Probation Circular

THE ROLE AND PURPOSE OF APPROVED PREMISES
PURPOSE
To provide a definition of the role and purpose of Approved Premises which will inform future admissions criteria, referral processes and regime design for Approved Premises. To give early notification of the forthcoming regional needs mapping exercise REFERENCE NO: 37/2005 ISSUE DATE: 20 May 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: May 2009 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards Chairs of Voluntary Management Committees CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: John Scott, Head of Public Protection and Licensed Release Unit ATTACHED: N/A

ACTION
Chief Officers are asked to: • Ensure that the Circular is considered by local Board Members and senior managers • Review existing Admissions Policies in light of the guidance contained in Sections 3 and 4 of the Circular • Consider establishing local protocols setting out the respective responsibilities of referring officers and Approved Premises staff • Review, and where necessary revise, current security and liaison arrangements to ensure the delivery of enhanced supervision as defined in Section 5 of the Circular • Assess the appropriateness of current staffing arrangements for the delivery of enhanced supervision, as part of wider consideration of the implementation of the resources review • Ensure dissemination to, and discussion of the Circular with, sentencers and other local stakeholders, including relevant local inter-agency fora, e.g. LCJBs, CDRPs, MAPPA SMBs, PLCs, Supporting People Commissioning Bodies

SUMMARY
The core purpose of approved premises is the provision of enhanced supervision as a contribution to the management of offenders who pose a significant risk of harm to the public. Admissions criteria and referral processes need to reflect this focus on public protection. The delivery of enhanced supervision encompasses security, staffing arrangements, restrictive measures and rehabilitative components.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
15/2005 – National Standards 2005

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Mike Tennant, Tel: 020 7217 8226 Email: Mike.Tennant2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

1. Introduction As defined in Section 9 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, Approved Premises are primarily intended for: Defendants on bail in criminal proceedings Offenders serving community sentences with a condition of residence Offenders on post-custodial licences with a condition of residence Exceptionally, and with the approval of the Secretary of State, the Chief Officer or someone acting on their behalf, they can also accommodate voluntary residents where it is considered that residence in Approved Premises is necessary: For the protection of the public, and/or To enable the offender to receive supervision or treatment Over recent years there has been, nationally, a marked shift in the profile of the Approved Premises population. Where historically the majority of the resident group comprised defendants on bail, now the largest group consists of offenders on licence, many of whom have been convicted of serious offences and assessed as posing a significant risk to the public. The Approved Premises and Offender Housing Strategy, which received Ministerial approval and was published in the autumn of 2004, endorses this trend and confirms that the resources of the Approved Premises estate are most appropriately targeted at high/very high risk of harm offenders. The new National Standards (PC 15/2005) acknowledge the focus on public protection, affirming that Approved Premises operate: “…with the aim of protecting the public from offenders or bailees posing a high or very high risk of harm” and that admission to Approved Premises: “…will normally be reserved for those offenders or bailees deemed to pose a high or very high risk of harm, based on a full OASys assessment.” In this context it is now possible to frame a definition of Approved Premises that reflects the strategic imperatives driving the development of the estate: “Approved Premises are a criminal justice facility where offenders reside for the purposes of assessment, supervision and management, in the interests of protecting the public, reducing re-offending and promoting rehabilitation”. 2. The functions of Approved Premises The functions of Approved Premises are to: Contribute to the protection of the public from those who pose the most serious risk of harm Contribute to the assessment of offenders using OASys and other approved assessment tools Contribute to the delivery of risk management plans, including those agreed within the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Provide a regime of ‘enhanced supervision’, together with other measures when necessary, in the interests of public protection

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Provide a planned, structured regime of interventions, including one-to-one key working, derived from the offender manager’s sentence/supervision plan and underpinned by pro-social modelling and motivational principles Address residents’ criminogenic needs in order to reduce the likelihood of further serious offending Provide a safe and secure environment for residents and staff Contribute to the enforcement of Court orders and licences including, where appropriate, action to initiate or support recall to prison Deliver or contribute to the delivery of effective treatment programmes, including relapse prevention work Coordinate delivery of a range of services (to include health, education, life skills, employment and resettlement services) in the interests of effective rehabilitation as determined by the offender manager’s sentence/supervision plan Undertake bail assessments, where the defendant poses a significant risk of harm to others, and facilitate other specialist assessments in order to enable firm sentencing proposals to be offered to the Courts Promote safe and timely move-on to suitable next-phase accommodation provision Provide facilities and regimes that are accessible to all relevant offender groups and cater for the diverse needs of all residents

3. Admissions criteria In order to achieve value for money and the most effective targeting of resources, it is critical that admissions criteria should reflect the defined role and purpose of Approved Premises. The general principle that will apply to admissions to Approved Premises is that the offender/defendant must require an enhanced level of supervision, management and oversight. It must be clear what the Approved Premises is expected to deliver to protect the public and promote successful rehabilitation. The need for accommodation alone will not suffice. The following criteria should govern the admission of offenders subject to community orders or licences, and voluntary cases including those referred through the National Exchange Scheme: a) Offenders assessed as high or very high risk of harm where: a period of residence in Approved Premises has been identified in the supervision/sentence plan as a method of delivering specific interventions a period of residence in Approved Premises has been identified in the risk management plan as contributing to the delivery of objectives devised to address specific risks the placement is required to take into account a victim’s wishes and would enhance victim protection the facilities of a residential regime and an enhanced level of supervision are essential for the co-ordination of services (e.g. mental health services) in support of effective resettlement the placement is required as a part of a plan to resettle an offender in a new area in line with regional or national arrangements the offender is not subject to statutory supervision but the placement is deemed necessary by the national or local MAPPP in the interests of public protection (or in rare cases to protect the offender), has been approved by the relevant senior probation manager in the area operating the Approved Premises and the offender has agreed to comply voluntarily with the Approved Premises rules PC37/2005 – The Role and Purpose of Approved Premises 3

an emergency placement is required, usually brokered through regional protocols or NPD agreement b) Offenders assessed as medium risk of harm where: there is evidence to justify admission on the grounds that planned intensive interventions can only be delivered in the context of a residential regime providing enhanced levels of supervision (for example, in the case of some PPOs and other ‘premium service’ offenders), and the placement will not jeopardise the admission of a high/very high risk of harm offender there is evidence of the potential for escalating risk and intensive assessment/enhanced supervision are deemed necessary to deliver the risk management plan For bail referrals the following admissions criteria will apply: Convicted offenders assessed as high or very high risk of harm, where the placement is necessary either for bail assessment purposes or in the interests of public protection to enable suitable alternative provision to be arranged; such placements will ordinarily be for a period of not more than six weeks, or two adjournments, subject to completion of the bail assessment period or the Court accepting a new, verified address Unconvicted defendants assessed as medium, high or very high risk of harm where the placement is necessary for public protection reasons, or to facilitate specific assessments that can only be undertaken in the context of a residential regime providing enhanced levels of supervision; such placements will be reviewed after six weeks, or two adjournments, to determine whether the necessary assessments have been completed or the Court has accepted a new, verified address for the remainder of the bail period For women offenders, additional considerations may need to apply. Work will be undertaken on this issue as part of the project to develop a single sex estate and further guidance will be made available in due course.

4. Responsibilities of referring officers For sentenced offenders the offender manager should, prior to admission, provide the Approved Premises with: A full OASys risk assessment, augmented by other specialist assessments where available, indicating the nature and level of the risks posed by the offender A supervision plan, outlining the purpose of the placement, the likely length of stay, the intended move-on plan, and the role that Approved Premises staff will play in delivering the objectives of supervision A risk management plan, describing the measures that will be deployed to manage the assessed risk of harm, including explicit reference to the role of Approved Premises staff and interventions in delivering the plan and any additional resources that may be required to manage the risk Any other relevant information (e.g. about risk of self-harm) that may be necessary to enable Approved Premises staff to support, supervise and manage the resident For defendants on bail the referring officer should, prior to admission, provide the Approved Premises with: A full OASys risk assessment if available, and as a minimum an OASys risk of harm screening assessment An indication from the Court of the purpose of the placement, the likely length of stay, the intended move-on plan, and the assessments/interventions that Approved Premises staff are expected to undertake during the bail period Any other relevant information (e.g. about risk of self-harm) that may be necessary to enable Approved Premises staff to support, supervise and manage the resident

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5. Enhanced supervision Approved Premises provide enhanced supervision in the interests of public protection. To assist Courts, the Parole Board, Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels and referring staff to make appropriate referrals, there should be a consistent, measurable definition of what constitutes enhanced supervision. As a minimum, enhanced supervision must include: a) Public protection measures Rapid response arrangements with the police that can be activated on a case by case basis where appropriate Surveillance measures as required by a multi-agency risk management plan or in order to enforce the conditions of an order or licence Arrangements to facilitate regular liaison and intelligence sharing between probation, police and social services departments, and with other partner agencies (e.g. health, education, employment services) as required The capacity to monitor residents suspected of misusing alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances A minimum level of internal and external security, to include internal CCTV coverage, alarmed exits during standard curfew hours, restricted window openings and facilities for electronic monitoring Robust community liaison arrangements to promote dialogue and increase public confidence in the role and work of Approved Premises b) Staff arrangements A minimum of two members of staff on duty at all times At least one member of staff on waking night duty with a responsibility to conduct checks of the building and residents during the hours of curfew; the preferred model is two waking night staff, which all Areas should be working to implement by April 2006 subject to local negotiation or NNC agreement Staff competent in the delivery of an enhanced regime, including the use of pro-social modelling, motivational interviewing techniques, one-to-one key working and other interventions as appropriate Staff trained to be able to reinforce the progress made on accredited programmes Staff equipped to provide assessment and progress reports to Courts, MAPP Panels and offender managers, supported by arrangements that facilitates timely delivery of those reports Staff competent to contribute to initial and updated risk management plans, supported by procedures to ensure that all relevant information is shared with offender managers Staff trained in basic First Aid procedures Staff trained in suicide/self-harm prevention in order to provide at least minimum levels of monitoring Staff competent to deliver services to the quality required by any nationally approved performance standards framework The capacity to support appropriate staff attendance at MAPPA Level 3 and Level 2 meetings On site, or on call, management cover 24 hours a day 365 days a year

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c) Punitive and restrictive requirements A standard curfew from 11pm to 6am, which can be extended by the Parole Board, the Courts or (other than for bailees) the Approved Premises manager acting in accordance with local Probation Board policy The ability to supervise extended curfews, enforced where appropriate by electronic monitoring, in the interests of public protection and effective risk management The ability to issue formal warnings and to initiate immediate enforcement action, including ‘fast-track’ arrangements, in the event of a failure to comply with the conditions of a licence or order Daily monitoring and recording of incoming mail if required by the risk management plan d) Supportive and rehabilitative requirements Delivery of a core regime that includes skills learning and preparation for move-on Delivery of formal, timetabled individual and/or group-work to meet the aims and objectives of supervision/risk management plans (counted as ‘required contact’ for National Standards purposes) Access to accredited programmes as required and a motivational regime that will support attendance The provision of a regime that meets the cultural, faith, dietary and health needs of a diverse resident population Delivery of any required performance standards for Approved Premises Routine observation and daily assessments of patterns of behaviour, and reliable procedures for those assessments to be recorded Safe systems for issuing essential medication and making medical appointments as required Access to suitable next-phase accommodation options in order to promote the safe and effective resettlement of residents Many Approved Premises already meet most of these requirements; a small number meet them all. Where they are not met Regions/Areas should be able to demonstrate that they have plans in place to work towards satisfying in full the requirements of enhanced supervision.

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