaid work. The training module is designed to complement the Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resources prepared by De Montfort University on behalf of the National Offender Management Service, but in a format tailored and contextualised to the needs of unpaid work staff. Managers may decide that staff, who have demonstrated competence in the use of the De Montfort materials, need not undertake this element of the unpaid work training.

Performance Management. This training module is also intended for all unpaid work staff and is designed to inform staff of the performance management framework in which the unpaid work intervention operates.


This may be of particular relevance in a contestable environment. The module outlines the performance measures applied to unpaid work and encourages staff to explore the contribution they as members of teams and as individuals make to the performance of the organisations in which they work. The Performance Management training includes introductions to the National Offender Management Model and to motivational interviewing. It also examines the ways in which unpaid work supervisors are able to contribute to the implementation of sentence plans and to improve compliance.

designed to provide unpaid work staff with an awareness of the importance of learning and skills as a means of reducing re-offending. It also provides an enhanced understanding of adult learning and the opportunity to explore the ways in which unpaid work staff are able to support learning and skills development. This includes strategies to engage and motivate potential learners. With the exception of the PSM and PQS training, all of the modules are one day training events. The PSM training is a two day event and the PQS is a half day event. Some degree of flexibility can be used to tailor the training to the particular needs of staff groups. Launch events for the new training materials are being co-ordinated by the Regional Training Consortia. Areas will be asked to nominate delegates for these events, who will then be expected to deliver the training within their areas, or on a co-ordinated regional basis. FURTHER INFORMATION: David Mead, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 5120 27/10: UNPAID WORK SELF ASSESSMENT

Pro Social Modelling. It was an important requirement of ECP that all staff should be familiar with PSM and build its principles into their contacts with offenders. PSM remains a key rehabilitative element of unpaid work, which is able to make a contribution to reducing re-offending. Problem Solving at Work is no longer a separate element of the unpaid work training. However, unpaid work staff should have knowledge of structured approaches to problem solving and be able to consciously model effective problem solving to offenders. Problem solving has been included in the revised pro social modelling training.

Skills Learning. The Skills Learning module is intended for supervisors and other staff who may be required to work with adult education tutors and others to deliver skills for life and accredited vocational learning. The module is

Placement Quality Standards. This training is intended for staff responsible for the assessment and quality assurance of unpaid work placements. The training provides the necessary skills to identify and negotiate the provision of good quality work placements. Good quality placements will effectively engage offenders, maximise compliance and provide the opportunities for offenders to gain employment related skills.

Probation areas have been asked to conduct a self-assessment of unpaid work, to be completed by the 28th September 2007. The assessment template and associated standards were issued via Probation Circular 16/2007. This enables areas to review unpaid work provision against a range of indicators, designed to provide an assessment of quality of delivery. The self assessment exercise is intended to identify potential quality improvements, as part of probation areas preparations for contestability.


The standards against which the self assessment is conducted are divided into three sections: •

Delivery outcomes – which consider consistency of provision of work and outcomes; which reduce re-offending, such as employment entries and skills provision. Delivery mechanisms – which focus on working practices; which maximise successful completions, including PPWS provision and the contributions made by unpaid work staff to sentence planning. Supporting structures – which invite review of staff training and support arrangements and links with partner organisations, such as CDRPs.

As part of their treatment many offenders use prescription heroin substitutes, such as methadone. The medication is given out daily by chemists and must be collected and consumed by the person it is prescribed for on-site. Director of Operations, Andy Pemberton, who helped set up the scheme, said: “Northamptonshire is leading the way with this new initiative for drug misusers. We are the first probation area in the country to run this scheme. The early indications are that offender compliance with the project stands at 100 per cent. If an offender fails to keep their supervision appointments, they are returned to court.” Andy said the new provisions would mean probation officers could maintain contact with addicts who tended to lead chaotic lives, often failing to turn up for appointments, but always arriving for their daily methadone. FURTHER INFORMATION: Andy Pemberton, Director of Operations, Northamptonshire Probation Area Email: Andy.Pemberton@ northamptonshire.probation, Tel: 01604 658073 27/12: OASYS, THE NEXT RELEASE

It is intended that the self assessment exercise should be simple and relatively quick to complete and yet provide a helpful picture of existing unpaid work provision. Areas may then choose to prepare local development plans, to ensure that improvements identified are made and sustained. FURTHER INFORMATION: Neill Martin, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 8877 27/11: NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE PHARMACY SCHEME

One of the schemes implemented by Northamptonshire Probation Service recently is having officers meet offenders when they collect their drug prescriptions. Probation staff work with drug abuse offenders across the county to offer support to addicts who have been given a community sentence by the courts with a drug rehabilitation requirement.

This autumn will see the next release of the OASys IT system being deployed across the probation and prison services. Since the introduction of Phase ll of Offender Management in November 2006, offenders presenting a high or very high risk of serious harm, PPO offenders and offenders sentenced to determinate sentences of more than 12 months in custody have been Offender Managed. Release 4.2.2 is a major and very important release as it will change the OASys IT system to better support the business requirements of Offender Management.


Currently when an offender, within scope of Phase ll of Offender Management, is in custody it is not possible for the Offender Manager to fully complete an OASys assessment. As a result of Release 4.2.2 Offender Managers will be able to complete assessments for Phase ll offenders. The main changes that Release 4.2.2 will bring are as follows: •

control without delay. Automatic rescind will occur at the end of the set time period.

The temporary control/transfer process is not new to OASys users.

Currently when offenders within scope of Phase II are in custody temporary control of the OASys assessment is granted manually by the prison. As a result of this release, however, the functionality that operates requests for temporary control will be changed so that it is automatically granted. Of necessity, though, rules do apply to the automatic granting of requests. Timescales have been set at 60 days for offenders subject to Phase ll of Offender Management and 30 days for non-Phase ll offenders. After these periods of time temporary control will need to be rescinded to enable LIDS (the prison service case management system) to complete updates to information contained within the case identification section.

It is now a mandatory requirement that probation OASys users enter a reason for wanting temporary control and accurate contact details. Probation staff have sometimes, when asked by prison colleagues, questioned why this information is needed. With the changes now being made to the OASys IT system, accurate recording of this information is important so that, if necessary, contact can be made with the person making the request.

Where either service is completing work on an assessment and there is in effect ‘work in progress’, users will be notified that time is running out and the work needs to be finished without delay. In such situations temporary control will not be granted immediately. Two new boxes have been have been added to the Offender Record to identify when a request for access expires and when already granted temporary control expires.

There is now, more than ever, a need for OASys users, in both services, to talk to each other and ‘best practice’ would suggest that Offender Managers and Offender Supervisors should be in regular contact. All these changes, together with further information, have been documented and circulated to probation areas and prison establishments in the form of a ‘What’s new’ document, practice guidance, process maps and a power point briefing presentation. FURTHER INFORMATION: NOMS OASys Team:

Rescinding of temporary control by the Offender Manager can be carried out manually and a button has been added to the probation system to enable this to happen. It is recommended that users complete work as soon as possible and then rescind temporary

All padlocked fields will be unlocked when a request for temporary control is made. This will allow Offender Managers to complete, what were, previously prison specific questions within OASys.


In 2004, Ministers agreed parameters for the Panel’s future development. This included: • Individual programmes for offenders will continue to require accreditation.

One-to-One (OTO) is an accredited Offending Behaviour Programme delivered on a one-to-one basis, providing an alternative for offenders who are unsuitable for group work. OTO uses a variety of cognitive behavioural methods such as role-play, offence analysis and victim perspective taking. There are currently 15 probation areas in England and Wales running the programme to differing extents. A process evaluation of One-to-One was undertaken by West Yorkshire Probation’s research team during 2007. The research looked at the implementation and use of the programme in four research areas: Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, West Mercia and West Yorkshire. A number of interviews were conducted with staff and offenders in each of the areas to obtain their views on delivery of the programme, programme content and the value of the programme itself. A total of 15 staff members and 12 offenders were interviewed. An IAPS data extract was also analysed in order to look at referrals, starts and completions in each of the study areas and to investigate attrition rates. The IAPs data sample consisted of 237 offenders who had been referred to OTO in a 12-month period between 2005-6. Tutors considered OTO to be one of the most beneficial programmes available to offenders particularly as it can provide move-on for those with more entrenched problems. There were a wealth of comments regarding the value of the programme from tutors and offenders. Offenders appeared to particularly value the one-to-one delivery style. Comments from offenders included ‘never in a million years would I have talked about that in a group’ and ‘it’s a bit more comfortable in a one-to-one session, it’s a bit more private so it works better for me’. Tutors also felt that the programme is extremely valuable and were able to give examples of cases where OTO has had a significant impact. One tutor commented ‘I’m


The final decision on accreditation will be taken by NOMS. When Parliamentary time allows, legislation will be introduced to remove the Panel’s NDPB status, as implicit in Section 202 of the Criminal Justice Act. In developing a strategy for effective interventions, NOMS will be able to draw on the advice of a panel of experts.

Legislation was introduced in the Offender Management Bill which received Royal Assent on 26 July 2006. The provision to bring the accreditation process in-house will commence on 1 May 2008, when Panel members’ appointments end. In the meantime, a recruitment campaign will be undertaken to recruit a non-statutory panel of experts to replace CSAP and NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit will draw up proposals for the future role of this Panel. FURTHER INFORMATION: Carole Wham, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 5714


totally all for OTO, it’s the only course I’ve done that I’ve really felt the benefit from, for myself, and for the guys who receive it’. Tutors also commented that it could be worthwhile commissioning a reconviction study on a sample of cases who have completed OTO and to compare the reconviction rate with other General Offending Behaviour Programmes. However, despite these very positive comments the research revealed that OTO is less well promoted in areas than other Accredited Programmes, and is often seen as the ‘quiet’ programme, poorly advertised with few staff outside of programmes teams aware of its value. There were some comments from interviewees regarding how the programme can be improved.

Feedback from both tutors and offenders suggested that sessions 13-20 of the programme can be very repetitive and in some cases unnecessary, perhaps suggesting that the programme could be shortened without losing the programme impact. Interestingly, the average number of sessions completed by offenders in this sample was thirteen. The length of the programme was also considered to be problematic for delivery in hostels due to the short length of stay of some residents. Across the four areas the completion rate was 35% suggesting that offenders referred to OTO might be one of the more difficult client groups to motivate. The IAPS data revealed a significant amount of attrition between the referral and assessment stage and between commencing and completing the programme. In this sample, the


attrition rate was 65% at both of these stages. Motivation of offenders on the programme appeared to be tied to several factors. Rapport with the programme tutor appears to be one of the more important elements alongside the fact that the programme is structured in such a way as to allow offenders to see how far they have progressed. One offender, for example, commented ‘I have been able to see how much better a person I am, and how strong a person I have become, from the wreck I was then to the more confident person I am now’. Recommendations from the report included adapting the manual or shortening the programme to allow more flexibility, promotion of OTO development days for practitioners, provision of more practical training material and the commissioning of a reconviction study. FURTHER INFORMATION: Emma Robinson, Research Assistant West Yorkshire Probation Area Email: Emma.Robinson@ Tel: 01924 885300

Stocktake The first phase of offender management was launched in April 2006 with the application of the model to all offenders on community sentences. The stocktake was designed to assess what was working and highlight areas for improvement. Areas reported that they: • were strongest in sentence and riskmanagement planning, closely followed by implementing sentence plans;

• •

had least confidence in monitoring, reviewing and evaluation; and felt challenged by the continuity principle – one person providing end-to-end offender management from pre- to post-sentence stage.

Consultations Phase II of offender management was rolled out in November 2006, applying the model to prolific and priority offenders in custody for more than 12 months. The series of consultations on phase II revealed one very clear message – people across the system strongly support the principles of offender management. But some problem areas also came to light such as the impact of offenders being allocated to prisons outside of their home regions and the lack of clarity about some roles. The findings Full reports of the stocktake and consultations are available on EPIC and the NOMS intranet. Detailed findings from both are being used to inform the strategic review of offender management that NOMS is currently undertaking. FURTHER INFORMATION: Karen MacLeod, NOMS Offender Assessment and Management Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 2082

In spring this year, NOMS conducted a stocktake in probation areas to find out how well phase I of offender management had been going and see what issues had now arisen. At the same time, around 500 staff from the prison and probation services and members of the regional implementation groups contributed to a series of consultations on the implementation of phase II.



Warwickshire Probation Area has successfully used European Social Fund Equal funding to develop an intensive construction industry training programme in conjunction with an independent centre in Nuneaton. An initial cohort of 7 offenders all completed the 8 week full time course and 6 have already moved into employment, including 1 apprenticeship with a local carpentry company and 4 waiting to join a


rail track company. They were recently presented with certificates by the local Mayor, Bill Sheppard, who praised the initiative as a very positive way of rehabilitating offenders within the community. All seven have completed modular skills training in: plastering and skimming techniques; carpentry; brick laying and health and safety (including first aid, manual handling and abrasive wheel usage) and all will complete the CSCS* and PTSC** exams required to enter the construction and rail maintenance industries.
*Construction Skills Certification Scheme **Personal Track Safety Certificate


Ian Nickson, managing director of the Construction Training Centre, said:

recognise and value the training.” The finally, another learner, Andy sums up what this has meant to him:

“We took these guys on and gave them a good work ethic. I think that’s what makes it work. There is a misconception that offenders are unreliable and disruptive but they prove what can be done…”

Dave Wright, one of the course graduates, was clear about the difference it has made to him:

“I really enjoyed the course because it is hands on…and I’m looking forward to working…the company has really good prospects which I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t been on the course…”

“I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me…after committing an offence I was on the employment scrap heap…I had a total lack of confidence and self pride and absolutely no ambition. But thanks to the support and encouragement whilst on the course I now have a definite chance of employment and above all else a future…”

Key elements of the course structure include a work placement with local companies (which has the dual benefit of allowing potential employers to assess the individuals and their skill and motivation), one to one support from a Skills for Life trainer and on site support from an ETE personal advisor and mentor. Continuing IAG and mentor support from Warwickshire Probation will be available to help with sustaining employment. Len Hardy, Partnerships Unit Co-ordinator at Warwickshire, who organised the course says that a lot has been learnt from this first run: “The current format of 8 weeks creates problems with Job Seekers Allowance and we have worked with Job Centre Plus to design a shorter 4 week model and re-order the content. We will also seek to have smaller cohorts with staggered starting dates to ease pressure on the centre together with efforts to improve still further the links with employers, especially those with skills shortages such as the rail industry.

FURTHER INFORMATION: David Preston, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 8323 27/17: SOME FORTHCOMING EVENTS 26 September 2007 PS Plus Partnership Conference Metropole Hotel Birmingham

20/21 November 2007 National Equal Offenders Network (NEON) Conference Central Hall, Westminster

FURTHER INFORMATION: Marcus Smart, NOMS Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Email: Tel: 020 7217 0766

Whilst the course does not result in a nationally recognised qualification (other than the site safety cards), the centre itself is used extensively by local employers and they


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