INTERMITTENT CUSTODY ADDENDUM TO PC61/2003

PURPOSE
To provide further guidance to the relevant probation areas on the implementation of the Intermittent Custody pilots.

Probation Circular
REFERENCE NO: 07/2004 ISSUE DATE: 23 January 2004 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: 26 January 2004 EXPIRY DATE: 26 January 2008 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Alison Foulds, Joint Acting Head of Policy Unit ATTACHED: N/A

ACTION
To disseminate the Circular to all relevant staff and implement the guidance in those probation areas taking part in the pilots.

SUMMARY
The Circular contains additional information on benefits, arrival and departure times at Intermittent Custody centres, licences, fares, exclusion requirements and victim contact, variation of licence, reimbursement for some court costs and a revision in counting custodial days.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC 28/2003, PC 29/2003, PC 61/2003

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Alison Foulds, Joint Acting Head of Policy Unit, 020 7217 0745 Alison.foulds@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Caroline Hart, NPD Policy Unit, 020 7217 8513 Caroline.hart@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Sam Evans, Head of Victims & Vulnerable Groups Policy, 020 7217 0761 Sam.evans@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW General Enquiries: 020 7217 0659 Fax: 020 7217 0660

Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection

Benefits
The Prison Service is continuing to work through the issues on eligibility for benefits with Jobcentre Plus. We expect further information to be available within the next four weeks and guidance will be provided as soon as possible. In the meantime, queries of a general nature on this issue should be directed to either Dick Weber or Peter Sturge. Dick can be contacted on 020 8774 0236, Peter on 020 8760 1828. Alternatively, please email Dick.weber@hmps.gsi.gov.uk or Peter.sturge@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

Intermittent Custody leaflet
2 An information leaflet for offenders and a general guide to the sentence have been produced and will be distributed shortly.

Length of sentences
3 It has now been decided that weekend custody from Friday to Sunday will count as three custodial days, not two days as originally set out in paragraph 13 of PC61/2003.

Arrival and Departure times
4 Most defendants receiving Intermittent Custody will not go straight into custody, but will be released on licence until the start of the first custodial period. The courts will need to state the exact date and time at which the offender must present himself or herself at the Intermittent Custody centre and define when that first custodial period will begin and end. This will set the custodial pattern for the custodial and community periods during the sentence. Dates and times will need to take into account travelling times to and from the Intermittent Custody centre and any responsibilities of the offender. As a guide, the report time for weekday Intermittent Custody will normally be 12 noon on the Monday or Tuesday with release usually at 2pm on the Thursday or Friday. For weekend Intermittent Custody report time will normally be on Friday between 5.00pm and 9.00pm and release time usually between 4.00pm and 6.00pm on Sundays.

Copy of licence
5 In most Intermittent Custody cases, offenders will begin their sentence with the first period of licence. This will begin as soon as the offender has been released from the court. Once the sentence has been announced, therefore, the offender must be given a copy of the licence (which covers the period between sentence and the offender’s initial reception at the Intermittent Custody centre) before leaving the court. The court will need to contact the Intermittent Custody centre to provide the details of the sentence so that the licence can be prepared and faxed back to the court. There will be a standard format for the licence to minimise any delays in the process. A short guidance note will be faxed with the licence providing advice on handing over the document to the offender. The court will need to ask the offender to wait in the court building until documentation has been received. 6 The conditions of the licence will need to be explained clearly to the offender by probation staff and a copy of the licence signed by the offender to that effect. Should the offender refuse to sign the licence, a member of probation staff or the court staff will need to sign the licence and write on it that the effect of the document has been explained to the offender, but that he/she refused to sign it. The licence then needs to be counter-signed by either another member of probation staff or one of the court staff. 7 Once the licence has been signed the offender must keep a copy of the licence and the court staff or probation staff must fax a copy to the Intermittent Custody centre before sending a hard copy by first class post. Thereafter, the Intermittent Custody centres will issue a licence to the offender to cover the rest of the community part of the sentence. When the offender leaves court he/she will have the licence issued by the IC centre and a copy of the court order containing the precise details of the sentence.

Fares
8 It will be necessary for the first journey made to the Intermittent Custody centre to be funded by the Probation Service and subsequently reimbursed by the Prison Service. PC07/2004 - Intermittent Custody - Addendum to PC61/2003 2

9 Probation staff should issue travel assistance in the usual way, which may vary between areas but would include; bus tokens, travel warrants or when circumstances require, small amounts of money. In most cases, this will need to be done at the court when the licence is handed over and explained. However, there may be cases where an offender is sentenced to weekend custody but will not be required to attend the centre until the following week, in which case the fare could be issued at a subsequent probation appointment prior to the first journey to prison. Thereafter, Prison Service will issue the fares to and from the centre each week. 10 Arrangements will need to be made by each area with the relevant IC centre for reimbursement. In some areas a weekly or monthly return might be appropriate whilst some areas may seek individual repayments. Local finance officers should contact the finance officers at the Intermittent Custody centres to agree the procedures.

Exclusion requirement and victim contact
11 The powers to impose an exclusion requirement and electronic monitoring of that requirement as part of the sentence of intermittent custody will be available to the courts from the start of the pilots. However, PSR writers should bear in mind that we do not yet have the electronic monitoring technology to monitor compliance of an exclusion zone. There will be separate pilots of tracking technology starting later this year. If there is a case where an exclusion requirement may be appropriate, the PSR should make clear that electronic monitoring of compliance is not currently available. 12 There is no statutory requirement to contact the victim with regard to an exclusion requirement but, clearly, this would be good practice and the PSR writer should consider such contact, where possible. Post sentence, the case manager should ensure that the supervision plan addresses how communication with the victim about the sentence is to be arranged. Such arrangements could be modelled on those in place for victims where the probation service has statutory duty of contact. Information about the current victim contact scheme and licence conditions/exclusion zones is contained in Part I of PC 28/2003 “Victim Contact Work: Guidance on Recent Court Judgments” and paragraphs 6.26 to 6.30 of PC 29/2003 “Victim Contact Work: Revised Sections 6 (Stage 2) and 9 of the Guidance to areas. Queries about the victim contact arrangements should be directed to Sam Evans, Head of the Victims and Vulnerable Groups section at the NPD (contact details shown on the front cover). 13 Exclusion may only be appropriate in a handful of cases and this is one of those areas where further guidance is likely to follow as we learn from the issues that arise once the sentence is in operation and we can develop best practice.

Variation of licence
14 It is possible to request that a licence condition or court requirement be varied and/or deleted or an additional condition or court requirement be inserted. Requests to vary, insert or delete additional court requirements must be made, either by the probation supervising officer or the Governor of the Intermittent Custody centre, direct to the appropriate court (see paragraphs 11 and 12 of Annex B of PC61/2003). 15 The Secretary of State has the power to vary, insert or delete standard or additional licence conditions. In practice, it is considered extremely unlikely that there would be a need to alter any of the standard conditions of the licence, but it may be deemed necessary to include, vary or delete one or a number of the additional licence conditions. 16 The Governor of the Intermittent Custody centre has delegated authority to vary, insert or delete the majority of the prescribed additional conditions, save for requests relating to Electronic Monitoring as a licence condition, Drug Testing as a licence condition and those concerning exclusions zones. Requests relating to electronic monitoring and drug testing should be submitted to Laura Gould at the Early Release and Recall Section of the Home Office. Requests in respect of exclusion zones (which must be necessary and proportionate) must be accompanied by a map, clearly defining the area from which the offender is to be prohibited, reasons for the request, details of the index offence and previous convictions. These should be referred to Simon Holmes who is also based at the Early Release and Recall Section. Simon can be contacted on 020 7217 5773. Laura Gould can be contacted on: 020 7217 2063. The fax number for both Simon and Laura is: 020 7217 5223. Most requests can be dealt with quickly if necessary, but the normal turn-around time is five working days. In the case of EM and DT, the request should be submitted as soon as

PC07/2004 - Intermittent Custody - Addendum to PC61/2003

3

possible after the sentence in order to give time for due consideration and the necessary checks to be made. Requests should be submitted in accordance with previously issued instructions, on either an EM1 or DT1. 17 In the very unlikely event of a request to vary or delete one of the standard conditions, these must also be referred to Simon Holmes for consideration.

Reimbursement of court costs
18 In those cases where the home probation area presents the case at court for variation of sentence on behalf of the Intermittent Custody centre following unacceptable behaviour in custody, the Prison Service will reimburse the legal costs incurred for contested cases in the magistrates’ courts and for all cases in the Crown Court. As above, local finance officers will need to contact establishment finance officers to set up the necessary arrangements.

Contact Details at the Intermittent Custody centres
HMP Kirkham - 01772 675711, 712, 713 or 714. For enquires about bed availability only, please ring 01772 675720 HMP Morton Hall - 01522 866839 or 01522 866840

PC07/2004 - Intermittent Custody - Addendum to PC61/2003

4