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Probation Circular
PC10/2007 – OFFENDER ENGAGEMENT GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE
IMPLEMENTATION DATE: 12 June 2007 EXPIRY DATE: June 2012

TO: Chairs of Probation Boards, Chief Officers of Probation, Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers, Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Sarah Mann, Head of Interventions and Substance Abuse unit, Richard Mason, Head of Offender Assessment and Management Unit ATTACHED: Annex A – Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide Annex B – Equality Impact Assessment Form RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS PC10/2006 CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES jacob.mcclure2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 0207 217 8992 peter.king@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or 020 7217 0678

PURPOSE
1. To give some examples of good practice in obtaining and using offender feedback 2. To invite areas to use this guide as a template to develop their own strategies for obtaining and using feedback from service users 3. To inform areas of joint work between the National Probation Service and the Prince’s Trust to encourage offender engagement in Probation Boards’ activities

ACTION
Chief Officers are asked to ensure that all relevant staff have access to the Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide. The guide is intended to be a tool for areas and regions to use as they consider appropriate and does not prescribe specific actions. Areas may chose to use this guide as a template in developing local strategy and policy for obtaining and using offender feedback.

SUMMARY
There is evidence across both the public and private sectors that engaging service users in shaping services is one factor linked to improvement of services and higher rates of service retention. In the criminal justice system there is evidence that those who complete treatment or offending related interventions have better outcomes in terms of reducing offending than those who fail to complete.

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ISSUE DATE – 15 May 2007 1 of 2

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Commissioners of services for offenders may require providers to demonstrate that they have appropriate arrangements in place for obtaining and using feedback from service users. This may form part of the commissioning standards which are developed for interventions and offender management. There has been a drive across the public sector to routinely engage those in receipt of services in service development. This is now supported by statutory requirements and is high on the agenda for inspection bodies such as the Healthcare Commission, the former National Care Standards Commission and increasingly with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP). Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide As a response to this changing environment, the former NPD, surveyed the extent of current arrangements for engagement with offenders, in order to identify best practice and to consider how to share it. Most areas gave some examples of how they obtained offenders’ views but few considered they were doing enough to integrate offender feedback into their work. Areas considered that knowing about practices in other areas would be helpful hence the establishment of a project board, reference group and ultimately the production of this guide. The guide consists entirely of examples submitted by probation areas towards the end of last year. Contact details have been included where contributors are willing to be contacted to provide additional information. It is acknowledged that practice in probation areas may have already moved on since the examples were collected. Offender engagement is also a rapidly developing area of work for NOMS and a number of related initiatives are underway such as the RDS work to develop a tool to assess offenders’ experience of supervision, and work in a number of prisons to develop prisoners as advisors, counsellors and as participants in Prison Councils and Race Equality Councils. The attached good practice guide is therefore intended as a starting point for probation areas by probation areas. National Probation Service and Prince’s Trust Initiative The Princes Trust and National Probation Service are setting up a network of ex offenders to act as advisors to the 42 local Probation Boards in England and Wales. Dorset Area is running a User Voice Programme and is developing a template for ex offender engagement with Boards. It is anticipated that this template will be issued to Areas in June 2007. This initiative follows a recent summit on youth crime held by the Prince of Wales, with ex offenders, the Home Secretary and Attorney General. The meeting obtained the views of ex offenders on how they considered the criminal justice system could be improved to reduce offending. The Prince’s Trust is also piloting a new scheme offering one to one support to offenders who are released from prison back into the community. Ex offenders meet offenders at the prison gates to provide support and a positive role model. One to one schemes will be launched in Guys Marsh, Channings Wood and Reading Prisons and also in Portland Young Offender Institution. Further information about these initiatives is available from Rob Cope at ‘The Prince’s Trust’ (0207 7543 7401).

PC10/2007 Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide

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ISSUE DATE – 15 May 2007 2 of 2

Annex A

Inform, Consult, Engage
An Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide

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Inform, Consult, Engage

An Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide Contents List 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Annex A 1. 2. 3. 4. Annex B 1. Examples of Good Practice – Inform/Consult/Involve Innovations HMP Altcourse Service User Group feedback Other Agencies and Prison Service Acknowledgements Introduction and Rationale Target Groups Sources Why Engage Service Users? Background and Context of the Offender Engagement Project Engaging with the Offender Maintaining a local Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide General Advice on Language Equality and Diversity

1.

Introduction and Rationale

There is evidence across both the public and private sectors that engaging service users in shaping services is one factor linked to improvement of services and improved rates of service retention. In the criminal justice system there is evidence that those who complete treatment or offending related interventions have better outcomes in terms of reducing offending than those who fail to complete. Commissioners of services for offenders may require providers to demonstrate that they have appropriate arrangements in place for obtaining and using feedback from service users. This may form part of the commissioning standards which are developed for interventions and offender management. There has been a drive across the public sector to routinely engage those in receipt of services in service development. This is now supported by statutory requirements and is high on the agenda for inspection bodies such as the Healthcare Commission, the former National Care Standards Commission and increasingly with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).

Aims and Objectives The aim of this document is to help areas improve offender retention and to prepare for contestability by: 1. giving examples of good practice in obtaining and using offender feedback 2. encouraging probation areas to use this document as a template to develop their own strategies for obtaining and using feedback from service users Areas may wish to work collaboratively in producing their own strategies for offender engagement. 2. Target Groups

This document has been produced primarily for staff working in the • National Probation Service and NOMS Headquarters.

It may however also be of interest to:

• • • • •

Regional Offender Managers (ROMS) National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) UNISON Charities and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Community organisations and representatives

3.

Sources

This document has been developed by the Offender Engagement Reference Group. This Reference Group consists of representatives from the National Probation Service (NPS) and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) headquarters. The document has been reviewed and assessed by the HMP Altcourse Service User Group and the North Wales based Channel Service User Group. Their feedback has been influential in the shape, format and content of this document. A special thanks should be made to Stephen Ray from North Wales Probation Area for his solid support and suggestion which have helped shape this document. Relevant contacts for information are provided throughout this document by hyperlink or free text. For further information about this document please contact Jake McClure, Project Manager or Claire Wiggins, Head of Intensive Interventions, Interventions & Substance Abuse Unit, NOMS.

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4.

Why engage service users?

The National Probation Service is undergoing rapid change. This includes changes in the way probation services are organised, financed and managed. These changes can create difficulties for staff and service users. It is important that changes take into account the service users’ views about how services are structured and delivered and that service users consider they have a meaningful input into their programmes and treatment. This is important in improving retention of offenders and helping the Probation Service prepare for contestability. This guide suggests that all practitioners within the Probation Service should see User Involvement as an integral part of their working lives. This will enable service users to genuinely influence the planning and development of services and feel properly engaged in how services are allocated. It will also provide a valuable insight into their effectiveness. Service users in fields outside of probation frequently mention that being engaged with the planning and delivery of services is a therapeutic experience which increases their self esteem and confidence. It gives them a feeling that they are valued as people who can make a positive contribution to improving services, despite their problems. Involving service users can also have positive outcomes for staff. Building better relationships with service users, developing a deeper understanding of their difficulties and working with them to solve problems can make staff feel their work is more effective and enjoyable. This can be summarised in a quote from a Voluntary Sector Day Service worker: ‘One of the outcomes of our growing service user involvement has been that in discussion with service users our staff decided to change the way they worked. Instead of giving service users a few minutes of our time, when we could spare it we decided that each staff member should be

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responsible for a small group of service users. We are now able to give each group an hour or two of our undivided attention regularly. We have been astonished and delighted at the difference this has made to us all. It was like a light had been suddenly switched on. Our job satisfaction has really improved’. Back to top

5.

Background and Context of the Offender Engagement Project

In PC 10/2006, NOMS surveyed the extent of current arrangements for engagement with offenders, in order to identify best practice and to consider how to share it. Most areas gave some examples of how they obtained offenders’ views but few considered they were doing enough to integrate offender feedback into their work. Areas considered that knowing about practices in other areas would be helpful and this is why we have produced this ‘Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide’. In addition to examples drawn from probation areas, this document includes some examples of service user engagement by external agencies. Probation areas may want to contact these agencies for additional information on specific projects. • This work links to the broader NOMS and Youth Justice Board (YJB) ‘Approach to Communities and Civil Renewal’, launched in November 2005. This aims to promote the role of communities in offender management, through regional reducing re-offending action plans and local plans. It also addresses the role of offenders as ‘responsible citizens’, supporting others in prison and the community and contributing to consultations or advisory bodies. Offender engagement also links to work strands which aim to find out more about the difficulties faced by offenders in accessing mainstream and specialist provision whilst under supervision and beyond. Three Reducing Re-offending Alliances – Corporate, Civic Society and Faith and Voluntary Sector - were launched by Baroness Scotland in November 2005 and are being taken forward as part of the National Reducing Re-offending Delivery Plan to promote and encourage greater involvement from employers, local authorities, local people and voluntary and faith organisations in our work to reduce re-offending The Civic Society Alliance (CSA) aims to ensure ex-offenders have equality of access to mainstream services such as accommodation and health as well as to leisure facilities – sport, arts and music - to help keep them engaged in purposeful activities. NOMS is currently developing a Volunteering Strategy for consultation. The strategy will outline a vision and strategy for engagement of volunteers and mentors across NOMS, and it will also cover the value of engaging offenders in volunteering opportunities in prisons and the community as a route to change and progression. The Research, Development and Statistics (RDS) team in the Home Office are currently developing a performance tool to support the NOMS Standards for offender management. Currently all prisoners have a questionnaire completed by prisoners which is used to asses the quality of prison life. RDS is working on a similar questionnaire for offenders serving community sentences or under licence.

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In recent years there has rightly been a focus on ensuring that offenders are punished as well as rehabilitated; that the sentence of the Court is enforced, risk is managed and the public is protected. But it is also the case that services for offenders are most likely to be effective if offenders see their value and appreciate what is available. In a competitive environment services must be creative and innovative and delivered in ways that are accessible to offenders. In summary, whilst offenders are statutorily obliged to report, the work of the probation service is more likely to be effective if the design, delivery and evaluation of supervision have been informed by some input from offenders.

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In some cases this might require the offender manager to be seen not just as an expert in supervision but as someone who actively engages offenders as people whose expertise can contribute to improving practice and achieving lasting change. Introducing this perspective will require leadership from senior and middle managers who may need to create opportunities to include offenders amongst those stakeholders whose views are routinely sought in developing new initiatives and evaluating delivery. This can be supported by applying the Charter Mark Standard. This requires that service users are involved in: • • • setting standards for service delivery (e.g. waiting times, responsiveness) suggesting improvements to services providing feedback on the content and quality of service delivery and receiving information on how this process of consultation had led to improvements

Much can be learned from the way successful voluntary organisations have engaged service users in transforming the way services are delivered. There is a challenge here for the Probation Service. It is important that the potential benefits of offender engagement such as retaining offenders for longer and promoting change are linked to reducing the risks of re offending and protecting the public. Service user engagement is good business practice. Back to top

7. •

Maintaining a local Offender Engagement Good Practice Guide The best practice guide on offender engagement can be used as a template for areas and the contacts given can provide additional information if required. Areas may wish to identify a local lead on this subject for producing and updating local guidance. It is good practice to update local guidance regularly.

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8. • • •

General Advice on Language Language should be simple, direct and concise. Language must be appropriate for all users. Old fashioned or overly formal terms should be avoided. Jargon, abbreviations and terminology should be avoided. Where terminology is necessary a clear explanation should be provided to users.

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9.

Equality and Diversity

NOMS takes seriously its responsibilites to promote equality and diversity . The need to avoid unfair discrimination applies to offenders and ex-offenders. Offender engagement across the Probation Service should ensure the rights of the individual are maintained and respected. Some service users may require additional support to give their views about their experiences. Probation areas should do all they can to facilitate feedback from as wide a range of service users as possible.

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Annex A

1.

Examples of Best Practice – Inform/Consult/Engage

The following section is annexed as it is a working document which NOMS headquarters or probation areas may want to update with the development of new initiatives. In this annex: An initiative is an action or product which displays energy or aptitude in terms of informing, consulting or engaging offenders or ex-offenders in shaping service delivery. An innovation is an action or product which is a new idea, method, or device which engages offenders or ex-offenders in shaping service delivery. Examples of best practice will be described in the following format: • • • • • What the initiative/innovation is Why it was developed How it is used How it is monitored Where further information can be found (email hyperlinked to contact)

They will be categorised under the following headings: • • • Inform Consult Engage

The following initiatives and innovations were highlighted by the HMP Altcourse Service User Group as being of particular relevance to offenders: • • • • Specialist intervention to obtain offender view of those going into breach (Para 1.2.5) Consultation of prisoners who have licences revoked whilst still in custody (Para 1.2.6) Interviews with sample of offenders who fail to attend at Unpaid Work (UW) or programmes to understand better the barriers to attendance (1.2.8) Hostel residents involved in decisions about the hostel regime (Para 1.2.10)

The reasoning behind this can be found in annex 3 which summarises the feedback from the HMP Altcourse Service User feedback group.

1.1 • INFORM

These examples of best practice aim to ensure that service users are effectively informed of the services provide by the Probation Service. 1.1.1 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: Internet/Intranet 1. Internet site for members of the public 2. Intranet site for all staff 1. Public awareness 2. Management tool and staff awareness. All information such as staff

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How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.1.2 Initiative What the initiative is:

handbook, now available using this medium For general public, families and contacts of offenders and ex-offenders Internal IT Unit Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139; Kent Probation Area

Why it was developed:

How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

Multimedia – DVDs/Videos/Interactive media information Offenders talking positively about what probation have done to improve their lives; Offending Behaviour Programmes – what to expect; DVDs about programmes featuring staff and offenders Inform service users; The programmes video for offenders was developed to make information about accredited programmes more accessible and to increase compliance and completion rates Available to all areas and for all service users; Plan to show DVDs to programme groups at the start of the programme Evaluation Form Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139; Greater Manchester Probation; West Midlands Probation; Lancashire Probation ; Fiona Buchanan, Leicestershire and Rutland Probation

1.1.3 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: Leaflets/Newsletters Numerous types for example Approved Premises, Skills for Devon and Cornwall, a newsletter by offenders for offenders Inform service users Distributed by Offender Managers (OMs), hostels, offices Offender Feedback Survey – have you received/what are they about? Kent Probation Area; Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139; Fiona Buchanan, Leicestershire and Rutland Probation

1.1.4 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: Induction Pack Ensuring positive and motivational contact during the initial phase of an order; An induction booklet for all offenders As a result of service user group input The initial phase of the order needs to establish a strong emphasis on offender involvement, the centrality of assessment and sentence planning which clearly sets out the interventions that will be delivered, by whom and to what timescale Service user group Lancashire Probation; Leicestershire and Rutland Probation

How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.1.5 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

Health and Safety Sessions Health and Safety instructions leading to Open College Network (OCN) qualification at Unpaid Work Pre Placement Work session. Safety on Unpaid Work sites, useful qualification for obtaining work. Used at Pre Placement Work sessions. Sessions quality assured and monitored. Darren Daniel, Community Work and Community Safety Manager, DyfedPowys Probation Area, 01874 614150; Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139

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1.1.6 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: Touch Screen in Reception This is a suggestion that was made by the reference group which has not been implemented by the NPS as yet. n/a n/a n/a n/a

1.1.7 Initiative What the initiative is: Victim Surveys To seek the views of victims after first contact from Victim Liaison and following offender’s release; Annual Victim Survey; Administered at the beginning, middle and end To replace a much cruder feedback form which had a very low response rate To improve practice, quality assure service and monitor performance Input to a bespoke database; Annual Survey and report of victims contacted Imogen Brown, Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Information Services, West Yorkshire Probation; Mike Foster, Victim Liaison Officer, Dyfed-Powys Probation Area, 01267 222299/ Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139

Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

1.2 • CONSULT

These examples of best practice aim to ensure that service users are consulted on with regard to shaping service delivery

1.2.1 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.2.2 Initiative What the initiative is: Structured/Semi-Structured Interviews All qualitative research projects relating to service delivery incorporate feedback from offenders gathered through structured or semi-structured interviews. To gain a better perspective on the service provided and assess interim outcomes where relevant To improve service delivery Through follow-up with internal research commissioner Rochelle Harris, Research Manager, West Yorkshire Probation Telephone Surveys and text messages To obtain qualitative feedback and to encourage service users to attend programmes Work in progress – to avoid travel and expand on work accomplished See below Recommendations incorporated into year’s annual plan Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139; Leicestershire and Rutland Probation

Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.2.3

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Initiative What the initiative is:

Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further contact: information,

Surveys To obtain user views at end of interventions: all offenders, hostel, UW, ETE; to measure satisfaction with a range of issues and to contribute to improvements to services. Users surveys at end of Unpaid Work and Accredited Programmes; developed as part of a process of continuous improvement for Chartermark. To inform practice and identify user satisfaction Collated on all relevant users and reports prepared annually; action plans developed as a result Jeremy Corbett, Head of Interventions, Dyfed-Powys Probation Area, 01874 614150; Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139; Greg Parle, Development Officer, Leicestershire and Rutland Probation, 0116 248 0514

1.2.4 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: Focus Groups Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) focus groups; Beneficiaries of Statutory Victim Contact To gain offenders’ views. To inform service improvements. Undertaken by outside consultants. Kevin Fisher, Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) Manager, Dyfed-Powys Area, 01267 236862; Alan Gray, Senior Probation Officer, Leicestershire and Rutland, 0116 2428403

1.2.5 Initiative What the initiative is: Specialist intervention to obtain offender view of those going into breach To assess if the probation area could have done more to reduce the likelihood of breach. To give the offender an opportunity to re-engage at the earliest point following their court appearance. To build up a picture of each team performance and learn from the results In Teesside there is a specialist Breach unit where the same members of staff prosecute the breaches every week. These staff are not the offender managers. On leaving the court room, each offender who is breached is asked what the service might have done to help prevent the offender breaching. This is designed to open candid dialogue and give the offender the chance to respond. The Breach team staff member then feeds back to the offender manager who records the event on the case file To gain a clearer picture of the causes of breach and to build any learning into future supervision of offenders. The findings from this project are also useful information for new staff induction It is early days for this project, however the specialist Breach team are collecting figures that show what proportion of offenders were spoken with after their court appearance. Reasons are recorded and shared during staff supervision. The information is shared with the unit manager who will subsequently will ensure wider service feedback as necessary Teesside Probation

Why it was developed:

How it is used:

How it is monitored:

For further contact: 1.2.6

information,

Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed:

Consultation of prisoners who have licences revoked whilst still in custody Developed to gather information from offenders who have breached their licence. Most offenders in Teesside are picked up locally and taken to the local prison. This new initiative links in some respects with Phase 2 Offender Management. It is envisaged that all offenders who are received via the

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How it is used:

How it is monitored:

For further contact: 1.2.7

information,

recall process into our local prison will be interviewed by seconded staff if the outside office is unable to attend to discuss reasons for breach and if the probation service could have done more to reduce the risk of breach To gain a clearer picture of the cause and to be better able to build these issues into the supervision of offenders. It is also useful information for staff induction. Offender managers can discuss the reasons for failure on licence generally with new offenders coming out on licence. It is thought it might have a positive impact if we actually use quotes from other offenders as part of this process. For this to be possible, what is recorded at the interview in the prison is very important Offender managers are contacted by whoever held the interview with the offender and records the detail on the contact log. It is proposed that a contact log code dedicated to this activity should be used to help with recording Teesside Probation

Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.2.8 Initiative What the initiative is: Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.2.9 Initiative Why it was developed:

Ongoing questionnaires regarding Approved Premises Service user involvement in the development of Approved Premises Contact Teesside Probation for further information Contact Teesside Probation for further information Contact Teesside Probation for further information Teesside Probation

Interviews with a sample of offenders who fail to attend at Unpaid Work (UW) or programmes, to better understand the barriers to attendance To understand what factors are making it difficult for offenders to complete programmes and/or UW requirements To address issues of attrition and enhance completion rates Both initiatives are part of current research studies and the information will be used to make recommendations to improve practice and/or targeting Through monitoring completion rates Imogen Brown, ACO Information Services West Yorkshire Probation

What the initiative is:

How it is used:

How it is monitored:

For further contact:

information,

Women’s Review To get the views of women offenders on their needs and how well these needs were being met, and also to obtain their ideas on how things might be done differently Staff and offenders were consulted both on community orders and in custody via a range of interviews and focus groups, and carried out an extensive literature review to produce a report with recommendations The review was used to highlight changes we needed to make to current practice and has informed both policy and related practice guidance, and individual pieces of work Monitored through policy monitoring process and hoping to get race and gender monitoring results soon. Ongoing engagement and revisiting of this piece of work need to be considered. West Midlands Probation/Devon and Cornwall Probation

1.2.10

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Initiative

Why it was developed:

What the initiative is: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.2.12 Initiative What the initiative is:

Hostel residents involved in decisions about the hostel regime (Resident meetings) Residents doing own laundry Residents helping to redecorate hostel communal areas As part of the introduction of pro-social modelling into hostels: The physical appearance of the hostels, their regimes and general atmosphere are seen by staff as an important part of creating a positive working environment (along with improved staff/staff and staff/resident relationships Several different initiatives designed to reflect a more pro-social approach To change aspects of the physical environment and hostel regime Not known Caroline Henry, Research Officer, South Yorkshire Probation

Why it was developed: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

360 degree feedback This is a suggestion that was made by the reference group which has not been implemented by the NPS as yet. By 360 degree feedback, the reference group were referring to the service user’s right to feedback on Probation personnel and to receive subsequent results from the feedback. n/a n/a n/a n/a

1.3 • ENGAGE

These examples of best practice aim to ensure that service users are directly involved in shaping and implementing service delivery.

1.3.1 Initiative Why it was developed: What the initiative is: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 1.3.2 Initiative Why it was developed: Training Event/Conference involvement To illustrate how probation impacts upon offenders and to look at this as a means of promoting the offender engagement agenda within the organisation. To ask offenders under supervision to input into selected conferences, individually or as part of a group. Evidence the direct involvement of service users in events focused on service and staff development. An example is the launch of the Drug Intervention Programme whereby service user groups had their own stalls around the event. In addition there were also inputs to the event from service users. Offenders were also involved in the design and implementation of a video documenting their experiences of probation to be shown at conferences To give direct input from the ‘consumer’ and to enhance traditional training Information factored into business plans To improve service delivery Feedback monitored across the board Research monitored, collated and factored into annual plans Reviews Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139

What the initiative is:

How it is used:

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How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

and conference type events by giving service users a voice. What is also clearly modelled is inclusiveness and valuing contributions and views relating to service provision. A way to support this is by recognition of these contributions through providing ‘certificates of acknowledgement’. Additional gains for those contributing are assistance in terms of CV development and future employment. There has been built in links to existing programmes such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Service Users also participate in internal conferences and work with the Butler Trust. Subsequent feedback from attendees and participants Imogen Brown, ACO Information Services, West Yorkshire Probation; Jeremy Corbett, Head of Interventions, Dyfed-Powys Probation Area, 01874 614150; North Wales Probation; Rebecca Mandeville-Norden, Senior Research Officer, Devon and Cornwall Probation, 01392 474139

1.3.3 Initiative Why it was developed: The establishment of a Prisoner Service User Group Brought on stream to seek to mirror the developments in the community. It aims to enhance communication over issues in relation to area services on the boundary with the prison and prisoners. The goal is to provide a platform to enhance practice and policy development and to create an environment within which prisoner agendas can be given a voice. A constructive dialogue can then be developed with a view to improving services and offender engagement. The basic structure is in place which has involved a representative group of users engaging with development of this project. External representatives of community based user groups have been admitted to the prison to provide advice and guidance. Within the prison a structure has been established which ensures representation on the group from all of the prison units. Literature to promote this has been produced and is posted on all of the units. The next phase is to develop direct engagement with community based service providers alongside its in-house role with the prison and to identify key stakeholders with a view to creating regular contact and a situation specific dialogue. It should enable interchange around service delivery issues which will contribute to development and improvement. The goal is to develop a series of relationships which are relevant to specific areas of service delivery/need for example Probation, Housing and Substance Misuse. Early meetings of the group are being minuted. A framework for evaluation and monitoring will be developed as the initiative shapes up. North Wales Probation Area

What the initiative is:

How it is used:

How it is monitored: For further contact: 1.3.4 Initiative Why it was developed: information,

Offender involvement in volunteering The North Wales Community Justice Partnership [NWCJP] was created in order to involve a number of agencies interested in recruiting volunteers by joining together to manage the initial recruitment and training process. The Partnership includes Probation, Nacro (The crime reduction charity),Drug Intervention Programmes (DIP), Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Youth Offending Teams (YOT), Victim Support, Relate, Channel (Service User Group), and Women’s Aid & Making Tracks. The aim was to increase community involvement in the sector through volunteering and to create a better pathway for volunteering in terms of people’s selection of agencies. The critical point in terms of links with offenders is that during the course of the past 12 months, the initiative has increasingly been aligned to provide an opportunity for offender service users to become involved in the Community Justice/Social Care sector - initially through volunteering. It should be noted

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What the initiative is:

How it is used: How it is monitored:

For further contact: 1.3.5

information,

that both the core training and subsequent volunteering activity have accredited OCN units attached. The North Wales Community Justice Partnership Volunteers Initiative [which operates across Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy and Denbighshire] is now a mature and well established pathway running 4/5 recruitment and training exercises a year. It provides a clear progression pathway for appropriate offenders, delivering the opportunity for active volunteering in the Community Justice sector. Service user groups are also involved in this and use it as a medium to recruit and engage participants. Around 30% of those completing the training programme have moved beyond volunteering into actual paid employment within the partnership or with other agencies operating in the Criminal Justice/Social Care sector. Others have also used the whole training and volunteering experience as a platform to move into further and higher education associated with training and development in the Criminal Justice/Social Care field. It is used as a progression pathway and a platform for moving on into active engagement in the Community Justice sector. Systems are in place through the Co-ordinator associated with tracking subsequent activity and facilitating transfer across agencies. This role is also linked to the OCN related pathway. David Lloyd

Initiative Why it was developed:

What the initiative is: How it is used:

How it is monitored: For further contact: 1.3.6 Initiative Why it was developed: information,

Offender involvement with local Criminal Justice Boards This centres on the offender interface with local Criminal Justice Board Volunteer Awards which have now been running for two years. The basic framework is associated with a range of traditional areas linked to volunteering contributions associated with Criminal Justice and Victim Issues. Two specific awards were created for ex-offender volunteers – one for under 18s and one for over 18s. Two dedicated award sections within the Criminal Justice Board Volunteer of the Year initiative. To provide tangible recognition within the Criminal Justice and Community Justice sector of the potential contribution of ex-offenders within that community. It provides a platform for positively promoting this potential. It is also a recognised, significant outcome for people who chose to move on to volunteering/working in these sectors. It is not formally monitored. It is, however, an approach which generates regular and positive publicity. North Wales Probation Area

What the initiative is:

Offender involvement in training It was created for potential users as an access route into a training pathway that might otherwise not be available. The training pathway is waged and involves the creation of a CV which provides actual evidence of work. This is not exclusively a project associated with offenders but places a high emphasis on offenders and others who for various reasons may be “excluded” from accessing immediate mainstream employment and learning opportunity in this direction. The l Social Enterprise was scheme was developed. People at Work has been under development since April 2006 and it is a fully fledged Social Enterprise which receives intermediate labour market funding via European Social Fund (ESF) Objective 1. The initiative was born out of an ambition to improve the recruitment of sessional and locum relief staff. Its long term ambition is to establish itself as a functioning business providing recruitment and temping services for agencies operating in the Community Justice and Social Care fields including residential care. The core product is a 10 week

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How it is used:

How it is monitored:

For further contact: 1.3.7

information,

training and work taster programme. This is then followed up by a 10 week work placement within an agency. Beyond that, participants will hopefully be skilled up to access employment. As referenced previously, the longer term ambition is to form this fledging initiative into a job/temping agency. Significant evidence of effectiveness in terms of work outcomes is already developing from its early period of operation. For example 6 of the 8 participants in the first group accessed employment as a result of the initiative. During the course of a recent NOMS visit it was reported that 11 out of 16 participants accessed to work or work placements were ex offenders. This is evident from comments above. Agency and individual referrals are accepted into a recruitment process based on application forms and interviews through which participants are then selected. A strong relationship has developed with this project as a progression point from the Community Justice Volunteers initiative. The monitoring framework is provided by the ESF infra structure. As already referred to, there is significant evidence of early success. In terms of long term development into a job’s agency, it is anticipated that huge potential exists for this service to interface with the needs of local authorities, health and other providers in the future. North Wales Probation Area

Initiative Why it was developed:

Sentence plans in offender’s voice Offenders expressed some concerns that they did not fully understand what was expected of them and this resulted in confusion and some missed appointments A jargon free approach to writing sentence plans using offender’s words and the first person. Offender managers more easily able to explain requirements and expectations of sentence to offenders when they can relate to the language used, e.g. ‘I will come to the probation office at 2.30 each Wednesday to see Jill my probation officer.’ Line managers audit sentence plans at the point of countersignature confusing language/jargon is screened out Teesside Probation

What the initiative is: How it is used:

How it is monitored: For further contact: Back to top information,

2. •

Innovations This section relates to untried initiatives or initiatives which are being piloted which could be adapted for implementation in local areas:

2.1 Innovation Why it was developed: Offender Involvement in Business Development It is a waged Social Enterprise that we have established in association with NACRO and the WCVA (representing the voluntary sector) in North Wales. It is ESF funded. It is about engaging offenders from the outset in a development which is geared towards building a functioning business – basically the foundation for the development of an offender led business cooperative which might ultimately be “owned” by offenders and run as a business which can then create further training and work opportunities for offenders in the future. This is the first phase in the development of a training and work pathway which is primarily running as a training programme at the moment. It will

What the initiative is:

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How it is used:

How it is monitored:

For further contact: 2.2

information,

involve participants in all issues associated with the day to day running and development of a functioning business. In summary we are trying to develop a model which could be replicated elsewhere. It is a training and employment pathway for offenders at the moment. First phase development has already seen two successful outcomes. It also has work experience and work placement opportunities as outputs. All of the basic monitoring is embedded as part of the ESF project. It is attracting significant interest from stakeholders, including local MPs and officials from WAG (Welsh Assembly Government) and NOMS. North Wales Probation

Innovation Why it was developed: What the initiative is: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 2.3 Innovation Why it was developed: What the initiative is:

User involvement in delivery of volunteering and employment agenda Contact Kent Probation for more information Using volunteer mentors to support offenders. Many mentors are themselves ex-offenders Contact Kent Probation for more information Contact Kent Probation for more information Kent Probation Area

How it is used:

How it is monitored: For further contact: 2.4 Innovation Why it was developed: information,

Offender producing service user guides To ensure offenders start to fulfil “representative” roles with reference to issues such as complaints Offender involvement in the production of service user guides – a specific example is the production of a User Guide to Approved Premises by a service user. The User Guide is used as a significant document for residents and prospective residents of the facility. Service Users also contribute to associated developments for example with information leaflets and promotional activity such as contributing to the development of satisfaction questionnaires. To generate ongoing resident user feedback in relation to the product with an eye to its continuing development. North Wales Probation

What the initiative is:

How it is used:

How it is monitored:

Offender participation in design and development of questionnaires To improve the quality of established exit questionnaires for different activities and interventions. To try to develop the existing questionnaires into something meaningful which will have a real impact on design and delivery of services. To link this work to the developmental and performance improvement agenda we allocated an Area Performance Officer with a lead role in terms of the development, use and roll out of the product A range of “discipline” specific questionnaires, to be used on exit and on an ongoing basis. Team managers are required to engage directly with a percentage of service users annually to ensure completion of the questionnaire. Usage and development on a “live” basis in relation to some programme activity is being piloted along with active involvement of a service user in tracking progress and participant views during the course of a programme. Other ongoing enhancements involve a user group representative in direct engagement with a cohort of unpaid work groups. To increase participation and to secure a heightened level of user activity. This is a piloting stage focused on testing different ways of bringing these potentially static processes to life. A dedicated lead role has been given to the Performance Manager,

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For further contact: 2.5

information,

supported by local managers. North Wales Probation

Innovation Why it was developed: What the initiative is:

How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 2.6 Innovation Why it was developed:

Offender involvement in staff appointments To give hostel residents a stake in the appointment of offender managers working in a specific hostel (see below) Part of the Westgate Project: a hostel intervention which caters for young adult offenders who are eligible for HDC (Home Detention Curfew). The project seeks to offer those who would normally be turned down for HDC the opportunity of moving back into the community within a highly supervised environment An offender sits on the appointment panel n/a Gini Whitehead, ACO West Yorkshire Probation

What the initiative is: How it is used:

How it is monitored: For further contact: 2.7 Innovation Why it was developed: What the initiative is: How it is used: information,

Establish service user groups To establish a service user framework which has the capability of contributing to policy and strategy development, with a focus on individual and cross agency agendas and service delivery issues associated with this. The main focus is to develop a user based support service. Inter-agency pooled funding streams are being used to facilitate capacity building of these groups. Properly constituted service user groups. Representation from these groups with regard to consultation over policy and strategy is being embedded into local and pan North Wales inter agency structures. The user groups are starting to develop structures which provide day to day support as an enhancement to agency involvement. Some areas are starting to undertake service quality assessment tasks and are replacing the established notice informing service users of their responsibilities with a statement describing both user and organisational responsibilities. This work effectively is “self-monitoring” in that development tracked on an interactive basis. North Wales Probation

How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

Offender surveys of offices with feedback To gauge offender perspective on quality and layout of offices; to determine different levels of performance in larger areas Offenders undertake service quality assessment tasks An example is “mystery shopper” (an offender not known to the office) visits to check out office facilities, receptions, etc. One pending product of this is the development of a joint organisation and service user statement for reception areas in probation offices. Output based self-monitoring North Wales Probation; Devon and Cornwall Probation

2.8 Innovation Why it was developed: Offenders working in support and provisional roles associated with service provision To develop contributions to induction and familiarisation processes. If we

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What the initiative is:

How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact: 2.9 Innovation Why it was developed: What the initiative is: How it is used: How it is monitored: For further information, contact:

can develop active participation across a range of interventions from offenders who have completed them (“graduates”), this has the potential to stimulate commitment and improve compliance by future users It is very difficult to describe specific and continuing development in relation to this ambition at the moment. Some users have become involved in some pre-programme work. Other associated examples of users becoming involved in peer support type roles in situations such as Approved Premises. This product is in the early stages of development This product is in the early stages of development North Wales Probation

Changing language (ie from offender to user) Please contact North Wales Probation for more information Please contact North Wales Probation for more information Please contact North Wales Probation for more information Please contact North Wales Probation for more information North Wales Probation

Back to top

3. HMP Altcourse Service User Group feedback This is the Service User Group referred to in paragraph 1.3.3. Specialist intervention to obtain offender view of those going into breach The group felt that having a breach team is an important step forward in trying to change offending behaviour. They considered this was particularly important if they had received interventions from staff who were not their offender managers. Offenders believed that if they were considered to be in breach of the requirements of an order/licence but had not re offended there should be an alternative option to sending them back to prison. Their view was that encouraging and guiding a client to participate in community services was more effective than sending them back to prison. It was suggested that a review period would be beneficial before being breached/recalled to see how/what/why wasn’t working – and to see if changes could be implemented which would give the client a second chance to participate in community programmes which would benefit them. The group entirely accepted that any concerns about risk to the public would override other considerations. The group expressed concern that they sometimes had several appointments made for them with various agencies and having to go to so many different places, for something they neither enjoy, nor benefit from could reduce their compliance. One key worker from a specific agency, in consultation with the individual, could put together a programme which the client is more likely to attend, and get something out of. This would then throw more weight behind the ‘shaping service delivery’ section as it would be governed around service user involvement/participation. Consultation of prisoners who have licences revoked whilst in custody Licence revoke/recall is an area which raised great debate. The group felt that not enough prisoner consultation is forthcoming following licence revoke/recall throughout prison sentences. In order to instil motivation throughout a sentence, offenders feel they need something positive to work towards – and regular contact with their Probation Officer or Offender Manager is an important aspect in their rehabilitation. Having a goal to work towards will help to increase participation – a kind of incentive to work towards a release plan. Furthermore, the group felt that consideration should be given to the fact that an offender can change during a sentence, and it should be taken into account any courses and programmes they have completed during their sentence.

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Interviews with sample of offenders who fail to attend at Unpaid Work or programmes to understand better the barriers to attendance The group felt that any unpaid “community service” work could be shaped around client interest – i.e. if some individuals have an interest in painting and decorating they could focus their community work in this area – not only will this help to enhance the attendance record, but will give clients the chance to gain skills in an area they enjoy. With regards to programmes, individuals should be consulted as soon after entry into prison as possible to discuss their sentence plan (i.e. within 6 weeks) – indicating which courses need to be completed. External probation should then know where an individual is up to in the ‘reform process’, in a bid to avoid duplication of courses on release – hence failure to attend community based programmes. Where identified programmes are not available in prison, the group felt it was unfair to be denied release, and consultation should take place between offender and Probation Officer or Offender Manager to give the individual a chance to agree to participate in community programmes. The group felt that intervention in terms of direction and guidance early into a sentence not only helps to instil commitment and motivation, but could be the key to reducing over crowding in prison. Hostel residents involved in decisions about the hostel regime (Resident meetings) The group felt that there should be an opportunity to appeal if there was a specific reason which suggested an offender was likely to fail in a hostel setting. The group also felt that individuals should be given the opportunity of being advised of the reasons why they were being recommended to go to a hostel, and to be given the chance to discuss their feelings/concerns. In terms of OASys it was felt that the sentence plan pre-judges an individual without gaining input from the individual, as the client is not present when the form is completed. Back to top

8.

Other Agencies

This table details other agencies who have been involved in service user engagement to varying degrees, along with contact details of relevant persons. Organisation/Institution Cais – a drug an alcohol intervention company in North Wales Citizen’s Panel Description of involvement We have set up a developing Service User Group in HMP Altcourse. It is a really positive experience with a really impressive group and I think this initiative has real potential to develop.’ ‘The Pembrokeshire Citizens’ Panel was established in 2005 and is a joint initiative between Dyfed-Powys Police, Dyfed-Powys Probation, Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Local Health Board and Pembrokeshire & Derwen NHS Trust. The Panel is a representative group of approx 1,000 people living in the county of Pembrokeshire who have agreed to offer their views and opinions on services delivered by the partners.’ ‘Yorkshire and Humberside Probation was our starting point for Service User Engagement; since then we have developed a working group that aims to produce quality standards on around Service User Engagement (SUE) and have established the Service User (SU) Forum. The Forum is prison focused and is has representatives from male and female open prisons as well as ex-prisoners. Members are currently undertaking a small piece of peer research to consult on three of the pathways. One of our probation areas has agreed to run a number of focus groups with offenders in the Contact Linda Rogers

Zoe Coughlan

Clinks - supporting voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families

Jackie Lowthian

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community and I am currently awaiting an update on how that is going.’ In addition, Clinks has launching a new Task Force which will provide opportunities for offenders, ex-offenders and their families to say how best they can contribute to policies and services that affect them. Rob Allen, Chair of the new Task Force on User Involvement and also Chair of Clinks, said, “Offenders currently have little influence in terms of their care and rehabilitation. Current research suggests the importance of seeing offenders as active participants in their rehabilitation could lead to a reduction in re-offending. I am keen that the Task Force includes a strong focus on how best to engage young offenders where re-conviction rates are particularly high.” Organisations who are already signed up to the Task Force include The Prince's Trust, Action for Prisoner’s Families, The Prison Reform Trust, UNLOCK and Clinks. The Task Force will involve a 12-month programme, which will culminate in making recommendations to policy makers both in and outside Government, as well as criminal justice organisations. It will seek evidence about the importance of service user involvement in criminal justice from a wide variety of sources including offenders and their families. It will also look abroad to see whether international experience has lessons to offer.

Contact: Rob Allen on 07749 059 891 or Clive Martin on 07939 583 667

Community Justice Intervention Wales (CJIW)

National Treatment Agency (NTA) Police UNLOCK - campaigns for better facilities for serving prisoners, and to support ex-offenders in rebuilding their lives Westcountry Training and Consultancy Service Working Links

A registered charity delivering the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, together with a range of educational and recreational programmes, targeted at offenders and people of all ages who are socially excluded throughout Wales. CJIW is also making an increasing contribution to mandatory probation programmes, unpaid work and specified activities as well as leading many YOT preventative initiatives ‘We have worked hard within the NTA to promote user and carer involvement at all stages of the policy, commissioning and delivery levels.’ See Citizen’s Panel ‘UNLOCK works with the Probation Service to help deliver effective resettlement and reintegration.’

Richard Evans

Colin Bradbury

Paul Morris Chris Bath

‘We regularly work with ex-offenders who are our clients on a variety of programmes throughout the South West, South and West Midlands.’ ‘We run welfare to work and other employment programmes on behalf of Jobcentre Plus, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Health and Safety Executive and the Learning and Skills Council, amongst others. In the last six years we

Neil Bate

Colin Davies

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have helped more than 68,000 disadvantaged people into jobs and made a lasting difference in some of Britain’s most deprived communities.’ Prison Service Prisoners have always supported and cared for each other in prison, particularly through a crisis, but it is only in more recent years that they have progressively developed ways of supporting each other in a more structured way, often with the support of statutory or voluntary organisations. Several examples of good practice in engaging offenders in the delivery of services were provided in the NOMS and YJB Approach to Communities and Civil Renewal, published in November 2005. They included: • The ‘Listeners’ peer support scheme, where specially selected and trained prisoners provide confidential listening and support services to fellow prisoners along the lines of the Samaritans. This scheme was first established in one prison - HMP Swansea – in 1991 and there are now 119 such schemes across prisons. St Giles Trust tackling homelessness through training prisoners to assess and support their fellow prisoners with the generic NVQ level 3 in advice and guidance in HMP Wandsworth and prisons in Kent. Citizens Advice Bureaux training prisoners as volunteer advisers to meet the unmet demand for the services of the bureaux.

Peer support such as : • • tutoring of courses alongside prison staff at Blantyre House; former prisoners who were ex drug users providing mentoring support in the community to other offenders who have ongoing abuse problems; - the CLEO project providing peer mentoring for former prisoners in 2 postal districts in Bristol, especially in housing, employment and addiction issues; and, • Prisoners participating in Prison Councils and Race Equality Councils where prisoners have an opportunity to contribute to how a prison is run. “

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Annex B 1. Acknowledgements

NOMS would like to thank the following people for helping shape this document: The Offender Engagement Project Board members: Bruce Cunningham, Wiltshire Probation Spencer Draper, NOMS Steve Turtle, Hampshire Probation The Offender Engagement Reference Group members: Adrian Scott, Home Office Alan Yelling, Dorset Probation Brian Taylor, NOMS Bruce Cunningham, Wiltshire Probation Chris Fry, Wiltshire Probation David Bedlow, Lancashire Probation Denise Meylan, Northamptonshire Probation Donna Fury, Greater Manchester Probation Ged Bates, Home Office Helen Allen, West Mercia Probation Helen Ward, Greater Manchester Probation Imogen Brown, West Yorkshire Probation Janine Rakestrow, Devon and Cornwall Probation Judith Sawbridge, West Midlands Probation Julia Bahaj, Hampshire Probation Marilyn Henry, Wiltshire Probation Mike Ryan, North Yorkshire Probation Rebecca Mandeville-Nordon, Devon-Cornwall Probation Robert Palmer, Suffolk Probation Rob Wakefield, Avon and Somerset Probation Spencer Draper, NOMS Stephen Ray, North Wales Probation Steve Turtle, Hampshire Probation Tina Beckett, Teesside Probation Trevor Worsfold, Leicester Probation Valerie Ainscough, Sussex Probation Wendy Armour, Staffordshire Probation

HMP Altcourse Service User Group Linda Rogers, CAIS, CARAT’s Department, HMP Altcourse Stephen Ray, ACO, North Wales Probation

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Annex B

A. INITIAL SCREENING 1. Title of function, policy or practice (including common practice) Is this a new policy under development or an existing one? A Good Practice Guide for Offender Engagement This is a new policy under development 2. Aims, purpose and outcomes of function, policy or practice What is the function, policy or practice addressing? What operational work or employment/HR activities are covered? What outcomes are expected? To help areas improve offender retention and to prepare for contestability by: 1. Giving examples of good practice in obtaining and using offender feedback 2. Encouraging Probation Areas to develop strategies for obtaining and using such feedback

3. Target groups Who is the policy aimed at? Which specific groups are likely to be affected by its implementation? This could be staff, service users, partners, contractors. For each equality target group, think about possible positive or negative impact, benefits or disadvantages, and if negative impact is this at a high medium or low level. Give reasons for your assessment. This could be existing knowledge or monitoring, national research, through talking to the groups concerned, etc. If there is possible negative impact a full impact assessment is needed. The high, medium or low impact will indicate level of priority to give the full assessment. Please use the table below to do this. This document aims to generate feedback from all service users to positively improve service delivery and in doing so promotes a pro-active approach to ensure as wide a range of views as possible There is therefore no foreseen negative impact of this document Equality target group Positive impact – could benefit Negative impact Reason for assessment - could and explanation of

disadvantage (High, medium, low) Women Men Asian/Asian British people Black/Black British people Chinese people or other groups People of mixed race White people (including Irish people) Travellers or Gypsies Disabled people Lesbians, gay men and bisexual people Transgender people Older people over 60 Young people (17-25) and children Faith groups Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

possible impact

Yes Yes Yes Yes

4.

Further research/questions to answer

As a result of the above, indicate what questions might need to be answered in the full impact assessment and what additional research or evidence might be needed to do this. Probation Areas and ROMs will need to consider ways of demonstrating views of service users have been taken into account in terms of designing delivery and commissioning of services

Initial screening done by: Name/position: Jake McClure, Business and Development Manager, Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit/Claire Wiggins, Head of Intensive Interventions, Interventions and Substance Abuse Unit Date: 28/03/07
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