To provide guidance on preparation of Parole Assessment Reports by both Home and Seconded Probation Officers, including handy checklists and templates To emphasise the importance of work with this category of offender in the context of the National Probation Service’s public protection function To consider briefly the changes anticipated following implementation of the Criminal Justice Act and the eventual transition to NOMS.

Probation Circular
REFERENCE NO: 34/2004 ISSUE DATE: 10 June 2004 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: June 2009 or until replaced TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Liz Hill, Head, Public Protection and Courts Unit ATTACHED: Annex 1: Good Practice Guidance on Probation Reports for the Release of Determinate Sentence Prisoners

Chief Officers are asked to: draw the attention of all relevant staff, including those working in Approved Premises, to this circular and the guidance it covers; review the priority and level of resources allocated to this area of work.

Probation Parole Assessment Reports are crucial in the Parole Board’s decision-making process. Together, the seconded and home officers’ reports provide a view of the prisoner’s time in custody; identify and interpret the risks posed upon release; and contribute to the process of planning how risk can be managed. They offer the Board the main basis upon which to make its decision to release. Their timeliness, accuracy and focus are therefore crucial, and in providing them the probation service is achieving its primary aims: to protect the public and reduce the risk of re-offending.

42/2003: Parole, Licence and Recall Arrangements 13/2003: Sharing information to inform decisions on offender release & recall

About this circular: Jo Thompson, Assistant Chief Officer: 020 7217 8823 or Matthew Bird, Policy Manager: 020 7217 8058 The Home Office Early Release and Recall Section own policy on parole and are custodians of the parole process. General queries should be referred to: Simon Greenwood: 020 7217 5861 or Peter Charlesworth: 020 7217 5313

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

BACKGROUND Parole Assessment Reports (PAR) are important because the offenders to whom they relate will often be among the more dangerous supervised by the probation service. The protection of the public is one of the functions of the National Probation Service as set out in legislation. The production of good PARs is a major contribution to public protection and this area of work should therefore be accorded a high priority. Nevertheless, worryingly, in recent months the Parole Board has reported a consistent downturn in both the quality and timeliness of PARs from some areas. This downturn is supported by other sources of information. 2. The NPD has therefore been working with the Board to produce the guidance attached to this circular, which comprises: explanatory good practice guidance; handy checklists for officers based both in prisons and in the community who write PARs; and templates setting out required information and headings for reports. Probation staff may not be aware that, as of 1 April 2004, the Parole Board no longer routinely interviews prisoners applying for parole. The importance of the PAR in informing the Board’s decisions is therefore magnified. PURPOSE 3. The guidance clarifies and, to some extent, rationalises the respective roles of the home and seconded probation officers. It is intended that this guidance will resolve some of the uncertainty about the purpose of PARs and the information that is required by the Parole Board. 4. It is not intended that Parole Board panels should be provided with a copy of the OASys by the National Probation Service. The purpose of the PAR is to provide the board with a summary of the probation service’s assessment of the risks posed by an offender and of how those risks will be managed in the community. Provision of an OASys is a poor substitute for a Parole Assessment Report. 5. It should be noted that the decision to release the offender is for the Board. PARs always need to include details of what plans are in place for managing risk in the community. 6. The judgements about risk which are central to the production of PARs mean a) that there is a limit to the degree of automation which can be employed in their production; and b) that staff of probation officer grade should be responsible for producing the assessment and judgement sections of the reports (though it may be possible for other grades to have some input in the report). 7. We are also aware that some Areas have instituted blanket bans on travelling to interview offenders in custody. This type of blanket approach is not acceptable. It appears that the likelihood of compliance with licence conditions and the aims of supervision is significantly enhanced when there has been personal contact between the offender and the home probation officer. There is an expectation that such contact should be the norm. This means that where the offender is not known to the home probation officer, a visit should normally take place. Alternatives to attending prisons, such as video conferencing should be pursued wherever possible where the offender is known to the home probation officer. However, it should be recognised that these are a poor substitute for an interview in person and should never be used where the offender poses a high or very high risk. ACTION 8. NPD will continue to work with the Parole Board to identify areas for improvement and the need for further guidance in light of forthcoming changes. The Board will be establishing its own monitoring arrangements in consultation with the NPD and poor as well as good performance will be reported. Chief Officers should ensure that every officer of whatever grade involved in the production of parole assessment reports has a copy of the attached guidance; Chief Officers should ensure that PARs are produced using the templates attached to the guidance at Appendices 2 and 4 (or locally produced equivalents, subject to the same information being provided); A description of contact with the offender should be included in every home officer’s PAR and a decision to produce a report without undertaking an interview must be documented in the report. Boards, together with Chief Officers, should ensure that arrangements are in place to monitor both the timeliness of PARs against National Standards and the advice in this circular concerning personal knowledge of the prisoner. FORTHCOMING DEVELOPMENTS Criminal Justice Act 2003 9. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 will bring significant developments around custodial sentences and post-release supervision, which will have consequences for the arrangements around recall and parole. PC34/2004 - Parole Assessment Reports 2

10. The new dangerousness sentences include, in addition to the existing mandatory and discretionary life sentences: a new extended sentence, which replaces the existing provisions; and a new sentence of imprisonment for public protection. These new sentences will certainly continue to require reports akin to the current PARs. 11. However, offenders serving custodial sentences of 12 months or longer will be released automatically at the half-way point unless they are serving one of the new ‘dangerousness’ sentences (see below). This will mean that the Parole Board will no longer have any input into the decision to release an offender. In the majority of cases there will therefore be no need for parole assessment reports in future. Offenders will be subject to supervision (and, therefore, recall) for the entirety of the remaining sentence. Where such offenders are recalled, the Parole Board will review the decision to recall and a report from the probation service will be required. Parole Board 12. In future, the Parole Board will specify more clearly what information it requires. This guidance, which has been prepared in consultation with the Board, is a first step in that direction. In future, however, the Board will be departing from its current practice of making a decision in cases where information has not been supplied. Rather, it will be introducing a quality control mechanism in respect of the information which is provided and inadequate information / risk assessment from Probation Areas (or from other contributors to the Parole Dossier) will be rejected. NOMS 13. The Report of the Correctional Services Review (Carter Report) will result in the creation of NOMS, a single organisation bringing together the existing Prison and Probation Services. A "new approach to offender management" lies at the heart of this thinking. Sentences are to be managed with greater cohesion, with better end-to-end continuity and with a whole-sentence, whole-person perspective. In order to achieve this there will need to be some radical redesigning of processes and tasks. Each existing task will need to be assessed for its fit with the vision, and some redesigned or re-allocated. This may well affect the existing inter-locking responsibilities for PARs.

Liz Hill Head, Public Protection and Courts Unit

PC34/2004 - Parole Assessment Reports


Probation Reports for the Release of Determinate Sentence Prisoners

Good Practice Guidance

Probation Reports for the release of Determinate Sentence Prisoners

Good Practice Guidance

CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Purpose Introduction The Home Secretary’s Directions to the Parole Board The Parole Process Introduction Seconded Officer’s Parole Assessment Report Home Officer’s Parole Assessment Report The Risk Management Plan Licence Conditions

PAGE 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 7 9 11 12 14 15 19



Appendix 1 Checklist for Seconded Officer Parole Assessment Report Appendix 2 Standard format for Seconded Officer Parole Assessment Report Appendix 3 Checklist for Home Officer Parole Assessment Report Appendix 4 Standard format for Home Officer Parole Assessment Report Appendix 5 Guidance on Licence Conditions Appendix 6 The Home Secretary’s Directions to the Parole Board


Good Practice Guidance for Probation Reports on the release of Determinate Sentence Prisoners 1. Purpose 1.1 This guidance deals with the role of probation staff in producing the two separate reports which inform the Parole Board’s decisions (those produced by probation staff seconded to prisons and those in the home probation area). It is designed to set out good practice in producing reports for the Parole Board, with a view to assuring the production of consistent and well focussed reports which provide sound assessments of risk that contribute towards effective decision making by the Board. 2. Introduction 2.1 The Parole Assessment Reports (PARs), i.e. the Seconded Officer’s Parole Assessment Report and the Home Officer’s Parole Assessment Report (the HOPAR and SOPAR) compiled by the National Probation Service (NPS) make an extremely important contribution to the Parole Board’s decision whether to release a determinate sentenced prisoner. The NPS has the statutory responsibility and the expertise to supervise offenders released on parole licence. 2.2 The content of the PARs is therefore of central importance to both the NPS and the Board. The two factors critical to the value of the PARs are: their timeliness; and the clarity with which all the relevant information and professional judgement of the officer writing the report is expressed. The lack of timely and correct information may place both the Board and NPS at risk of successful legal challenge were it to result in a prisoner losing the chance for release on parole or being released inappropriately. 3. The Home Secretary’s Directions to the Parole Board 3.1 The Parole Board is bound by the Home Secretary’s Directions regarding the release of determinate sentence prisoners. New Directions took effect on 1 May 2004 and incorporate a number of changes. The new Directions are attached at Appendix 6 to this document for information. 3.2 The key points for probation staff preparing Parole Assessment Reports to note are the requirements on the Parole Board: first and foremost, to consider whether the prisoner will commit a further offence between the date of release on parole and the non parole date i.e. a shorter term risk; and to balance that shorter term risk against the potential reduction in longer term risk accruing from a longer period of supervision. 3.3 Public protection is the over-riding consideration for the Board and it must take into account that safeguarding the public may often outweigh the benefits to the prisoner of early release. The Board will, however, take account of any progress made in custody set against the whole picture presented of the offender in terms of previous patterns of offending, attitudes to authority, and compliance with 1

supervision. The Board will be looking for consideration of these factors in a robust, structured release plan that will provide support, oversight and focussed work designed to reduce the risk of re-offending and of harm. 4. The Parole Process 4.1 The Parole Board relies entirely on the contents of the parole dossier to make its decision – there are no other sources of information available to it. The only information in the dossier is: the indictment and Judge’s remarks; a list of previous convictions; Prison assessment and supporting papers i.e. sentence planning documentation, reports from completed programmes, and adjudications; Prison medical report; A psychiatric/psychological assessment where appropriate; Seconded Officer’s Parole Assessment Report (SOPAR); Home Officer’s Parole Assessment Report (HOPAR). 4.2 The Board looks to the probation reports (emboldened above) for: substantive information about offenders, their offending, their progress in prison; an up to date assessment of risk and information about how it will be managed on release, as part of a resettlement plan; and judgements about prisoners’: motivation; ability to change; and whether they can sustain that change upon release.

THE PROBATION REPORTS 5. Introduction 5.1 The probation reports are crucial to the Board’s decision-making process. They need to complement and not duplicate each other, offering two distinct perspectives on the information available and providing, between them, a composite judgement of the prisoner. Given the necessity for the production of two reports, it is important for the purposes of resource management that factual information in the two reports is not duplicated. 5.2 The prison reports provide information about what has happened during the sentence. In producing the SOPAR, the seconded probation officer needs to interpret them in terms of real change and motivation, not just presenting behaviour. 5.3 Where prisoners deny their offence(s), this does not mean that they are not eligible for early release. Special care must be taken to establish the exact nature of the denial, and its impact on the way the prisoner has dealt with their sentence. The emphasis of the Parole Board is always on the level of risk they pose upon release and the likelihood of re-offending during the period of parole. Where there is evidence that risk has been lowered, or has been assessed as manageable in the community, the denial of the offence may be irrelevant. Denial may, however, contribute to making an assessment of risk impossible or to a conclusion that the risk posed is too high. It is, however, the assessment of risk rather than the denial that


precludes the prisoner from early release. Probation reports therefore need to ensure they focus on the level of risk, and associated factors, rather than on the denial. 5.4 In producing the HOPAR, the home probation officer needs to assess the prisoner’s likely behaviour in the community in light of the seconded officer’s view of the prisoner’s time inside. The HOPAR therefore needs to outline the support and framework needed to ensure he or she completes the licence satisfactorily. 6. Seconded Officer’s Report 6.1 These reports are essential in interpreting prison reports and providing an overview of prison-based staff’s experience of the prisoner. The seconded officer’s analysis of the prisoner’s behaviour and progress in custody needs to be set in the context of his or her underlying motivation, which is a key indicator of the level of risk posed. The seconded probation officer is in a good position for example: to provide an explanation when a prisoner reacts against the prison system; or to raise questions about apparent compliance when a prisoner has worked through to open conditions with glowing reports. The seconded officer’s judgement about an offender’s compliance should be clearly reflected in the report. 6.2 The Board needs the following information to be evident from the seconded officer’s report: An interpretation and analysis of prison behaviour, including sentence plan, adjudications, impact of offending behaviour work and other relevant risk reduction work such as literacy and vocational qualifications . An analysis of the offender’s motivation to change and sustain an offence-free lifestyle upon release. This assessment must be based not only upon prisoners’ stated intent but should include some analysis of his or her ability to achieve this. An assessment of whether licence conditions might strengthen and sustain a prisoner’s motivation to change. 6.3 Appendix 1 is a checklist setting out details of what officers producing reports should consider and appendix 2 provides a template for the production of reports. 7. Home Officer’s Parole Assessment Report 7.1 A HOPAR provides a different but equally important perspective on prisoners and the level of risk they pose. It should include an assessment of the level of risk (normally using OASys) and make judgements about it which should flow into the production of the risk management element of a resettlement plan. The report must be credible and robust enough for the Board to make its final decision about release. Anything less places the community at risk, compromises the Parole Board and exposes the Probation Service to the risk of legal challenge. 7.2 The HOPAR is crucial in the Board’s decision-making process as it offers the only external perspective of individual prisoners and the environment they will be returning to. Reports must, therefore: be timely, in line with national standards;


be explicit, drawing conclusions from the available information regarding the offence, previous conviction, and past history, including breaches of licence, bail and community penalties, and not just a description of it; be based on informed knowledge of individual prisoners, having met them personally (video conferencing will count as a personal meeting), and their progression in prison, taking into account responses to courses, and prison reports; and above all must demonstrate that a full risk assessment has been undertaken and professional judgement used in coming to a conclusion about the level of risk of re-offending and risk of harm and a realistic assessment of the likelihood the offender’s risk can be managed in the community. 7.3 The Board needs the following information to be evident from the HOPAR: Previous convictions and offending history, including any evidence of patterns of offending and any previous relevant history / personal background that informs the reasons for offending; A list of offending-related factors (such as problematic drink or drug use) that provides a full understanding of all triggers to offending behaviour. In particular, instances of violence, and the targeting of certain types of victim should be mentioned; Offence analysis: i.e. a full account of the offence(s) , including any mitigating and aggravating factors; Responses to previous custody / supervision, and attitude to authority (including the relationship with the supervising officer); Victim awareness / empathy (understanding the impact of the offence on the victim or his / her family) and any future risk to the victim, family and friends; An assessment of the offender’s motivation to change and sustain an offencefree lifestyle upon release. This assessment must be based not only upon a prisoner’s stated intent but should include a realistic analysis of his ability to achieve this; The content of the resettlement plan including a risk management plan and supervision plan (see section 9) and appropriate licence conditions reflecting, where appropriate, the wishes of the victim.

7.4 Appendix 3 is a checklist setting out details of what officers producing reports should consider and appendix 4 provides a template for the production of reports. RELATED MATTERS 8. The Risk Management Plan 8.1 The risk management plan is the most important part of the resettlement plan. It needs to relate directly to the risk assessment, must be realistic and offer a professional and informed judgement of the prisoner. Where specific risks have been identified, a structured resettlement plan should contain clear indicators of the degree of monitoring and oversight necessary under supervision – it is on this basis that the Parole Board decides to release the offender. 8.2 The Board cannot decide to release a prisoner unless an adequate release address has been identified. In many cases Approved Premises will be the most appropriate accommodation on release. However, where an address has been identified by the offender , the home probation officer must have made appropriate


checks and an assessment in light of the risk posed by that prisoner. The home probation officer cannot wait to see whether parole is granted – or that the panel is minded to grant it – before looking for a suitable address. 9. Licence Conditions 9.1 Appendix 5 contains a copy of the guidance on licence conditions set out in Probation Circular 42 / 2003. 9.2 Licence conditions must support and underpin the activities identified in the resettlement plan and address the risks posed by the prisoner. While work undertaken in the prison often needs reinforcement in the community, the focus in prison may sometimes have been on a single aspect, such as drugs, rather than on all elements of offending behaviour. Proposals for licence conditions may be the result of having identified unmet needs and a means of addressing these, or they may be a continuation of work begun in prison. In either case, requests for any additional licence conditions should be clearly related to the risk assessment. 9.4 Refusal or reluctance by the prisoner to agree to a residence condition must be considered as a relevant risk factor. It is essential for reports to indicate the prisoner’s agreement to a residence condition where such is proposed (other than the standard ‘as approved’ condition). 9.4 A proposed licence condition recommending medical treatment must name the psychiatrist / psychologist / medical officer who will provide the treatment. 9.5 Wherever possible a proposed licence condition recommending that an offender undertakes a particular course / programme should confirm that the offender meets the assessment criteria for the proposed course / programme. References to proposed assessment on release or to potential offending behaviour work should not generally be the subject of requests for licence conditions until confirmed. If necessary, such conditions can always be added to the licence at a later stage. 9.6 Requests for non-contact conditions require specific names of victims and / or family members. Requests for exclusion conditions must establish that the exclusion area is proportionate and give a precise definition of the area concerned (with an attached map). It should be noted, however, that where the victim has a new identity this must be protected by the report writer. In some instances for example, an exclusion area might identify where a victim is now living under a new identity. 9.7 If parole is not recommended at this review consider whether there will be a further review before the non-parole date (NPD) (6½ years is the trigger point for a second review). If this is the only/final review, recommendations for the modification of the Release Plan and licence conditions for supervision on NPD licence should be included.




NB: Bulleted points are intended to act as an aide memoire or checklist rather than setting out the required content of a SOPAR. 1. SOURCES What previous contact have you had with the prisoner? Have you discussed this report with the home Probation Officer? Have you discussed this report with prison staff? What documents/files have you consulted? What information is missing (e.g. CPS papers)?

2. RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFENDER AND THE OFFENCE The home probation officer should include a full offence analysis. However the seconded officer should contribute to the overall picture of the offender by giving the prison perspective. Does the offender’s account of the offence differ from other/previous accounts? What patterns or cycles have been identified from the offending behaviour? What explanation does the offender give for his or her offending? What is the current attitude of the offender towards the victim / impact of the offence? What development of insight has there been during the sentence? 3. BEHAVIOUR AND PROGRESS IN CUSTODY What are the specific sentence planning objectives? Why were they selected and what is the offender’s attitude to them? Specify what is outstanding and why. How far have sentence planning objectives been met? What is the level of insight achieved? What is the level of motivation to change/achieve the objectives? Specify what offending behaviour work has been completed. Identify any evidence of impact from programmes. What education has taken place during sentence, have any qualifications been gained? What is the assessment of the offender’s level of literacy and numeracy? What employment has the offender undertaken during sentence? Are there significant reasons for transfer between prisons? What is the prisoner’s current regime level / status? Is there a pattern of adjudications? Do these relate to risk areas? What is the record of MDTs? What community support / visits from friends, family or others has the offender had during sentence? What impact will this have on the offender’s motivation to comply with any licence?


4. MEDICAL, PSYCHIATRIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS It is important to identify: any physical or mental health issues about which you have concerns; information relevant to planning, or resources, if custody is to continue; information that should be considered in the planning for safe release. 5. RISK ASSESSMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN Risk Assessment and the risk management plan should be covered extensively in the HOPAR but seconded officers should make it clear they are aware of the risks and the plan for managing them so that they can comment on its potential efficacy. The Seconded Probation Officer should identify: Whether the offender is a MAPPA offender and what level of risk management has been undertaken in the prison. Whether the offender is a Schedule 1 offender. Whether PSO 4400 has been applied, and relevant actions taken. What impact these may have on the risk assessment and management plan envisaged by the Home Probation Officer. 6. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Do you recommend parole, in light of the home probation officer’s assessment of the feasibility of managing the risks in the community (risk management plan) (N.B. only prisoners sentenced to 6½ years and over receive a second parole review)? Do you recommend any further risk management measures, including licence conditions? SIGNATURE AND DATE Include any countersigning or quality assurance references.



Appendix 2

SECONDED OFFICER’S PAROLE ASSESSMENT REPORT Full name of prisoner Prisoner’s date of birth Prisoner’s current location Prison Number Parole Board Reference Number Index Offence Sentencing Court Date of Sentence Length of Sentence NPD: PED: LED: SED:


Appendix 3

HOME OFFICER’S PAROLE ASSESSMENT REPORT CHECKLIST NB: Bulleted points are intended to act as an aide memoire or checklist rather than setting out the required content of a HOPAR.
1. SOURCES Length and level of involvement with the prisoner. What is the relationship of the prisoner to the supervising officer? Have you seen the prisoner for the purpose of this report? Have you discussed this report with the seconded Probation Officer? What are your other relevant sources e.g. previous records? What information is missing e.g. previous convictions? Have you undertaken a home visit / has the release address been checked? Specify any contribution you have made in relation to sentence planning for the prisoner. RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFENDER AND THE INDEX OFFENCE Offence analysis, including aggravating and mitigating circumstances, culpability, premeditation, victim details. Identify any pattern of offending and relate it to the current offence Underlying factors which contribute to offending (from OASys) Assess the offender’s attitude to: the offence: level of understanding, remorse, acceptance of responsibility the victim: victim awareness/empathy authority: compliance with previous supervision, particularly on previous licences or temporary release. Assess the offender’s motivation to change; take into account prison reports on work completed during sentence and responses to previous supervision including work done to address offending behaviour .


3. VICTIM INFORMATION Where the victim(s) have requested that their concerns about an offender’s release be withheld from the offender, or you judge on the basis of continued risk that this should happen, such information should be forwarded separately with a request to the Parole Board for the information to be withheld from the offender. Set out what contact there has been between the report writer and the Victim Liaison Officer. If there is no victim contact information, state the reasons. Where relevant, describe the relationship of the offender to the victim. Attach the Victim Liaison Officer’s Report if available. If a Victim Personal Statement was made (implemented from Autumn 2001), it should be reviewed for the purpose of this assessment. Whether or not there are CPS papers, victim reports or statements to refer to, assess the impact of the offence on the victim. Assess the continuing risk to the victim(s) and provide supporting evidence for your conclusions. This will form part of the risk assessment and management plan, in particular the formulation of licence conditions to address the risks you identify and better protect the victim(s). Assess the attitude of the wider community to the offender, based on the circumstances at the time the offence was committed and your current local knowledge, and the potential impact this might have on parole. Assess whether any information in the report is to be kept confidential and not disclosed to the prisoner. 4. RISK ASSESSMENT Summarise: the results of the OASys assessment of the offender’s risk of re-offending and risk of harm, providing the date an assessment was last completed;


any psychological checklists or other assessment tools, Risk Matrix 2000 if appropriate; and any relevant reports from other agencies such as the police and health services. It is important to identify clearly the specific risks presented: Is the offender a MAPPA offender? What is the nature of the risk? To whom does the offender pose a risk? How soon, in your assessment, will the offender pose a risk? What, in your assessment, is likely to happen? Is there one or more locations where the offender will pose a specific risk? What are the identified immediate triggers, or underlying factors? What are the indicators, warning signs? What existing controls / supports are in place? What will happen if they are absent? What potential controls are in place, (include the impact of any potential supervision)? 5. RESETTLEMENT PLAN The resettlement plan comprises the risk management and supervision plans. These will form the basis of supervision on release and should build on any work undertaken in custody. The risk management plan must address the specific risks identified and provide a feasible plan for managing them which includes: confirmed accommodation details, planned offending behaviour work, specific and targeted licence conditions (see appendix 5), specific victim protection plans, planned treatment (with a named treatment provider) where appropriate.

RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN The risk management plan must specify, in respect of each of the proposed actions to address an identified risk: What is the risk? What is the objective (of the proposed actions to reduce or manage the risk)? How should it be achieved: What action will be taken? By whom? By when? Is there a contingency/alternative? At what level does this offender’s risk need to be managed, and are arrangements appropriate to the level of risk in place to manage and monitor the offender. Outline the offender’s response to these plans and assess his or her ability to comply with them. Include an account of the relationship between the supervising officer and offender insofar as it will have an impact on the likelihood of compliance. SUPERVISION PLAN In addition to the risk management plan, outline the areas of work to address the underlying factors identified in OASys that could reduce the risk of re-offending and support the resettlement of the offender, including: Employment skills work Training Relationship building Treatment programmes. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Sum up your view of the feasibility of parole; Provide a clear recommendation either way; drawing on: the assessment of risk, the risk management plan, and your assessment of the offender’s ability to comply with parole licence. SIGNATURE AND DATE Include any countersigning or quality assurance references.





Appendix 4

HOME OFFICER’S PAROLE ASSESSMENT REPORT Name of prisoner Prison Prison Number Parole Board Reference Number Index Offence Sentencing Court Date of Sentence Length of Sentence Report Writer’s Name Supervising Probation Officer’s Name* Report Writer’s office address Report Writer’s telephone numbers Report Writer’s fax number *(if different) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. SOURCES RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFENDER AND THE INDEX OFFENCE VICTIM INFORMATION RISK ASSESSMENT RESETTLEMENT PLAN RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN SUPERVISION PLAN CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION SIGNATURE AND DATE

6. 7.

Appendix 5 GUIDANCE ON LICENCE CONDITIONS This guidance is contained in Probation Circular 42 / 2003 1. Prisoners are released on the standard licence containing the following amended conditions of supervision: While under supervision you must: keep in touch with your supervising officer in accordance with any instructions that you may be given; (ii) if required, receive visits from your supervising officer at your home ; (iii) permanently reside at an address approved by your supervising officer and notify him or her in advance of any proposed change of address or any proposed stay (even for one night) away from that approved address; (iv) undertake only such work (including voluntary work) approved by your supervising officer and notify him or her in advance of any proposed change; (v) not to travel outside the United Kingdom without the prior permission of your supervising officer (which will be given in exceptional circumstances only); (vi) to be well behaved, not to commit any offence and to not to do anything which could undermine the purposes of your supervision, which are to protect the public, prevent you from re-offending and help you resettle successfully into the community. 2. The following conditions can also be imposed by the governor of a prison in the case of short term offenders or by the Parole Board in the case of long term offenders. All requests for additional conditions, whether to the Parole Board or to the governor, must be accompanied by a full explanation. While under supervision you must: (i) (ii) (iii) attend all appointments arranged for you with [....INSERT NAME....], who is a psychiatrist/psychologist/medical practitioner, and co-operate fully with any care or treatment they recommend not to take work or other organised activity which will involve a person under the age of .... either on a professional or voluntary basis; permanently reside at (name and address eg hostel) and must not leave to reside elsewhere without obtaining the prior approval of your supervising officer; thereafter you must reside as directed by your supervising officer; not to reside (nor even to stay for one night) in the same household as any children under the age of ...; not to seek to approach or communicate with [INSERT NAME OF VICTIM AND/OR FAMILY MEMBERS] without the prior approval of your supervising officer/and name of appropriate social services department; comply with any requirements specified by your supervising officer for the purpose of ensuring that you address your alcohol / drug / sexual / (i)

(iv) (v)



gambling / solvent abuse / anger / debt / offending behaviour problems / at the name of course / centre where appropriate. 3. It is important to note that where a supervising officer requires an offender to attend upon a psychiatrist/psychologist/medical practitioner, he or she must be named and must be willing to treat the offender concerned. Similarly, where a supervising officer wants a condition preventing the offender from contacting his victims or victims’ families, the individuals must be named on the licence. In cases where the victim has changed his or her name, it is acceptable for the condition to use the name of the victim as known to the offender, as opposed to the current name. The test to be applied is whether it is sufficiently certain that it is quite clear to the offender “who” is being described in the condition (whatever name is used). In cases where a Probation Area has considered a reside “as directed” condition and ruled it out, it would be helpful to the Parole Board if a brief explanation why this condition is not being requested is included in the PAR. 4. Exceptionally, other conditions may be added to a licence. In the case of short term prisoners, such conditions can be added by the Governor but only after consultation with the Early Release and Recall Section (ERRS). In the case of long term prisoners the Parole Board will consider requests for additional conditions. Please note that any additional condition in respect of a long term prisoner which has not been approved by the Parole Board is not lawful and cannot be enforced. In determining whether an extended sentence prisoner is a long term prisoner for the purpose of licence conditions, you are required to take into account the whole sentence, including the extension period. 5. All Requests for any non-standard additional conditions, for both short term and long term prisoners must be accompanied by a full explanation. ERRS is willing to offer advice to supervising officers before a formal request is made. ERRS can only grant a request for an additional non-standard condition if it is lawful. To be lawful the condition has to be both necessary and proportionate. Necessary means that no other means of managing a particular risk is available or appropriate; and proportionate means that the restriction on the offender’s liberty is the minimum required to manage the risk. It should be noted that the standard licence conditions already contain sufficient authority to manage most risks in the community. In the case of long term prisoners where an additional condition has been considered but rejected, it would be helpful if this could be highlighted in the report requesting approval for additional licence conditions and an explanation given to the Parole Board. In requesting additional conditions, Chief Officers are asked to bring the following advice to the attention of relevant staff. (a) Request for exclusion conditions

6. Requests for a licence condition which excludes an offender from a particular area or locality have to be carefully considered in order to be lawful. Once the exclusion is shown to be necessary, it is critical to establish that it is proportionate. In considering this it will be helpful to take into account such factors as whether, for example, the offender has family or friends whom he might visit who live within the exclusion area and where the exclusion would restrict his ability to work or to visit the doctor or dentist. Although the fact that an exclusion condition may have this effect might be relevant, it is not determinative in deciding whether the proposed condition is reasonable.


7. In addition, the exclusion area must be defined precisely to be lawful. A blanket ban on entering a large town, for example, will not necessarily always be acceptable. The exclusion zone should be no bigger than is reasonably necessary to achieve the objective sought, which will usually be to prevent contact with the victim or victim’s family. To define the exclusion area as clearly and precisely as possible it is necessary to draw the boundaries on a map or on a diagram. The area needs also to be clearly defined to the offender so that he is in no doubt where the exclusion zone begins and ends. 8. Where a request for an exclusion condition is granted, it should be worded as follows: “Not to enter..., which is defined in the attached map, without obtaining the permission of your supervising officer”. This will enable the offender to enter the area if it becomes necessary but only with the express permission of the supervising officer. (b) Offender whose risk levels increases by consuming alcohol

9. Conditions prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, either on or off hostel premises are very difficult to enforce and it is difficult to argue legally that limited alcohol consumption should lead to recall to prison. Condition (vi) of the standard licence already contains sufficient power to request recall in those case where risk is unacceptable after alcohol consumption or where an offender is ejected from the hostel for breaking hostel rules by consuming alcohol. Recall can also be requested in such circumstances for a breach of standard condition licence condition (iii). Offenders cannot be required to comply with an alcohol test. (c) Offender whose risk levels is increased by using illegal drugs.

10. Conditions requiring an offender to accept testing for drug misuse are currently being piloted. Subject to the results of the pilots, these conditions will be rolled out nationally over the next two years. Probation Circular 132/2001 refers. Until then, Probation Areas outside the pilot areas cannot request a drug testing licence condition. A condition specifically prohibiting the use of illegal drugs, either on or off hostel premises, should also be avoided. Condition (vi) of the standard licence already contains sufficient power to request recall in those cases where risk is unacceptable after drug misuse. Where an offender is ejected from a hostel for using drugs against hostel rules, recall can also be requested for a breach of condition (iii). There is scope under the additional condition (vi) to ensure that offenders comply with any reasonable request to undergo drug counseling. (d) Conditions requiring offenders to comply with approved premises (hostels) or other supervised accommodation rules. 11. Conditions requiring compliance with hostel or other accommodation rules should be avoided if possible. Hostel and other supervised accommodation rules are many and varied and it would be difficult to argue that an offender should be recalled to prison, for example, for a single failure to keep a room clean and tidy or missed payment of rent. However, if an offender’s consistent refusal to comply with accommodation rules, which would clearly have to be reasonable, presented a real risk to staff or other residents which could not be managed in any other way, then it would be reasonable to seek to recall him under standard conditions (iii) (vi). It is also


possible that consistent non-compliance which did not cause a direct risk to staff or other residents could constitute grounds for seeking recall. It is not possible to give generic examples of these circumstances and supervising officers are advised to discuss such cases with ERRS. (e) Offenders who pose an unacceptable risk to children “not to contact or associate with any child or young person under the age of 18 years”. 12. In principle there are no legal difficulties with this type of condition but it should only be used where it is considered to be both necessary and proportionate to risk. Even in those cases where it is considered appropriate, consideration may have to be given to practical exceptions, such as contact with family members under 18. When considering whether a no contact condition is necessary, supervising officers should bear in mind that there are already additional conditions which can be put into a licence which prohibit living or working with young persons and where a paedophile is suggesting by his behaviour that he poses a risk to the public, there is already power to recall on risk grounds using standard licence condition (vi). A no contact condition should therefore only be considered in cases where these conditions are considered to be insufficient to protect children. 13. Probation officers often ask whether to use 16 or 18 in licence conditions aimed at protecting children. This will depend upon the nature of the risk. Where the offender’s modus operandi is to groom the offender into agreeing to participate in sexual acts, the age should normally be 16 in line with the age of consent. In all other cases it should be 18, unless the only available hostel accommodation allows residents aged 17 and over and the supervising officer is satisfied that the offender presents an acceptable risk. (f) Electronic monitoring conditions “tagging”

14. The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 produced provisions to enable the Secretary of State to impose electronic monitoring curfew in support of other conditions of a licence (Probation Circular 115/2001 refers). This condition is available to any prisoner who was registered with PPU under the Early Warning System (EWS) as well as to all determinate sentenced prisoners released on licence into one of the pilot areas. It is not possible at this stage to impose an electronic monitoring condition upon a prisoner who is not registered under the EWS and is outside one of the pilot areas. Subject to the outcome of the pilots, the scheme will be rolled out nationally over the next two years and Chief Officers will be informed of progress. 15. In addition to licence conditions, supervising officers may find it helpful to use Sex Offender Orders (SOOs). Greater use is now being made of SOOs including cases in which the offender is released with a very lengthy period of licence supervision. The Home Office’s Sentencing and Offences Unit issued detailed guidance on the use of SOOs in December 2002. (g) Non-Association conditions

16. It is not possible to insert a general condition preventing an offender from associating with other ex-offenders. However, it is possible to require an offender not to associate with named individuals who are closely linked with his previous


offending (for example, convicted members of a paedophile ring) or individuals with whom the supervising officer had good reason to believe that association could lead to future offending (for example, the offender is a paedophile and might have forged links with other paedophiles whilst in prison). In cases where the person’s offending is not linked to a restricted number of individuals, it is more difficult to claim that it is necessary to have a non association condition. 17. It should also be remembered that where an offender is associating with a criminal and we had reasonable grounds for suspecting that the association is likely to lead to re-offending, the offender could be in breach of the good behaviour condition. (h) Licence conditions which prevent offenders from using the internet

18. It is possible in certain cases to include a condition which requires offenders not to access the internet, although this is a difficult condition to monitor and can only be achieved by restricting the offender’s access to computers. This condition should only be used where it is necessary and proportionate to manage the risk (such as members of a paedophile ring who are known to use the internet to distribute indecent material). Consideration will have to be given to practical exceptions, such as use of a computer in a work environment. The condition should always, therefore, be subject to “...without the prior approval of your supervising officer”. Meaning of Reside 19. Recent court judgments have confirmed that licence conditions formulated in terms of “you must reside at” (see additional condition (iii)) have the clear effect of requiring that the licencee spends every night at the place in question. Probation staff should therefore note that they are able to insist that offenders stay each night in a particular address and offenders must ask for permission to stay elsewhere.


Appendix 6 The Home Secretary’s Directions to the Parole Board – issued 1 May 2004

DIRECTIONS TO THE PAROLE BOARD UNDER SECTION 32(6) OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1991 RELEASE OF DETERMINATE SENTENCE PRISONERS In deciding whether or not to recommend release on licence, the Parole Board shall consider primarily the risk to the public of a further offence being committed at a time when the prisoner would otherwise be in prison and whether any such risk is acceptable. This must be balanced against the benefit, both to the public and the offender, of early release back into the community under a degree of supervision and which might help rehabilitation and so lessen the risk of re-offending in the future. The Board shall take into account that safeguarding the public may often outweigh the benefits to the offender of early release. 2. Before recommending release on parole licence, the Parole Board shall consider: a) whether the safety of the public would be placed unacceptably at risk. In assessing such risk, the Board shall take into account: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) the nature and circumstances of the index offence including any information provided in relation to its impact on the victim or victim’s family; the offender’s background, including the nature, circumstances and pattern of any previous offending; whether the prisoner has shown by his attitude and behaviour in custody that he is willing to address his offending behaviour by participating in programmes or activities designed to address his risk, and has made positive effort and progress in doing so; behaviour during any temporary release or other outside activities; any risk to other persons, including the victim, their family and friends; any medical, psychiatric or psychological considerations relevant to risk (particularly where there is a history of mental instability); if available, the indication of predicted risk as determined by a validated actuarial risk predictor; that a risk of violent or sexual offending is more serious than a risk of other types of offending;

b) the content of the resettlement plan; c) whether the longer period of supervision that parole would provide is likely to reduce the risk of further offences being committed; d) whether the prisoner is likely to comply with the conditions of his licence and the requirements of supervision, taking into account occasions where he has breached trust in the past; e) the suitability of home circumstances; f) the relationship with the supervising probation officer; g) the attitude of the local community in cases where it may have a detrimental affect upon compliance; and h) representations on behalf of the victim in respect of licence conditions. 3. Each individual case shall be considered on its merits, without discrimination on any grounds.

Area Probation Board Avon & Somerset Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Cheshire Cumbria Derbyshire Devon & Cornwall Dorset County Durham Dyfed-Powys Essex Gloucestershire London Greater Manchester Gwent Hampshire Hertfordshire Humberside Kent Lancashire Leicestershire & Rutland Lincolnshire Merseyside Norfolk Northamptonshire Northumbria North Wales North Yorkshire Nottinghamshire South Wales South Yorkshire Staffordshire Suffolk Surrey Sussex Teeside Thames Valley Warwickshire West Mercia West Midlands West Yorkshire Wiltshire

No of Seconded Officers 28 3 12 36 7 13 34 29 34 0 10 6 72 32 8 34 5 45 56 49 40 16 21 22 25 23 0 12 21 26 23 26 24 23 14 18 64 0 30 17 33 4

No of Home Officers 72 42 10 39 19 19 32 29 45 23 50 8 155 18 25 18 30 35 34 18 20 6 52 87 7 30 41 2 33 18 37 6 0 7 23 12 0 16 45 96 139 19