CASE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS

PURPOSE
This circular provides new instructions governing the transfer of offenders between probation areas; and includes a national checklist setting out the minimum acceptable information to be transferred on the case file.

Probation Circular
REFERENCE NO: 52/2004 ISSUE DATE: 17 September 2004 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: September 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 of Public Protection and Courts Unit ATTACHED: N/A

ACTION
Chief Officers are asked to bring this circular to the attention of all staff with immediate effect.

SUMMARY
There is a clear expectation on the part of Ministers and the public that the NPS should provide seamless supervision of offenders in the community. The overriding consideration in relation to case transfers should be the protection of the public. At all times, therefore, there should be absolute clarity about who is responsible for an offender’s supervision and any victim related contact arrangements. Henceforth, there will be no ‘informal’ transfers of cases between Areas. Negotiation between areas concerning the ‘acceptance’ of a case transfer will no longer take place. It is recommended that the principles outlined in this circular are applied within, as well as between, Areas.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
This circular replaces Probation Circular 78/2000. PC 52/1997, PC 20/2004

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
General questions about this circular should be directed to: Matthew Bird 020 7217 8058 matthewc.bird@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Questions about high risk or MAPPA offenders should be directed to: Jo Thompson 020 7217 8823 jo.thompson8@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Questions about electronic monitoring requirements should be directed to: Ray Smith 020 7217 8536 ray.smith1@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

PURPOSE 1. This Circular sets out the circumstances in which the formal transfer of a case between Probation Areas will take place and the procedures to be followed. Included at Annex A is a checklist setting out the minimum information which should be passed from one area to another when an offender moves. ACTION 2. This Circular has immediate effect. Recipients are asked to bring the Circular to the attention of all relevant staff (including those working in Approved Premises and partner organisations). NPD will be monitoring implementation of the circular and areas should therefore maintain a central record of the number of cases transferring into and out of the area. These cases should be monitored using the special National Standards monitoring form for transferred cases which will be circulated shortly. APPLICATION 3. This Circular applies to all circumstances where an offender under the supervision of the probation service, whether on licence or community order, changes address or otherwise moves between probation areas in England and Wales, irrespective of whether: ‘informal’ transfer arrangements are in place; Approved Premises or other accommodation is being provided on a time-limited basis (including, for example, residential drug/alcohol rehabilitation); enforcement action is pending; an appeal has been made against sentence; a revocation hearing is pending; little time remains to serve under supervision; there are long periods of time between reporting periods. The sole exception to this general rule is life sentence prisoners, to whom special arrangements apply. Please refer to the Lifer Manual. Probation Circular 52/1997 sets out the procedures to be followed when an offender on post-release supervision wishes to move to another jurisdiction. Probation Circular 20/2004 sets out the circumstances in which MAPPP cases requiring national co-ordination/management will apply. 4. This Circular does not apply to transfers within an Area. It is, however, anticipated that Ministers, HM Inspectorate of Probation and the public would expect the same principles in assuring clarity of responsibility for supervision to apply within an area as those established in this circular for arrangements between Areas. It is therefore recommended that Areas develop local policies and protocols governing transfers: within an area; between teams; and in relation to sick absence and other leave cover which are based on the principles of clarity of responsibility for supervision as outlined in this Circular. TRANSFER OF CASES: GENERAL 5. This Circular has been drawn up in consultation with the NPD Intensive Interventions Unit. It also takes full account of the development of the High Risk Offender Accommodation Strategy and the recommendations of HMIP’s forthcoming report on the Inspection of Movement of Cases. 6. It has become clear that differing practices have arisen across Probation Areas as a result of differing interpretations of the existing instructions in Probation Circular 78/2000, and the discretion allowed to Areas to negotiate transfer arrangements. This discretion has meant that some Areas have been unclear about where responsibility for the supervision of the offender rests. Negotiations between Areas have created delays in the timely implementation of supervision plans, referrals to treatment facilities, and access to accredited programmes. These delays have contributed to an increase in risks presented by certain offenders. 7. The overriding consideration in such matters should be the protection of the public. Protection of the public is most likely to be achieved by ensuring, as far as possible, continuity of supervision. With the advent of the National Probation Service, there is a clear expectation on the part of Ministers and the public that the NPS provide seamless supervision of offenders in the interests of protecting the public. There is a clear expectation that NOMS will result in further improvements.

PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions

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8. The overriding principle of this Circular is that at all times, there should be absolute clarity about who is responsible for a case. Henceforth, therefore, there will be no ‘informal’ transfers of cases between Areas. ‘Informal’ transfer arrangements include any circumstances when an offender is living in one area while his case is being held and supervised by an officer in another area. Such arrangements may also be known as ‘care-taking’. This principle applies whether the change of address is a part of a risk management/supervision plan formulated by the supervising officer and any agencies involved, or is at the behest of the offender subject to supervision. 9. Any change of address or request for a change by an offender should trigger a reassessment of risk in light of: the stated reasons for the move; the appropriateness of the new locality; victim issues; and the progress of the current supervision. Appropriate liaison with Victim Contact Staff can contribute to this assessment. Particular attention should be paid to assuring the continuity of supervision and access to interventions, in particular accredited programmes and treatment / facilities provided by other agencies. Where the change or request for a change of address alters the offender’s risk profile, or where it appears that the motive for the change appears to be to subvert the aims of supervision, the supervising officer should always consider enforcement / recall action, if possible with the offender. Supervising Officers taking on a case that has been transferred should always update the OASys assessment. TRANSFER OF CASES: CIRCUMSTANCES AND PROCEDURES 10. Offenders under the supervision of the probation service, whether subject to a licence or a community order, are always subject to a requirement to notify the supervising officer of any change of address. Many offenders may be subject to intensive requirements relating to their activities or to more stringent restrictions on where they can live (see below for details of how such cases should be handled). Where no such requirements or restrictions exist, however, it would normally be unreasonable to oppose a change of address without specific grounds. A request to change address may highlight the need for restrictions where they do not already exist. It should be noted that the sole means of preventing an offender changing address would be one or more of the following options, depending on the circumstances: a refusal on the part of the supervising officer to support an application to the magistrates’ court to amend the order; commencement of enforcement proceedings with a view to revocation of the order; commencement of enforcement proceedings with a view to adding a condition or restriction to the order; or recall of the offender to prison. Clearly, in many instances, these courses of action would be a relatively extreme response to notification of a change of address and might have a significant impact on the rehabilitative process. Consideration must, therefore, be given to whether attempting to prevent a move would be a reasonable course of action in the circumstances of the individual case. 11. In most circumstances, therefore, on grounds of reasonableness, notification of a change of address should not result in action other than transfer of the case to the new probation area. The exceptions to this general rule are: Where an offender is subject to MAPPA; Where an offender has a conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (Schedule 1 Offenders); Where an offender has a conviction for an offence Listed in Schedule 4 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000; Where an offender is an identified Prolific or other Priority Offender (PPO) and subject to statutory supervision Where an offender is subject to electronic monitoring; Where an offender is subject to a requirement of a court order or post-release licence to reside at a particular address; whether an approved premises, residential rehabilitative project etc.; Where an offender is subject to a requirement of a court order or post-release licence, which would require a new assessment by a third party in the new area (e.g. DTTOs); Where an offender is subject to a set of conditions not available in the new proposed area; Where an offender is subject to victim-related restrictions or requirements which cannot be managed effectively at the proposed new address; or Where an offender is participating in a programme, accredited or otherwise (including DTTOs). The existence of one or more of these factors does not mean that a change of address need necessarily be opposed; however more careful consideration of the risk and other factors involved, and liaison with other agencies, will certainly be needed. 12. Negotiation between areas concerning the acceptance of a case transfer will no longer take place. Four broad categories of possible circumstances in which an offender may change address apply: a) where an offender notifies a change of address after the event and none of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11 above applies; PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions 3

b) where an offender requests permission to change address and none of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11 above applies; c) where an offender requests permission to change address and one or more of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11 above applies; d) where an offender notifies a change of address after the event and one or more of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11 above applies. NB: where a place at, for example, an Approved Premises has been obtained for the offender in another area, since the offender will have agreed to take up the place, this will be classified as a request to change address. 13. In either case where none of the exceptions listed in paragraph 11 applies (12A and 12B cases), it will not be appropriate to attempt to prevent the offender moving. In other cases, serious consideration should be given to whether the order or licence will continue to be tenable. The following paragraphs set out the procedures to be followed (but see also paragraphs 16ff for details of the necessary applications to the courts for amendment of orders). 12A Cases: where an offender notifies a change of address after the event and none of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11 applies: The case should be deemed to have been transferred to the new area with immediate effect and the following actions should take place: The Area which is notified of the change of address will inform the other area on the same working day the notification is made wherever possible but in any case within one working day of a notification; The case will be allocated to a supervising officer in the new area on the day that the notification is received wherever possible but in any case within one working day of notification being received; The new supervising officer will notify the previous supervising officer of his or her contact details on the same day the case is allocated; The new supervising officer will notify the offender of his or her contact details on the same day the case is allocated wherever possible but in any case within one working day of allocation; Where relevant, the new supervising officer will notify the appropriate victim liaison officer of his or her contact details on the same day the case is allocated; The new supervising officer will, within one working day of the case being allocated, arrange an initial appointment with the offender, in addition to the normal reporting requirements of National Standards; The new supervising officer will make an assessment of the suitability of the new address (including checking for any victim related issues and a home visit, where appropriate) within two working days of the case being allocated; The new supervising officer will complete a review of the offender’s risk assessment within one working day of the first appointment; The previous supervising officer will apply to the courts for amendment of the order or notify the ERRS of the change of address and make arrangements for the case records (including as a minimum, the documents specified in the checklist at Annex A) to be sent direct from the previous area to the new supervising officer. 12B Cases: where an offender requests permission to change address and none of the exceptions listed at paragraph 11 applies: Broadly similar procedures (as in 12A cases) should take place but responsibility for the case will not transfer until the date of the offender’s move. The following actions should be taken: The Area to which the request for a change of address is made will inform the other area within five working days of the offender’s proposed move wherever possible (a request made five working days or less before the offender’s proposed move should be counted as a notification under the previous paragraph); The case will be allocated to a supervising officer in the new area within five working days of the offender’s move; The new supervising officer will notify the previous supervising officer of his or her contact details on the same day the case is allocated; The new supervising officer will notify the offender of his or her contact details on the same day the case is allocated wherever possible but in any case within one working day of allocation; Where relevant, the new supervising officer will notify the appropriate Victim Liaison Officer of his or her contact details on the same day the case is allocated; The new supervising officer will arrange an appointment with the offender within one working day of his or her arrival in the new Area; The new supervising officer will make an assessment of the suitability of the new or proposed address within two working days of the offender’s arrival in the new Area (including a home visit and checking for any victim related issues, where appropriate); The new supervising officer will complete a review of the offender’s risk assessment within one working day of the first appointment; PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions 4

The previous supervising officer will be responsible for applying to the courts for amendment of the order or notifying the ERRS, and sending the case records (including as a minimum, the documents specified in the checklist at Annex A) direct from the previous area to the new supervising officer prior to the offender’s arrival in the new Area. In either case where none of the exceptions listed in paragraph 11 applies and where the address to which an offender wishes to relocate is considered unsuitable for reasons of protecting members of the public, either from re-offending in general or re-offending against a particular member of the public, the new supervising officer should discuss with the offender the reasons for this and specify what actions will be necessary to overcome such concerns and avoid enforcement action / recall. Enforcement action / recall may need to be pursued without undertaking such an interview depending on the level of risk demonstrated by the offender and the reasons for the address being considered unsuitable (e.g. proximity to a previous victim). 12Ci Cases: where offenders request permission to change address and they: are subject to MAPPA , or Are Schedule One offenders, or have a conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 4 of the CJ&CS Act 2000, or are a ppo subject to statutory supervision but are subject to no other exceptions The principles and time limits outlined above for 12B cases will apply. However, since it is likely offenders in this category will pose a higher level of risk, every effort should be made to exceed the targets set out above. Additionally, the previous supervising officer will need to: Transfer the case records to the new supervising officer at the earliest possible opportunity; Fax a covering letter to the new supervising officer summarising what statutory requirements apply to the offender which may require immediate attention; Notify the appropriate professionals in both the transferring and receiving Responsible Authorities of the move; Notify the appropriate Victim Liaison Officer of the move; Notify the Electronic Monitoring Co-ordinator of the move; Notify the appropriate PPO manager of the move. Where offenders subject to MAPPA are being managed at either level 2 or 3, any request for permission to change address must be considered through the MAPPA procedures with a multi-agency risk assessment made. Transfer will only be acceptable if the assessment concludes that the risk management plan already in place is not jeopardised by the proposed move. Probation Areas should have in place regional arrangements to accommodate and deliver services to high-risk offenders who cannot return to their area of origin. Only where the regional scheme is insufficient and the criteria for referral to the National Scheme for Transfer of Public Protection Cases are met (see PC20/2004) will the NPD facilitate placement of the offender elsewhere. Transfers will be brokered by the Public Protection and Courts Unit (PPCU) through the National MAPP Panel. All areas need to recognise their responsibility for receiving, as well as transferring, such offenders. Responsibility for a case remains with the referring Responsible Authority (RA) until the receiving RA has formally received the transfer. The PPCU will be the final arbiter of the resettlement arrangements. Where a transfer will require exceptional expenses the RA can make representations to the PPCU for funding assistance. Probation Areas should be participating in local multi-agency arrangements for managing PPOs. Any request for permission to change address by an identified PPO managed by probation must be considered through locally established offender management procedures and effective arrangements for their management and supervision must be agreed with their new area, based on assessed risk against priorities in their new area. 12Cii Cases: where offenders request permission to change address and they fall into one of the other exceptions It is important for reasons of both effectiveness and efficiency that offenders should complete programmes they have started. Research suggests that offenders who partially complete a programme may be more likely to re-offend. It is also a waste of resources if offenders take a place on a programme which they must then restart (or which might have been allocated to another offender). Everything within reason should therefore be done to persuade offenders that it is in their best interests to delay any change of address until they have completed the programme / treatment or arrangements can be put in place for them to take up a place on a programme in the new area, or for electronic monitoring equipment to be installed. The supervising officer should take into account, for example, offenders’ progress in a programme, or compliance with requirements, and explore with them: the stated reasons for the desired change of address; their motivation to continue with the supervision plan; PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions 5

the impact of the proposed change on compliance with the requirements of the order and the broader rehabilitative process; the impact that a move would have on the existing risk assessment; and the undertakings given to the courts and their expectations in passing a community sentence, set in the context of possible enforcement proceedings should an insistence on a change of address be pursued. Where offenders insist they must change address, the normal course of action should be to instigate immediate enforcement action / recall on the grounds that the offender has stated his or her intention to breach a condition of the order (though if all the appropriate arrangements can be put in place immediately, this may not be necessary). Offenders should be informed that this will be the case. This principle need not apply where an offender has yet to commence a programme but has undergone preliminary or other assessment. (In a case where electronic monitoring is in place, enforcement / recall will be instigated automatically by virtue of non-compliance with the condition). Where the offender proposes to move in order to take up employment, the balance of benefit to the offender of taking up employment as opposed to completing or undertaking a programme will need to be weighed carefully. From time to time genuinely exceptional compassionate circumstances may exist which will justify departure from these general principles. In such circumstances, decisions should be clearly recorded on the case file. In the case of DTTOs where admission into a residential rehabilitation establishment is a planned element of a treatment plan, arrangements will have been made for an offender’s admission. In such cases, funding will have been arranged by the home area that will continue to fund the residential place even though the management of the order will be transferred to the new area for the duration of the offender’s stay at the residential establishment. In cases where an offender on a DTTO wants to move to a new area (but not to a residential rehabilitation establishment), and a move would be approved by the supervising officer and treatment providers, contact must be made by the supervising officer with the new area to make arrangements for the transfer of the treatment programme (this may involve an assessment by the new area). Funding of a DTTO under these circumstances transfers to the new area. In both cases, these steps must be taken prior to an application being made at a Review Hearing to amend the treatment provision (residential/non-residential), the named treatment provider and petty sessions area. These arrangements are supported by the National Treatment Agency. Where a change of address is approved by the supervising officer, the principles and time limits outlined above for 12B cases will apply. 12D Cases: Where Offenders Notify a Change of Address After the Event and They Fall into One of the Other Exceptions It will be necessary to consider within one working day what course of action should be pursued. Wherever possible, the opportunity should be given to the offender to return to his previous address and continue with supervision as planned. However, immediate enforcement action / recall is the most likely outcome. As soon as a decision has been taken concerning how to proceed, which should be within a maximum of 24 hours; all relevant agencies should be notified immediately. Where a change of address is approved by the supervising officer, the principles and time limits outlined above for 12B cases will apply. PRACTICAL MATTERS Where ‘Informal’ Transfer Arrangements Are Currently in Place 14. Where ‘informal’ transfer arrangements are currently in place, they will have to cease immediately. Any existing informal arrangements will be formalised and the Area in which the offender is living will receive that offender onto its caseload with immediate effect. Holidays 15. Requests by offenders to go on holiday should be dealt with in line with normal practice concerning missed appointments and will not count as a change of address. Relations with the courts 16. It is as important to the courts as it is to the National Probation Service that Orders of the court are seen to be authoritative, effective and are taken seriously by offenders and the broader public. 17. It should be clearly explained to offenders that the permission of the courts to change address is needed in every case. Provisions concerning the amendment of community orders are currently contained in Schedule 3 to the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. At the time of publication of this circular, an application to amend an order must be made to the magistrates’ courts in every case where a community order is in force. Where the offender is subject to PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions 6

an order (other than a DTTO) which contains no additional requirements and an application to change address is made by the supervising officer on behalf of the offender, the court is bound to grant the application. 18. Where specific requirements exist or in the case of certain orders, such as DTTOs, the court is not bound to grant the application. The court can chose to cancel or substitute requirements to facilitate transfer but if provision to undertake the specified requirements in the new Area has not been arranged, or where the court does not consider the order should be transferred, even if the move is supported by the supervising officer, the court may refuse the application. This could lead to revocation of the order and re-sentence. In the case of DTTOs the court must obtain the consent of the offender to any change in the provision of the order (in the case of a transfer - the treatment provision) before making an amendment. 19. Wherever possible, when the circumstances outlined at (c) and (d) of paragraph 12 apply; and a decision had been made to pursue enforcement action; and an offender is considered to pose a significant risk, an attempt should be made to persuade the courts of the importance of fast-tracking an enforcement hearing. Where they exist, discussions should be pursued with the courts around amending local protocols so as to reflect this change of emphasis. Licence Revocation and Liaison with the Early Release and Recall Section 20. It is important that the consequences of any breach of licence conditions are explained to offenders upon release, and re-enforced at appropriate points. If a change of address results in a revocation request it is important that the ERRS have complete information about the consequences of such a breach in terms of heightened risk of re-offending and/or risk of harm, and not just a factual account of the breach.

PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions

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Annex A

CASE TRANSFER CHECKLIST
Please note the items on this checklist comprise the minimum which should be sent in every case. This sheet should be completed and attached to the papers being transferred. Contact Log OASys assessment and review Supervision plan Breach documentation and supporting evidence Basic Skills assessment Copy of the order / licence Accredited programme documentation Victim information and documentation YES1 YES YES YES YES YES YES YES NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

1

Delete as necessary 8

PC52/2004 – Case Transfer Instructions

Annex B: CASE TRANSERS (Probation Circular 52/2004)

NO EXCEPTIONS (refers to Probation Circular 52/2004 – Section 12)

12A

Notifies change of address after event no exceptions

New Area notified of change on the same day

Allocated to new Supervising Officer (SO) on day received

Offender

New SO to notify previous SO of his contact details on day the case is allocated New Area notified of proposed change within 5 working days

New SO to notify VLO of their contact details

New SO to arrange to meet offender within 24 hours of notification receipt

Assessment of the suitability of (a) the address and (b) the decision, within 2 working days (including update of OASys)

Previous SO to send case records to new SO

12B

Requests permission to change address no exceptions

Allocated within 2 days of notification receipt

ALL EXISTING INFORMAL ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE FORMALISED AND THE AREA IN WHICH THE OFFENDER IS RESIDING WILL RECEIVE THE OFFENDER WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT
SO = Supervising Officer VLO = Victim Liaison Officer 12a/12A = Refers to Circular Sub-section

WITH EXCEPTIONS (refers to Probation Circular 52/2004 – Section 12)
(MAPPA, SCHEDULE 1, CJ&CSA 2000, etc.)

12Ci

Requests permission to change address with exceptions

Follow the same steps as (12b) above, making every effort to exceed the designated timeframes

Previous SO to transfer case records ASAP

FAX Cover letter to new SO summarising statutory requirements

Notify professionals in both transferring and receiving areas

Notify VLO of move

Notify electronic monitoring co-ordinator

Offender 12Cii SO should explore reasons and consider OASys

SO to consider if it would benefit offender to move, or to stay and finish programmes

SO to justify to court decision when licence submitted for amendment

12D

Notified change of address after event

SO should consider within 24 hours of notification whether offender should be returned to previous address or enforcement action/recall

All relevant agencies to be informed immediately

ALL EXISTING INFORMAL ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE FORMALISED AND THE AREA IN WHICH THE OFFENDER IS RESIDING WILL RECEIVE THE OFFENDER WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

SO = Supervising Officer VLO = Victim Liaison Officer 12Ci,Cii & D = Refers to Circular Sub-section