Probation Circular

HM COURT SERVICE EFFECTIVE PRACTICE GUIDE ON ENFORCING COMMUNITY PENALTIES
PURPOSE
To inform Chief Officers of the "Business Information" circular issued by the Her Majesty’s Courts Service on 16 May 2005 which provided courts with a good practice guide on the enforcement of community penalties. REFERENCE NO: 38/2005 ISSUE DATE: 20 May 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: May 2010 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Roger McGarva, Head of Regions and Performance Management ATTACHED: Annex A: HM Court Service Effective Practice Guide – Breaches of Community Penalties Annex B: DCA / NPS Joint Evaluation of Fast-Track Warrant Schemes

ACTION
Chief Officers should work with other members of the Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJB) to improve "end-to-end” enforcement processes and in particular to introduce arrangements to fast-track breach procedures for high risk offenders on community penalties.

SUMMARY
The National Criminal Justice Board has established an Enforcement Delivery Board chaired by the Head of the Court Service. Roger Hill, Director of Probation is the SRO for improving the enforcement of community penalties. The attached guide sets out a number of initiatives that have emerged from joint work involving the DCA, NPD and the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) over the last year. It is vital that Chief Officers work in their LCJBs to ensure that these are fully implemented at an area level so that performance improves. These initiatives include: fast track processes for high risk offenders; expedited arrangements to remove the need to use the summons process; the provision of information to HM Courts Service to facilitate the arrest of offenders on warrants; arrangements to reduce the backlog of warrants and the new powers available under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act which allow community penalties to be enforced in whichever area the offender lives. A new "end-to-end" enforcement target has been agreed by ministers and LCJBs are responsible for its delivery. A further Probation Circular will be issued shortly containing a "technical note" explaining how the target will be measured. The PMDU will be closely monitoring performance on this target.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC43/2004: Managing Compliance & Enforcement of Community Penalties

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Roger.McGarva2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk, (tel: 020 7217 8244) Ged.Bates2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk (tel: 0121 248 6577)

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

BACKGROUND
The attached Effective Practice Guide (Annex A) for magistrates’ court staff aims to provide a collaborative and coherent view of ways to improve the enforcement of community penalties. The document is part of a series of Effective Practice Guides produced by the HMCS Targeted Interventions Project team. The recommendations in the guide are based on the observations of the Targeted Interventions Project Team, feedback from HMCS area practitioners, current effective enforcement policy and the evaluation of the fast track warrant schemes for breaches of community orders. (Also attached at Annex B) When a community penalty is breached, it is critical that the offender is dealt with swiftly and effectively to ensure that justice is upheld and public confidence maintained. This is particularly important when offenders present a high level of risk. Along with the increasing focus on enforcement of financial penalties, there is also strong political pressure to improve the enforcement of community penalty breaches. The documents attached at Annex A and Annex B provide guidelines to help enforcement teams and their partner agencies to develop a practical and efficient process for successfully enforcing breaches of community penalties. Following Ministerial scrutiny, new national end-to-end targets for community penalties have been introduced for 2005/6. The guide provides further information on the new targets, including guidelines to help Areas meet the required standards. The guide has been reviewed and agreed by NPD, the Youth Justice Board and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

FAST TRACK BREACH PROCEDURES FOR HIGH RISK OFFENDERS
Staffordshire and Cambridgeshire Probation Areas, working in partnership with their local courts, have now completed a pilot scheme for the fast-tracking of breach processes for high risk offenders subject to community penalties. A full evaluation report of this pilot is attached at Annex B. In essence, the procedures involved the offender manager identifying high risk offenders subject to community penalties at the point of the second unacceptable failure. Processes to investigate the failure were then fast-tracked whilst at the same time the case was listed for breach to be progressed through a warrant application. The breach hearing was scheduled for one week after the date of the second unacceptable failure. In Cambridgeshire, offenders were advised that a warrant would be applied for and a high proportion attended court removing the need for the warrant application to proceed. In Staffordshire offenders in breach were not advised of the warrant application date. Please note that the evaluation found the Cambridgeshire approach to be preferred. In those cases where warrants had to be issued, there was a high level of co-operation between the Probation Service, the Courts and any other agencies involved in the enforcement process. Every effort was made to execute the warrants quickly, with much success, as can be seen from the evaluation report at Annex B. The scheme only focussed on the small proportion of offenders on community penalties deemed to be high risk. A fuller definition of those to be included is contained in both the Effective Practice Guide and the Joint Evaluation Report. Essentially however any offenders subject to MAPPA (high risk of harm) or defined as PPOs (prolific offenders) were automatically included. It will be noted however that the Effective Practice Guide clearly places the decision, whether to fast-track or not, with the offender manager. The detailed procedures applied in the fast-track process are also itemised within both annex documents. All areas should now instigate discussions with local courts and through the wider LCJB, to reach agreement on the best local arrangements to be applied in the light of the good practice guidance and the positive evaluation of the fast-track warrants process. The implementation of such arrangements will assist in achieving the new end-to-end enforcement target but more importantly will help to protect the public and reduce offending by ensuring that any high risk offenders in breach of community penalties are brought before the court as quickly as possible.

PC38/2005 – HM Court Service Effective Practice Guide on Enforcing Community Penalties

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Her Majesty’s Court Service
Effective Practice Guide – Breaches of Community Penalties May 2005

Her Majesty’s Court Service
Effective Practice Guide – Breaches of Community Penalties April 2005

Prepared by:

Targeted Interventions Project Version: 1.5

Her Majesty’s Court Service 20/05/2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction 1.1 This is a practical guide… 1.2 Who is the audience? 1.3 What is the purpose of this guide? 1.4 What questions might you ask? 1.5 Who can give me further information? 1-1 1-1 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-3

2.

Key features of community penalty breach enforcement 2-1 2.1 What is a community penalty? 2-1 2.2 When does a breach of a community penalty occur? 2-2 2.3 Why is enforcement of community penalties important? 2-3 2.4 Is enforcing a community penalty breach more important than a fine or confiscation order? 2-5 2.5 What are the key principles for effectively enforcing community penalty breaches? 2-5 Community penalty breach enforcement processes 3-1 3.1 How should breaches of community penalties be enforced? 3-1 3.2 What is the standard process for Community Penalty Breaches? 3-3 3.3 What is the Fast Track process for breaches of community penalties? 3-9 Make it happen 4-1 4.1 How to establish a baseline 4-1 4.2 How to establish a joint local protocol 4-2 4.3 How to establish Enforcement processes 4-3 4.4 How to establish Regular monitoring 4-8 4.5 Are designated resources required? 4-9 4.6 What about the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act? 4-10 Building capability 5.1 What skills and training are required? 5.2 How to establish strong links with offender managers? Managing delivery 6.1 What governance structures should be in place? 6.2 How will success be measured? 6.3 How should this be communicated? 5-1 5-1 5-1 6-1 6-1 6-1 6-2

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TABLE OF CONTENTS…

Appendices APPENDIX A: Joint National protocol between DCA and NPS AP A-1

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1.

INTRODUCTION

This document is part of a series of Effective Practice Guides produced by the Targeted Interventions Project (TIP) team of Her Majesty’s Court Service. The Effective Practice Guide series currently consists of: • The use of Certificated Bailiffs; • Civilian Enforcement Officers; • Bench Engagement; • Fines Clinics; • Transfer of Fines Orders; • Conducting a Blitz on Outstanding Warrants; • Performance Information using the Debt Analysis Return; • Proactive Telephone Enforcement; and • Breaches of Community Penalties. 1.1 THIS IS A PRACTICAL GUIDE…

… describing effective practice for enforcing breaches of community penalties. The recommendations of effective practice described in this guide are based on the observations of the Targeted Interventions Project Team, feedback from Area practitioners, current effective enforcement policy, and the evaluation of the Fast Track Warrant Scheme pilots1. While the Targeted Interventions Project Team within Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) has led the development of this guide, the guide has been reviewed and agreed by: • National Probation Service (NPS); • Youth Justice Board (YJB); • Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO); and • Community Penalty Enforcement Group (CPEG). As such, this guide aims to provide a collaborative and coherent view of ways to improve the successful enforcement of breaches of community penalties.

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Further detail can be found in Sections 3.1 and 3.3. Additional information can be found in the Joint Evaluation of Fast Track Warrant Schemes for breaches of Community Orders in Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire September 2004 – February 2005.

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1. Introduction. . .
1.2 WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?

This guide is designed for: • Enforcement managers; • Enforcement champions; • Accountable Managers (under HMCS); • Senior Enforcement Managers (under HMCS); • Court Enforcement Officers; • Court Administration Managers (Pre and Post Court); • Legal Advisors; • Offender managers; and • YOT members. 1.3 WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE?

The purpose of this guide is to provide effective practice advice on enforcing breaches of community penalties. When community penalties are breached, it is critical that the offender is dealt with swiftly and effectively to ensure that justice is upheld and public confidence maintained. Along with the increasing focus on enforcement of financial penalties, there is a need to improve the enforcement of community penalty breaches. This effective practice guide provides guidelines to help enforcement teams and their partner agencies develop a practical and efficient process for successfully enforcing breaches of community penalties. This effective practice guide has been designed for Magistrates’ Court purposes. Whilst any matters originating from the Crown Court should be dealt with in a similar manner, this guide does not explicitly consider Crown Court orders. 1.4 WHAT QUESTIONS MIGHT YOU ASK?

There is always a danger when reading an effective practice guide such as this that one assumes that all that is necessary has been done and that nothing further can be added from a document such as this. In what follows, we would ask you to consider the following questions: • Are you confident that you have implemented all of the actions in this guide effectively? • What level of confidence do you have that all the key parties are aware of the actions that they have to take? • Are the actions in place across the whole region and all parts of the process? • Is there a need for a refresh or a reminder? • What can be learnt from others? The checklist at Appendix E may assist you when considering these questions. 1-2
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1. Introduction. . .
1.5 WHO CAN GIVE ME FURTHER INFORMATION?

For further information regarding the contents of the document please contact Jan Verman at West Midlands Area (jan.verman@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk). For more information on the Fast Track process specifically, please contact Derek Shaw (derek.shaw@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk), Faye Beall (faye.beall@hmcourtsservice.gsi.gov.uk), or Sasha Burton (sasha.burton@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk). This symbol is used throughout the guide to indicate topics where further information is available. For this information please contact Joyce Stewart at Joyce.Stewart@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk.

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2. 2.1

KEY FEATURES OF COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACH ENFORCEMENT WHAT IS A COMMUNITY PENALTY?

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA), a Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court may impose a Community Order on offenders aged 18 or over. A Community Order is usually imposed by the bench when the seriousness of the offence is such that a community penalty is warranted, but where a fine is not considered a suitable punishment. The Community Order is a generic penalty that may contain up to twelve different ‘Requirements’, although one or two will often be sufficient as the overall sentence must be proportionate to the offending. These Requirements align with the range of community penalties available to courts prior to the introduction of the CJA. Courts are legally required to have regard to sentencing guidelines when imposing all sentences. The Sentencing Guidelines Council’s guidelines on the community order sets out a framework with three sentencing ranges: low, medium and high, and gives examples of possible Requirements for each. For offences committed on or after 4 April 2005, only Community Orders will be imposed, however any community penalties imposed prior to 4 April 2005 and any offences committed prior to 4 April 2005 but sentenced after 4 April 2005 will be subject to the measures pre-CJA. The following are the twelve Requirements available to the court: • Unpaid work Requirement – between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work; • Activity Requirement – activities may consist of, or include, activities whose purpose is that of reparation, e.g. contact between offenders and people affected by their offences; • Programme Requirement – offender must participate in an accredited offending behaviour programme for a specified number of days; • Prohibited activity Requirement – offender must refrain from participating in activities specified in the order for a set period of time; • Curfew Requirement – offender must remain, for set periods of time, at a specified place named in the order; • Exclusion Requirement – offender is prohibited from entering a specified place for a set period of time; • Residence Requirement – offender must reside at a specified place for a set period of time; • Mental health treatment Requirement – offender must submit to medical treatment with a view to the improvement of the offender’s mental condition; • Drug rehabilitation Requirement – offender must submit to treatment with a view to the reduction or elimination of the offender’s dependency on or propensity to misuse drugs and must provide samples for drug testing; • Alcohol treatment Requirement - offender must submit to treatment with a view to the reduction or elimination of the offender’s dependency on alcohol;

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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
• Supervision Requirement – offender must attend appointments with the responsible officer at set times and places; and • Attendance centre Requirement (where offender is aged under 25) – offender must attend at a specified attendance centre for a set number of hours. The following are sentences that may be imposed on youths: • Intensive Control and Change Programme (ICCP) – an alternative to short custodial sentences for young offenders, designed to break the cycle of reoffending. Offenders can only be sentenced to ICCP now if their offence was prior to 4 April 2005 or they are 16-17 years old; • Attendance Centres – junior attendance centres are currently open on Saturdays and receive low-level offenders aged 10-17 years old who have been sentenced to attendance centre orders or an attendance requirement of a referral order or ISSO. The attendance centre provides a structured environment for offenders to address their offending behaviour in a group situation while imposing a restriction on leisure time at weekends; • Intensive Supervision and Surveillance programme (ISSP) – a rigorous, noncustodial intervention available to target the most prolific and serious young offenders as an alternative to custody; and • Action Plan Order – provision of a short, intensive programme of communitybased intervention combining punishment, reparation and rehabilitation. Further information on community sentences can be found at www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk and www.youth-justice-board.gov.uk/YouthJusticeBoard/Sentencing/. Further information on the Criminal Justice Act 2003 can be found at http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/20030044.htm 2.2 WHEN DOES A BREACH OF A COMMUNITY PENALTY OCCUR?

Any failures to comply with the conditions of a community penalty will be investigated by the offender manager. Normally a formal and final warning will be issued on the first unacceptable failure and breach proceedings will be instigated if there is a second unacceptable failure. Under Schedule 8, Part 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, it is now a statutory duty for the "responsible officer", to instigate breach proceedings if there is a second unacceptable failure within twelve months. For Youths, breach proceedings will begin after the third unacceptable failure to comply with the community penalty2. Where an offender is electronically monitored, the contractor responsible for the tag will be providing the Probation Service with any information of non-compliance. When the

The term ‘offender manager’ is used as a generic term throughout the EPG. Where Youths are involved, the offender manager should be the Youth Offender Team Worker. Where a curfew or exclusion order with electronic monitoring is the only Requirement the responsible officer is a designated employee of the contractor monitoring the offender.

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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
required ‘level’ of breach has occurred3, a full report is sent through to Probation who will then initiate breach proceedings. When a curfew or exclusion order with electronic monitoring is the only Requirement of the Community Order (defined as a standalone electronic monitoring case), the electronic monitoring contractor is responsible for initiating breach proceedings. Breach proceedings will be initiated by the formal laying of information before the court and in most instances this will mean an application for a summons. However in certain instances the offender manager will wish to apply for a warrant: • If the offender's whereabouts are unknown, so the summons cannot be served; • If the offender is considered to present a high risk of harm or of re-offending and needs therefore to be returned to court very quickly; or • If the offender has failed to answer the summons already issued. 2.3 2.3.1 WHY IS ENFORCEMENT OF COMMUNITY PENALTIES IMPORTANT? Current community penalty breach enforcement performance is poor

Under the national standard of 75% of Community Penalty Breach Warrants (CPBWs) being executed within 28 calendar days, performance for the financial year April 2003 – March 2004 was 37% overall. This ranged between 15% and 71% in individual areas. As a result of this, following the Prime Minister’s Criminal Justice System (CJS) Stocktake in May 2004, an action point on community penalties asked for: “Proposals for significantly improving the enforcement of warrants and community sentences, including, a) stronger cross-agency performance management, and b) ideas for fast-track administrative enforcement for breach by the Probation Service which minimised the need for involving the courts.” There is a clear drive towards improving community penalty breach performance that will ensure: • Offenders are aware of the seriousness of their crime, and their responsibility to complete any penalty given; and • Public confidence in the CJS is enhanced. 2.3.2 New end-to-end targets established to improve performance

A new end-to-end target has been introduced, as at 1 April 2005, to improve performance relative to the above two points. The new targets for enforcement of community penalty breaches are:

Breach of an order or requirement which is being electronically monitored will tend to happen through a build up of time. An offender will have their first warning after two hours have been breached, and full proceedings will occur after four hours. Breach can be instigated immediately in other circumstances, e.g. removing, deliberately tampering with, or damaging the tag or monitoring equipment.

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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
• Community Penalty Breach Proceedings should take an average of 35 working days from second unacceptable failure to comply to resolution of the case; and • 50% of all breach proceedings to be resolved within 25 working days of the second failure to comply. Performance will begin to be measured on these targets from 1 October 2005. The targets will be owned by Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs). Currently these targets only relate to adult cases. Discussions are ongoing with the YJB and the involvement of youths is yet to be fully defined. Further information on the new end-to-end target can be found in the Business Information circular to Regional and Area Directors4 and the soon to be published HMCSI report. In addition, Magistrates’ Courts will retain their existing key performance indicator: • Execute 75% of CPBWs within 20 working days for adults (10 working days for youths). Due to current performance, each Area has been given a banded target for CPBW execution. These have been communicated to each Area in previous correspondence4. Probation will continue to have the target to instigate breach proceedings (in accordance with National Standards) within 10 working days in 90% of cases. Probation also has to monitor the level of compliance with community orders. For 2005-06, 85% of all community penalties should be complied with. A compliant case is one in which there has been no second unacceptable failure to comply with an order on the part of the offender. The measure includes community orders that the court has allowed to continue following breach action by the Probation Service. For standalone electronic monitoring cases, contractors have to apply to the court within 3 working days from the time the requirement for enforcement action has been confirmed. 2.3.3 Definitions for targets

To ensure accuracy and consistency of performance measurement across all areas of England and Wales, the following definitions are to apply to the above targets and key performance indicator. They are used throughout this document. Resolution/resolved • A substantive judicial decision is made in court concerning all matters (excluding adjournments); or • The case is withdrawn (see following definition).

See BI/76/03/05, Community Penalty Breach Warrant and Confiscation Enforcement Targets and Measures for 2005/6.

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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
Withdrawn • The court approves an application from the Probation Service to withdraw the case – for example, because the offender has died, has been deported or has been sent to a mental institution for a period of 12 months or more. Executed • For no-bail warrants, the warrant is executed if the offender is arrested and brought to court or is put in custody as a result of awareness of the warrant. For bail warrants, the warrant is executed if the offender has been arrested and notified or informed of the date they are due to attend court. Unacceptable failure to comply • This defines the beginning of breach proceedings, and can consist of unacceptable absences and unacceptable behaviour while on community penalty. For adults, breach proceedings generally begin after two unacceptable failures to comply, and for youths after three. However, this could occur sooner, e.g., for violent behaviour while serving a community sentence. Working days • Monday – Friday inclusive, excluding bank holidays, for all 52 weeks of the year. 2.4 IS ENFORCING A COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACH MORE IMPORTANT THAN A FINE OR CONFISCATION ORDER?

These new targets and key performance indicators for community penalty breaches (and any execution of warrants required) follow the recent higher level of scrutiny regarding fines and their collection. It is expected that an increase in focus on breaches of community penalties should NOT have a detrimental impact on other enforcement work, such as fines initiatives. Both financial impositions and community sentences must be used and maintained as credible forms of sentence on offenders. 2.5 WHAT ARE THE KEY PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVELY ENFORCING COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACHES?

There are four key principles to effective enforcement of breaches of community penalties. When designing processes for effective enforcement, all four principles should be considered and adhered to appropriately by all agencies involved. 2.5.1 Time

Processes that speed up dealing with breaches of community penalties will focus minds and actions and may reduce the risk of harm and re-offending. Actions must be taken to resolve or avoid delays and to progress the case as quickly as possible. Improving the speed with which cases move through the process not only directly reduces the time it takes for a case to be resolved, but also provides for the availability of more accurate information in later stages.

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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
The initial breach of the community sentence must be quickly identified, thereby allowing proceedings to be initiated rapidly. Key areas within the process where local time targets should be established are: • Notification of offender; • Listing of case hearing (see Section 4.3.2 for more information on weekly court hearings); • Preparation of court papers; • Signing of warrants (after direct application); • Court administration of warrant; and • Execution of warrant. These local time targets should be outlined in local protocols, as discussed in detail in Section 4.2, which should also define each stage in the process precisely (i.e. start and end points), as well as confirming which agencies are responsible at each stage. 2.5.2 Prioritisation

Areas should look to correctly prioritise warrants that are issued. CPBWs should not be ignored or put to the bottom of the pile compared to fines warrants (despite the differences in volume and outcome, i.e., no monies are collected through the execution of a CPBW). For each community sentence that is to undergo breach proceedings, the case should be considered for either the Fast Track or the Standard process model for enforcement. Further detail on the two processes is provided in Section 3.1. Correct prioritisation of warrants will ensure that resources are used in the most efficient way. For example, high risk and prolific and other priority offenders should be placed on the Fast Track system and dealt with rapidly. 2.5.3 Information

Good quality information is critical throughout the process, both in a preventative manner, such as ensuring notifications reach the intended recipient, and for any enforcement action required during the later stages of the process. The more up to date the information, the more likely the case will be resolved in the required timeframes. Key items of information that should be held on the offender, and be updated upon receipt of new intelligence include: • Name; • Date of birth; • Address; • Telephone/mobile number; • National Insurance Number; and • Risk assessment. 2-6
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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
Several initiatives have taken place to improve the type and quality of information available to Areas. A variety of sources now available include PNC database access, faster DWP checks5 and Equifax credit referencing data. These should be used as appropriate throughout the community penalty enforcement process. Areas may also have access to more detailed, local and ‘on the ground’ knowledge on their defendants. This may be through local contacts with the Police, Probation, YOTs, Housing Associations or Local Councils. Enforcement teams should continue to use these sources of knowledge, and should take further action to either ‘formalise’ information sharing practices with CJS partners or establish new links. Sharing and maintenance of information should continue throughout the process – from the point when Probation or YOTs lay the information for the court, through the hearing, to the execution of the warrant. If new information comes to light, to any person involved in the process, this should be promptly communicated to the other agencies. 2.5.4 A. Relationships WITH OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AGENCIES

Community penalty breaches cannot be dealt with effectively by any organisation in isolation. All criminal justice partners must work together and support the overall effort. Existing good practice has demonstrated that the importance of good, formalised relationships with other relevant agencies cannot be underestimated. A solid relationship between the court, enforcement teams, Probation/ YOTs/ Police and electronic monitoring contractors is vital to improving community penalty breach enforcement. Offender managers tend to have closer contact with offenders than the court and may be more aware of particular circumstances or situations that are relevant and helpful. Offender managers are a valuable source of information to the court and enforcement teams at all stages of the breach proceedings, and should always be kept well-informed of any actions or developments in the case, e.g. upon the arrest of an offender. Conversely, they should also provide the courts and enforcement teams with any updated information on an offender that they receive (e.g. change of address after the initial listing). This support should benefit offender managers in the long run, as improved information on their part should lead to improved community penalty breach enforcement performance (including warrant execution), which is likely to act as a deterrent to further breaches in some cases. All parties are encouraged to provide as much information as possible in order to facilitate enforcement, even if it is ‘unofficial intelligence’ such as known pubs where the offender frequently drinks. When requesting information from other agencies, it should be noted that the aim is to share information that will aid the tracing of the offender, resulting in case resolution. When developing a model for improved enforcement of community penalty breaches it will be beneficial if all agencies can be involved in the design of the process. This will ensure buy-in and that all will work towards its success. It is suggested that the court should liaise with the following as a minimum:

The HMCS Enforcement Programme is working on priority access by Magistrates’ Courts to the DWP Customer Information System (CIS).

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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
• Local Probation Service; • Local YOT; • Police; • Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB); • Approved Enforcement Agents (AEAs) (where used); • Electronic monitoring contractors; and • Prison Service. Local area relationships should be formed in the most appropriate manner. For example, it may be helpful for single points of contact to be made between the areas, e.g. one offender manager to always deal with one enforcement team leader and one CEO manager. Clear communication between the parties will avoid confusion and any duplication of efforts. When liaising with other CJS agencies, the following issues should be considered:

Targets

All criminal justice organisations are subject to a wide range of targets • Targets should aim to minimise impact on other LCJB targets; • All partners need to agree to targets set; and • The contribution of other agencies in meeting targets should be recognised and accepted.

Priority

Not all criminal justice partners may have the same level of focus on community penalty breach enforcement at this current time. Any communication from organisations at a national level should be cascaded to local offices wherever possible.

Costs

No additional funding is being provided by HMCS to support the community penalty breach enforcement process. Courts (and other agencies) need to consider appropriate redistribution of resources in light of new initiatives and enforcement development. Costs of operation will vary between Areas due to local circumstances and process (e.g. use of AEAs rather than CEOs).

Responsibilities Whilst this effective practice guide aims to help develop an end-to-end process, all criminal justice partners involved will have clearly allocated responsibilities. However, because of the end-to-end nature of the targets, the meeting of responsibilities by an agency partner must not lead to them being excluded from the remainder of the process. The process should not be linear and one-way, instead all agencies should feed in at all stages along the process. 2-8
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2. Key features of community penalty breach enforcement. . .
B. WITH THE OFFENDER

Once breach proceedings have been instigated against the offender, the preferred result for all concerned (including the offender) is that the matter is dealt with as soon as possible. In the majority of cases it is desirable that the breach proceedings can be resolved without the need for a warrant or arrest6. If direct contact is made with the offender (which can often happen with offender managers despite the breach) it is much more likely that breach proceedings will be quickly resolved7. Any direct contact may be a good opportunity to convince the offender to voluntarily surrender or allow new information to be obtained, e.g., have the offender’s circumstances changed dramatically or does the offender have new contact/address details? It is critical, however, that if a warrant exists and is in the hands of the court’s execution team that other agencies, that are aware of the warrant, must inform the execution team of any contact they have with the offender. Failure to do this will increase the chances of an unnecessary arrest being made, e.g., if the offender manager has persuaded the offender to voluntarily surrender to court. Best practice from YOTs has indicated that most breach proceedings (on a summons) are successfully managed with contact maintained with the young person from the time breach was instigated until the hearing. For example, where a warrant has been issued YOTs work with the young people to voluntarily surrender to the appropriate agency, which can happen at a YOT office if carefully organised. A proactive response from the YOT to contact young people is extremely effective. As much effort as possible should be put into getting the offender to attend the first court date, the effort required to secure this attendance should be viewed as a worthwhile investment for avoiding later problems.

Circumstances for breach proceedings will be varied. It may be appropriate to apply for an emergency listing for an application of a warrant. Intelligence from the family or friends of offenders received by the offender manager is also of importance. 2-9
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3. 3.1

COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACH ENFORCEMENT PROCESSES HOW SHOULD BREACHES OF COMMUNITY PENALTIES BE ENFORCED?

There are two processes that can be used to enforce Community Penalty Breaches: • Standard process; and • Fast Track process. Details of both these processes are discussed in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 respectively. 3.1.1 When should the Fast Track or Standard process be used?

Cases must be assessed by the offender manager as to their suitability for fast tracking. This should be done against the Probation Service’s existing OASys8 assessment and the kind of community sentence that the offender has been given. OASys assesses how likely an offender is to re-offend and the likely seriousness of any offence they might commit. Scores are very high, high, medium and low risk against two criteria: risk of re-conviction and risk of harm. This assessment should be done by the offender manager and be based upon the most up-to-date information as possible. For Youths, local discussions between courts and YOTS will need to establish guidelines on the use of the Fast Track process. Guidelines should clarify how the process is used and what criteria will determine whether a case should be fast tracked or not. Following is a table that defines what breach process should be used relative to the status of the offender.

Status/Score of Offender Breach process to be used Very high risk on either risk of harm or risk of reconviction and Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR)9 High risk on either risk of harm or risk of reconviction (including Prolific and other Priority Offenders) Fast Track

Detail

Offenders are highly likely to re-offend if they have breached their order

Fast Track

Offenders who score highly against either category are considered suitable for fast tracking, e.g. offenders with drug convictions are likely to re-offend but may not be high risk of harm to the public

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The Offender Assessment System (OASys) is a standardised process for the assessment of offenders that has been developed jointly by the NPS and HM Prison Service. More information can be found at www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk Or Drug Treatment and Testing Order if offence committed prior to April 2005.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .

Status/Score of Offender Breach process to be used Medium risk on either risk of harm or risk of reconviction Discretionary Fast Track

Detail

The offender has potential to cause harm but is unlikely to do so unless there is a change of circumstances. Sudden absence after good attendance may indicate a change in circumstances and a potential move by the offender into the high risk category Offenders in this category are unlikely to either cause harm or be reconvicted

Low risk on both risk of harm and risk of reconviction

Standard

Any case that is under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) will automatically be of high-risk and should therefore be progressed under the Fast Track process. However, the majority of MAPPA cases are offenders with post-release licences, which when breached, are dealt with separately (i.e. do not come under the court process at all). Where discretion is required on the decision to fast track or not (e.g. medium risk cases) it is suggested the offender manager should take into account the nature of the breach, before making a decision over whether to Fast Track. Evidence from the Fast Track Warrant Scheme for Breaches Pilots showed that medium risk cases were not fast tracked. This is primarily due to the resource-intensive nature of the Fast Track process. Whilst the guidelines for the Fast Track process give a view to those cases that should be automatically placed into the system, through discussions between all agencies (i.e. Court, Probation and Police), it may be decided that for local reasons certain cases should either be included or excluded from the Fast Track process. This must be a matter for local discussion, building on relationships and protocols formed. It is recommended that where the offender manager makes a decision to use an alternative system to that typically used (e.g. putting a low risk offender onto Fast Track), the relevant details or notes as to why this action was taken should be provided (e.g. due to domestic violence or racially motivated violent behaviour). 3.1.2 What should the Community Penalty Breach enforcement processes achieve?

Regardless of the enforcement system used, once breach proceedings have been instigated, the offender should be brought to court as quickly as possible in line with the end-to-end targets outlined previously. This will allow magistrates to make the appropriate decision regarding sentence.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
Depending on circumstances, an offender may be brought to court via the following: • A letter instructing the offender to attend court10; • A summons from the court to appear in court; • A CPB bail warrant – asking the offender to voluntarily surrender to court; and • A CPB no bail warrant – arresting the offender to attend court. The following aims and objectives are essential to the establishment of both types of process:

Aim? Objectives?

To resolve Community Penalty Breach cases in an average of 35 working days, from second unacceptable failure to comply. • To have the offender appear before magistrates, allowing a judicial decision on sentence; • To ensure offenders understand the seriousness of their breaches of Community Penalty Orders; • To have all criminal justice agencies forming a collaborative effort to achieve the targets set; • To use the skills and expertise of criminal justice agencies to their maximum level of impact; and • To deal with offenders with a proportionate response to their offence, breach and likelihood of re-offending or harm to the public.

Please note that the guidelines for the Standard and Fast Track processes described below are set for a “business as usual” context, and exclude any local initiatives such as blitzes that local areas may want to implement. 3.2 WHAT IS THE STANDARD PROCESS FOR COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACHES?

The following diagram outlines the Standard process for enforcing community penalty breaches.

In this instance the offender can be summonsed if they attend the hearing, as the information is laid in the courtroom in their presence. For those that do not attend, the information can be laid in court and an application for a warrant made.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
Diagram of Standard process

2nd failure to comply

Probation investigation (including risk assessment)

Offender suitable for Standard process Immediately

Court hearing agreed with Listing department Offender notified

Papers prepared and sent to Court

Within 10 working days of breach

Case is listed (summons issued where appropriate)

Court hearing

Within 20 working days of breach

Is the case fully resolved? No Does magistrate order warrant? No Yes Yes

Alternative options followed

Warrant issued

Warrant processed by administration

Warrant passed to enforcement teams

Within 2 working days of warrant issue

Information checks made (where appropriate)

Warrant executed or withdrawn by court Within 20 working days of warrant issue

Case resolved

Within 35 working days of breach

Key Action required by Magistrates’ Court Action required by Probation Action required by both Magistrates’ Court and Probation

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
All timings described in the Standard process model are maximum time limits. In order to meet the average end-to-end target of 35 working days, it is clear that time needs to be saved through the process. Where those savings are to be made will be a matter for local discussion, and are likely to vary from area to area. 3.2.1 Notification of offender

The offender must be made aware that breach proceedings have been instigated and that they are required to attend a court hearing. The offender manager has 10 days for adults and 5 days for youths within which to initiate enforcement action after the second failure to comply with the community order11. This time period is the maximum amount of time it should take and effort should be made to complete this stage of the process in as short a time as possible as this impacts the performance relative to the end-to-end target. Offender managers are responsible for advising offenders that breach proceedings have been instigated. Offender managers should instruct them under the standard conditions of their order to report to the local Magistrates’ Court on the next available breach hearing date12. All courts should agree weekly dedicated court sittings to deal with community penalty breaches. Please see Section 4.3.2 for further detail. 3.2.2 Issue of Summons

It is up to local discussion between courts and Probation/ YOT to determine the best way of getting the offender to attend a court hearing. The offender manager can instruct an offender to report to the court building as part of the standard requirements of their order. • This may be verbal; and • If any written instruction is made, proof of service will be required. It is not necessary to issue a court summons for this attendance, although local discussions may decide that this is the most appropriate course of action. Where a summons is used, Probation should manually prepare the paperwork, thereby allowing a faster issue of the summons. This will also allow offenders to be summonsed to dedicated community penalty breach court sittings.

Probation’s target is to ensure 90% of cases have a confirmed listing date within 10 days of the second failure to comply.
12

11

For standalone electronic monitoring cases, the electronic monitoring contractor is responsible for requesting the attendance of the offender to court. However, the contractor does not have powers to instruct the offender to attend court without a summons. In non-standalone cases, the electronic monitoring contractors have 5 working days to provide any further information requested about the breach of the electronic monitoring order. Note that the electronic monitoring contractors only prosecute the breach of electronic monitoring, the CPS is still responsible for presenting information on the original offence to the court.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
3.2.3 Pre Court

The hearing must allow at least 3 working days to prepare the case for prosecution. However, the court date should not be more than 20 working days after the second unacceptable failure to comply. After the offender manager notifies the offender of the hearing date, the offender manager must inform the court, which then formally list the case. Offender managers must provide sufficient information for the court to list the case, including: • Name; • Address; and • Length of time case is likely to last. Additionally, when preparing the papers for an application for a warrant, the offender manager should ensure (where possible) that the following information is available to the court. A significant amount of this information should come from the Offender Additional Information Sheet (OAIS) that Probation/ YOTs are required to fill out on each offender after the second unacceptable failure to comply (see Appendix B). If the offender has been instructed or summonsed to court, this information must be readily available on non-appearance of the offender to enable an immediate warrant application: • Name, date of birth, gender; • Case reference number (PTI Unique Reference Number); • Ethnic origin/interpreter required; • National Insurance number (NINO); • Any aliases or previous names; • Type of order; • Date of second unacceptable failure to comply with community penalty (i.e. start of breach proceedings); • Current offence; • Current address (including hostel) and telephone/mobile number; • Last previous address (including date) and telephone number; • Details of risk category; and • Offender manager and contact number. In addition the offender manager must include any knowledge about potential risk to staff (including if known from other members of the household) and risk of self-harm. This information must be included with other breach information so that the court duty staff can pass this to the Legal Advisor at the point a warrant is issued. All information provided is potentially very valuable later on in the process, and as such is worth capturing.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
A representative of the Probation Service/ YOT will attend the court hearing13. Whilst this document predominantly covers adult cases, it is important to note that all youth cases must be dealt with (as per current procedures) in a Youth Court. All arrangements for youth cases must be discussed and documented in the local protocol. 3.2.4 Post Court

If the offender has failed to attend the court hearing after notification to attend/receipt of a summons, the bench should give consideration to an immediate application from the Probation Service/ YOT for a warrant. It is the decision of the bench as to whether a warrant will be granted. If a warrant is granted the court is responsible for the issue of the warrant. If the bench decides that a warrant is inappropriate then other routes may be followed, such as the issue of a summons. The Magistrates’ Court is responsible for issuing the warrant. The warrant should be processed by administration teams and then sent to the responsible enforcement/breach teams for execution. This should take no longer than 1-2 days, and notification of this warrant could involve the use of email/ fax etc. 3.2.5 Execution of warrants

Enforcement teams have, from the issue of the warrant, 20 working days for adults and 10 working days for youths within which to execute the warrant. Where the address is unknown, additional checks (such as DWP, Equifax or PNC) should be completed to ascertain up to date information. Enforcement teams should also look to use local contacts (such as Police, Housing Associations, or local intelligence sources) for additional information (if not previously supplied), such as: • Alias names; • Associates; • Alternative contact details; • Any past convictions; • Passport number; and • National Insurance number. If at any point Probation/ YOT become aware of any changes in the information about the offender (including changes that take place after the issue of a warrant), the offender manager is responsible for notifying the enforcement team of the correct details. Probation and YOT staff should also advise enforcement teams (as a matter of urgency) if there is an escalation of risk from low/medium to high risk in either the chance of harm or reconviction categories. The enforcement team should then inform the Police about any case that joins this category.

13

Where an electronic monitoring order has been given as the only requirement of a community order, the contractor is required to attend court and ‘prosecute’ in the same manner as an offender manager.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
If a no-bail warrant remains unexecuted after a first attempt to visit an address or after 5 working days of warrant issue, the warrant should be circulated on the PNC14. Processes should be put in place ensuring ownership of warrant circulation (including removal of warrants) on the PNC to prevent the chance of any unlawful or unnecessary arrest. These processes should be locally agreed through the LCJB and defined in a local protocol. Circulation on PNC should occur when the court’s execution team has exhausted all possibilities to execute the warrant, i.e., PNC circulation should follow Equifax, DWP, local intelligence efforts, etc. There will be exceptions to this, such as when the Police wish to make attempts to execute the warrants themselves, e.g., the Police may know the whereabouts of an offender, or may already have another warrant out for the offender. In these circumstances clear arrangements for change in ownership of warrants must be agreed. Upon execution of a warrant, if it is found that the offender is also subject to an electronic monitoring requirement, it is considered acceptable for the executing authority to remove the offender to court or custody, even if this breaches the conditions of the curfew order. Whilst Enforcement Teams notify Probation and the courts that they are bringing in an offender, they should also communicate that the offender is subject to a curfew. Probation will then be able to notify the relevant authorities and contractors. Where bailiffs or AEAs are used to execute CPBWs, discussions will be required to make them aware of the new end-to-end target and key performance indicators. Negotiations may be required to alter contract details to enable successful performance (and monitoring). Where the Police are used to execute CPBWs, similar discussions will need to be held. These can be commenced through LCJBs. Liaison should also be had with local prisons, to ascertain if the offender has been placed in custody. In these circumstances, Probation will normally ask to withdraw the warrant (possibly listing the case alongside other matters that need to be dealt with). However, this decision will be determined on a case by case basis. A protocol is in development by HMCS with HM Prison Service to provide information on prisoner movements. The success of obtaining information from other sources will largely depend on the relationship held with respective agencies. As such, every effort should be made to establish relationships and contacts within other potentially useful agencies. 3.2.6 Case resolution

The new end-to-end target places emphasis on getting any breach proceedings fully dealt with, where the case has been heard, and if decided by the bench that the breach did occur, then any new sentencing options considered.

Further information can be found in Instructions for dealing with breach warrants (not backed for bail) ‘posted’ on the PNC by magistrates’ court staff. When posting a breach warrant on the PNC, details of the originating case file reference number should be included – this will aid a swifter resolution when the case is dealt with at court, particularly if dealt with out of area. Court staff will receive further details on PNC use through the training and guidance provided during the national rollout of PNC access.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
All agencies should consider case resolution as the final point in the process and must ensure that performance improvement includes a focus on reducing the number of breach cases that are adjourned. Where bail warrants have been issued and executed, the bail date should correspond to one of the dedicated court sittings, as agreed locally. This will allow the case to proceed without adjournment, as all parties who need to be involved will be present. Details of offenders who have been bailed to a certain date should be passed to Probation/ YOT to allow the necessary paperwork to be prepared and ready for the court hearing. When an offender on a no-bail warrant has been arrested, the arresting officer (whether CEO, AEA or Police officer) should inform the court (and local arrangements must be decided regarding the informing of Probation/ YOT) as soon as possible that the offender will be arriving shortly, to allow the case to be fitted into the court schedule and for the necessary paperwork and personnel (e.g. Probation representative) to be ready. Where a no-bail warrant has been issued and executed, it is imperative that every effort should be made to hear the case on the same day. If an offender is brought to court on a no-bail warrant, but the case is adjourned, the cycle is likely to repeat itself, thereby wasting time and resources. CPS are responsible for making sure that any paperwork relating to the original offence must be either passed to Probation/ YOTs or be ready for the court hearing. Where CPS and the Police are co-located this may necessitate a request by the CPS to the Police Criminal Justice Units where files may be located. This ensures the matter as a whole can be dealt with. Magistrates, legal advisors, Probation/ YOTs, Police, CPS and defence solicitors must all take action to make adjournments the exception rather than the rule. This will boost confidence in the system within all agencies as it builds on all the efforts made earlier on in the process to ensure breach action and proceedings are pursued as quickly as possible. 3.3 WHAT IS THE FAST TRACK PROCESS FOR BREACHES OF COMMUNITY PENALTIES?

A Fast Track system has been designed to ensure a risk-focused, prioritised response to breach by offenders assessed as most likely to re-offend or cause harm. It has been designed to make use of all the existing systems, forms and processes – these cases are simply flagged for a fast response. The evaluation of the Fast Track Warrant Schemes for breaches of Community Orders has the following summary, and has been fully endorsed by HMCS and NPS15: The importance of securing prompt and effective enforcement action following any breach of the requirements of a Community Order cannot be over-emphasised. Returning offenders back to court swiftly helps to reduce re-offending and maintains the confidence of both sentencers and the public.

Further detail can be found in BI/124/05/05 (issued 3 May 2005) - Joint Evaluation of Fast Track Warrant schemes for breaches of Community Orders in Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire September 2004-February 2005.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
As part of a range of initiatives to speed up enforcement processes, court and Probation staff in Staffordshire and Cambridgeshire have piloted fast track schemes for the application and execution of warrants for breach of community penalties. The schemes focussed on high risk offenders within specified categories…Outline procedures were drafted at the centre before the pilots commenced but were then refined locally through discussion. The results were very encouraging. In both areas all warrant applications on high risk offenders were listed within the target period of 5 working days. Furthermore 73.5% of the warrants issued were executed within the 10 day target [warrant issue to execution]. It was also encouraging that Probation and court staff from both areas have commented positively on the associated benefits of the good working relationships that were developed during the pilot period. All felt that the pilots had been successful and that the fast track procedures should now be rolled out nationwide. The Fast Track process begins once the offender manager has classified the case as such (see section 3.1). The following diagram outlines the Fast Track process for enforcing community penalty breaches.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
Diagram of Fast Track process
2nd failure to comply Probation investigation (including risk assessment) Offender suitable for Fast Track process Immediately

Allocation of court hearing

Within 2 working days of breach

Offender notified

Papers prepared and sent to Court

Within 3 working days of breach

Case is listed

Court hearing

Within 6 working days of breach

Is the case fully resolved?
No Does magistrate order warrant? No Yes Yes

Alternative options followed

Warrant issued

Warrant processed by administration

Valid address available? Yes No Warrant posted on PNC (other checks made as appropriate)

Within 7 working days of breach

Within 7 working days of breach

Warrant passed to enforcement teams

Within 9 working days of breach

Within 8 working days of breach

1st attempt to execute warrant

Warrant successfully executed?

Within 10 working days of breach

Yes

No

Warrant executed

Warrant posted on PNC if not previously

Within 11 working days of breach

2 further attempts to execute warrant (at least one out of hours)

Within 16 working days of breach

Warrant executed or withdrawn by court Within 10 working days of warrant issue

Case resolved

Key Action required by Magistrates’ Court Action required by Probation Action required by both Magistrates’ Court and Probation

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
3.3.1 Notification of offender

The offender manager should contact the offender within 2 working days of instigating the breach proceedings. The offender manager should inform the offender of the hearing date, reminding them where necessary, and attempt to obtain a reason for the breach of the community sentence. A summons should not be issued. The pilots showed the effectiveness of using a letter to inform the offender of the imminent application for a warrant. The offender was strongly advised to attend the hearing to allow the matter to be fully dealt with. Approximately 70% of offenders attended this first court hearing. An example letter can be found in Appendix D. If attempts have been made to contact the offender, the magistrate may be more likely to grant a no-bail warrant. 3.3.2 Pre Court

When the decision is made to fast track the case, Probation has 5 working days to lay the information before court. The offender manager should also take the following actions: • Immediately contact the court to arrange a listing date for application for a warrant, preferably for the 6th working day; and • The offender manager must fax/email the breach information to court within a further 3 working days. The information that is sent must: − Be clearly marked as a FAST TRACK case (a box will be added at the top of the Offender Additional Information Sheet); − Contain an application for a warrant rather than a summons (where possible the warrant should be prepared and ready for signature); − Provide comprehensive details of what attempts have been made to contact the offender. In particular it must be noted if the offender is no longer at the given address (marked ‘gone away’); − Include a risk assessment; and − Include all other information as in the standard process (see section 3.2.3). After the instigation of breach proceedings, it is possible that the offender may have a reasonable explanation as to why the second failure to comply with the order occurred. Due to the focus of the fast track scheme to deal with high risk cases in a swift manner, Probation should ensure that paperwork is prepared as described above. However, if the offender provides an explanation of their absence to Probation within 5 days (in accordance with National Standards), Probation will need to decide whether to continue with breach proceedings or not. While the court is responsible for the issue for a warrant, it is the decision of the bench as to whether a warrant will be granted. If the bench decides that a warrant is inappropriate then other routes may be followed, such as the issue of a summons. A representative from the Probation Service will attend and magistrates should issue the warrant (if applicable) on the same day of the court hearing. Note: every attempt must be made to get the offender to court for the first hearing, as the aim should be to avoid the need for a warrant to be issued in as many cases 3-12
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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
as possible. Reminder letters may be a cost effective way of achieving this in many instances. 3.3.3 Post Court

The warrant must be passed on to the administration team and logged within 1 working day of issue. The top of the warrant should be clearly marked as a FAST TRACK case. Once the post-court administration has been dealt with the warrant should be handed to the CEO immediately. Arrangements should be put in place to ensure this happens (e.g. email/fax/courier if the CEO is not in the same building). A. If a valid address has been supplied Where the information supplied by the offender manager includes a valid address16, warrants must be passed to the enforcement/breach teams for execution within 2 working days of the hearing. B. If the offender has been marked as ‘gone away’ There is little value in trying to execute the warrant if the offender no longer resides at the given address, or the address is false. The administration/ enforcement teams must carry out the following: • Perform any information checking necessary to assist in locating offender, e.g. submit an information request to the DWP, local police system checks, Equifax, etc.; • Pass the warrant to enforcement teams for execution with as much additional information as possible (see section 3.2.5 for examples); and • Post the warrant on the PNC within 2 working days of warrant issue17. 3.3.4 Executing the warrant

Where a case has been fast tracked the court has 10 working days for adults, and 5 working days for youths, from the date of issue to execute the warrant. Enforcement teams should make their first attempt to execute the warrant within 1 working day of receipt. If the warrant is successfully executed, the offender is taken to court (or bailed if it is a bail warrant) and: • The outstanding warrant must be removed from PNC immediately to prevent wrongful arrest and to avoid possible duplication of effort; and • Probation should be informed within 1 hour of the arrest to enable them to prepare for their court attendance (where the arrest has taken place out of court hours, Probation should be informed as soon as practicable).

A valid address is defined as one that exists, which may or may not be the offender’s current address.
17

16

Where PNC access is currently unavailable to the courts local arrangements for warrant circulation on the PNC need to be confirmed with the local Police Constabulary.

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3. Community penalty breach enforcement processes. . .
If warrant execution is unsuccessful (and assuming the following have not already been done), courts should: • Perform any information checking necessary to assist in locating the offender, e.g. submit an information request to the DWP, local police system checks, Equifax, Prisons, and use any local agency relationships, etc; and • Post the warrant on the PNC within 5 working days of warrant issue18. Enforcement teams should make at least 2 further attempts to successfully execute the warrant within 10 working days of the warrant being issued. One of these attempts must take place outside normal working hours. If the warrant is not successfully executed within 10 working days, the enforcement team should notify the Probation Service. Warrants that have not been executed should remain on the PNC. To maintain confidence in the Criminal Justice System, warrants not executed should be constantly reviewed, updated, and progressed where possible. The offender manager should remain in contact with the court throughout the process, even after the end of their active involvement at the initial stages of the proceedings, and should pass on any information that is subsequently received in relation to the whereabouts and circumstances of the offender. 3.3.5 Case resolution

Further detail on the importance of quick and effective case resolution can be found in Section 3.2.6. In some areas, it can be extremely difficult for Probation/ YOTs to have the required resources to meet every court obligation as needed, particularly when an offender is brought in on a no-bail warrant. One of the Fast Track pilot areas tested a Probation report to cover this eventuality. This report would be prepared by the offender manager (prior to any court hearing) and could be used by Magistrates if a Probation representative could not attend the hearing. The report would be read to the court and copies given to Magistrates and the defence team. The pilot area used the report regardless of attendance by the offender to either deal with the full matter or make a warrant application. Such a system could be extremely beneficial to areas with a large geography, or areas where smaller courts may not be able to have appropriate Probation Service or YOT cover on an ad hoc basis. However if queries arose or aspects of the offender manager’s report were queried there would be no presence to respond, and as such an adjournment could occur.

18

Posting the warrant on PNC does not absolve the court’s execution team of its’ responsibilities; they should still attempt to execute the warrant as normal. Because of this shared responsibility, removing the warrant from PNC upon execution is critical. 3-14
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4.

MAKE IT HAPPEN

This section looks at the organisational and process decisions required for improved community penalty breach enforcement performance. At all times, the four elements of community penalty breach effective practice should be utilised: time, prioritisation, information and relationships. Some Areas may have already developed local protocols or action plans to improve the performance of enforcement of community penalty breaches. Areas should review these protocols in line with the guidance provided in this effective practice guide. 4.1 HOW TO ESTABLISH A BASELINE

As with fines and other types of warrants, it is vital for Areas to improve performance from a clear starting position. 4.1.1 Clear warrant backlog

Areas should review all outstanding CPBWs with the aim of ascertaining whether the warrant still needs to be executed, and if so, if the information is reliable and up-to-date, thereby improving the chances of a successful execution. • Check existing systems for any new information, e.g. new address or contact details; • Perform other checks (that may have not been previously available) such as Equifax, 192.com or PNC; • Cross-reference all outstanding warrants with Probation Service/ YOTs. It may be advised that the warrant should be withdrawn (due to more recent developments) or offender managers may have new information on contact details or risk assessments; • Cross-reference all outstanding warrants with the Prison Service. Offenders may have been imprisoned due to other reasons19; and • Utilise any other types of local intelligence, such as a local police intelligence check. Outstanding warrants may be withdrawn if the court approves an application from Probation. Reasons for withdrawal can include if the offender has died, has been deported, or has been sent to a mental institution for a period of 12 months or more. For warrants that still need to be executed, a plan should be developed to action these. Resource constraints will need to be balanced against efforts to execute warrants as well as dealing with new warrant issues. Whilst clearing these outstanding cases may be time and resource intensive and not of immediate benefit, conducting this exercise prior to the beginning of the end-to-end target

19

Please note that the capability to do this is, at the time of writing, currently in development.

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4. Make it happen. . .
measurement on 1 October 2005 will significantly reduce the impact on this target that these cases would otherwise have. 4.1.2 Establish regular warrant reviews of long outstanding warrants

To avoid vast backlogs of warrants from building up, Areas should regularly review all outstanding warrants. This should happen at least once every six months. Areas, and their partner agencies, should follow the steps as described in section 4.1.1 to check if new information has come to light. By regularly reviewing outstanding warrants, it is also possible that those offenders who have ‘gone to ground’ for a time after their breach, may resurface, e.g., an offender may start to reclaim benefits. 4.2 HOW TO ESTABLISH A JOINT LOCAL PROTOCOL

For successful enforcement of community penalty breaches it is crucial that all parties involved in the process take their responsibilities seriously. Whilst the process could be managed in defined ‘sections’, e.g. Probation/ YOT, then court, then administration, then execution teams, where each team is only accountable for their portion of the process, much better results will be achieved by all agencies having a joined-up approach. A joined-up approach ensures that all agencies are pulling in the same direction, sharing the most up-to-date information possible, and thus increasing the chances of a quicker end-to-end resolution. A National Protocol has been established between the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and the National Probation Service (NPS). A copy can be found at Appendix A. This requires Magistrates’ Courts and Probation areas to establish locally agreed processes to speed up procedures for resolving breaches of community penalties. To facilitate this at a local level, a local protocol should be written, and agreed to, by all parties involved. Each Area will be different according to local circumstances, but it is suggested that as a minimum, the local protocol should be signed by senior personnel from: • Magistrates’ Court; • Probation Service; • YOT; • Police; • Approved Enforcement Agency (where used); and • Electronic monitoring contractor. Whilst the LCJB is ultimately accountable for the performance of community penalty breach enforcement, those involved in the community penalty breach process should take shared responsibility in achieving the best outcome. No agency should view their role as ‘done and dusted’, e.g. offender managers should remain involved in the case throughout, not just at the initial stages.

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4. Make it happen. . .
An example local protocol can be found at Appendix C. The protocol should include: • Introduction – sets the scene for the protocol, why it has been established and what it aims to do; • Targets – sets out the targets that have to be achieved (including end-to-end targets as well as individual components). Any local targets should support national targets and not be in conflict with other LCJB targets. Definitions of targets should also be included; • Process maps and descriptions – clear explanations of the processes to be used. This should also include: − Ownership of tasks (including detail, e.g. the enforcement team leader at Hull Magistrates’ Court) − Timing guidelines (e.g. offender manager must notify offender within 2 days) − Information requirements (e.g. enforcement/administration team must provide CEOs with Equifax check) • Monitoring and review arrangements, including when tasks need to be completed and who should take responsibility for them: − Measuring performance − Reviewing performance − Communication of performance (between and through agencies) − Senior management reporting − Reviews of the protocol • Signatures – official agreement of all parties involved; and • Contact details – including names, addresses, phone numbers (mobile numbers where appropriate) and email addresses. 4.3 HOW TO ESTABLISH ENFORCEMENT PROCESSES

Each area of the processes, both fast track and standard, should be examined and changes adopted (where necessary) to improve the process. Processes should be set up to reflect the guidelines provided in Sections 3.2 and 3.3. No part of the process can be held in isolation from another part. Each stage will have an impact on the ability to take action further on. The following sections provide suggested elements for inclusion when establishing enforcement processes.

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4. Make it happen. . .
4.3.1 Time Pre Court Clear time guidelines should be established for every part of the process: • Instigation of breach proceedings; • Notification of offender; • Listing of court hearing; • Decision on process to be used; and • Preparation of papers for court. Prioritisation Details required to allow suitable prioritisation of warrants • Terms of community sentence; • Risk assessment; • Details of unacceptable failures to comply; and • Other known history/information. Information Different levels and different types of information are required at each stage of the process (as detailed in the ‘Time’ section). The protocol should set out: • Information required at each stage; • Responsibilities for provision of information − Who is finding the information − Who is receiving the information. Relationships At each stage of the process, relationships are required between agencies, and within each agency. Each stage of the process should identify the levels and types of contact required.

4.3.2

Court hearing

One of the major changes, and detailed in the joint national protocol, is the need to set up regular court sittings that can deal with breach hearings. This will allow cases to be listed quicker than using normal listing and summons procedures. Local agreements should be put in place regarding the prioritisation of community penalty breach cases. Both offender managers and listings officers should maintain accurate records of breach cases that are being dealt with during dedicated breach courts. To avoid delays in listing the case for a hearing, every Area should provide Probation/ YOTs with a set weekly time during which breaches of community penalties can be dealt with. It is fully recognised that there is a major demand on court hearing times with associated targets for listing, therefore the process by which this is achieved will be dependant on the size of the court, number of cases and other local issues. Whilst the offender manager “fills” the court sitting with breach cases, it still remains the

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responsibility of the court to formally list each case20. Local arrangement should be agreed through the LCJBs and the local Justices’ Issue Group. For example: • A large court may establish a specialist breach court on a daily basis; or • A smaller court may establish a breach court on one morning and afternoon each week. Further information can be found in BI/42/02/05 (issued 23 February 2005) - the Joint National Protocol issued by the DCA and Probation Service (see Appendix A). It is important to emphasise that one of the best ways to meet the new end-to-end targets is to attempt to ensure that as many cases as possible are fully dealt with at court (whether the court hearing is pre- or post-warrant), and that the number of adjournments are reduced. While it is recognised that some adjournments are out of the control of the courts or Probation/ YOTs, every effort should be made to enable everything in the control of the courts and Probation/ YOTs is done to avoid an adjournment (correct paperwork is present, offender manager is present, evidence detailing the process undertaken to get the defendant/ offender to court is available, etc). Probation/ YOT representatives should be prepared (supported by additional training if necessary) to fulfil a more “prosecutorial” role in order to avoid adjournments. Local agreements should be established to ensure this is the case. In line with this courts should seek to make magistrates aware of their role in supporting a swift and effective resolution to community penalty breaches. 4.3.3 After the court hearing

Clear processes should be designed to ensure that the warrant is dealt with swiftly after being issued by the bench whether the case is being Fast Tracked or not. Each court will have its own system to cover warrant administration, but the following should be considered:

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For standalone electronic monitoring cases, the contractor should contact Probation to ‘book a slot’ during the next appropriate dedicated breach court sitting. The electronic monitoring contractor should then contact the court with the information to formally list the case.

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Time

Warrants must be passed immediately to the administration team to process and pass on to the enforcement team Enforcement teams should design timing guidelines, and strictly adhere to them, for CPBW executions that are not in the Fast Track system, e.g. the first attempt to execute should occur within 3 working days of receipt

Prioritisation

The enforcement team must have clear systems for organisation, management and prioritisation of warrants Warrants must be clearly identifiable – in terms of type (as a CPBW) and in terms of system (Fast Track or Standard)

Information

Warrants must clearly show whether a valid address is present Where a valid address is not present, the warrant details should be posted on PNC. Even if a CPBW is not being fast tracked – using the PNC may be a valuable source of information Accurate maintenance of records – a delay in resulting a successful CPBW execution may mean that performance does not accurately measure actual achievements. Warrant withdrawals should also be kept up to date

Relationships

At each stage of the process, relationships are required between agencies, and within each agency. Each stage of the process should identify the levels and types of contact required.

4.3.4

The use of a Fast Track process

Section 3.1 gives a full description of what a Fast Track process is. It is recommended that all enforcement teams should consider the establishment of a Fast Track process in their Area. As with any enforcement activity relating to Community Penalties, the Fast Track process should not be set up in isolation from any criminal justice partners or agencies. Please refer to Section 3.3 and the Fast Track evaluation report for further details of the benefits of using a Fast Track process.

Aim?

High risk and prolific offenders to be returned to court as soon as possible to answer the allegation that they are in breach of their community penalty order Reducing the time taken from alleged breach to court hearing Proceedings facilitated by no bail warrant All criminal justice agencies working together

Objectives?

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Process?

What needs to be done to get the Fast Track System operating? • Joint protocol between courts, enforcement teams, Probation and Police; • Clear process designed, e.g. all low risk offenders to have bail warrants, all other offenders to be given no bail warrants; • Allocation of responsibilities, e.g. Police could execute warrants on high risk offenders, whilst CEOs or AEAs execute warrants on all other offenders; • Clear lines of communication between teams organised with designated officers to regularly report between teams; • Guidance on reporting and monitoring of cases developed. Standards set for entry of data onto systems; and • Use of tools or processes that are currently in place that are suitable or need only minor adaptations to support the Fast Track System.

See section 3.1.1 for full details on method for including cases into the Fast Track System. 4.3.5 Different types of warrants

Evidence from enforcement teams does not suggest any major difference in performance according to which type of warrant is used – i.e. bail or no bail. The decision to issue any warrant, and any type of warrant, is to be made by magistrates. However, it may be appropriate to inform the bench of the consequences of the different types of warrants. There are different circumstances for the use of bail and no bail warrants:

Bail Magistrates may feel it is appropriate that the offender be given the chance to voluntarily appear at the court before being subject to a no bail warrant. There is a lack of information before the bench providing past history, e.g. the court is unaware of previous ‘failed bails’. The court will normally issue the type of warrant requested. Offender managers must be present at a warrant hearing; they are less likely to encourage no bail warrants if the hearing is not attended.

No Bail Magistrates may consider that the offender has had sufficient opportunity to surrender to the court voluntarily. Costs incurred as a result of issuing and executing bail followed by no bail warrants where an external agency is used, such as Police or AEAs. No bail warrants are issued, but the enforcement authority executing the warrant is allowed to persuade the offender to surrender in the first instance.

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4.3.6 Execution of warrants

Each Area is able to decide which enforcement authority should be used for the execution of warrants, but this decision must be taken at a local area level, in conjunction with the parties involved. For example, areas may decide that it is most appropriate for the Police to execute warrants on those who have been through the Fast Track system, and are therefore the most likely to cause harm or re-offend. Some Areas have started to use dedicated CEO teams for the execution of CPBWs. This may be useful if it is felt that the skills or methods needed to execute CPBWs are different to fines or other warrants. A dedicated CEO team is likely to provide greater levels of focus than in a team where CEOs are dealing with a mixture of warrants. Some issues for consideration may include: • Geography – dedicated CEOs may be more appropriate in smaller Areas; • Duplication of effort – are offenders with CPBWs also likely to have other types of warrants? • Time – CPBWs typically take more effort to execute than fines warrants. 4.4 HOW TO ESTABLISH REGULAR MONITORING

It is vital that performance of community penalty breach enforcement is regularly monitored. This will allow managers to review progress and assess whether additional action is required to meet targets, and in what areas of the process this action is most appropriate. Because the end-to-end target has multi-agency responsibility, the local protocol should establish a method for the regular joint review of overall performance. However, measuring only the end-to-end target is not enough. It is critical that the respective agencies also take responsibility for capturing vital performance information throughout the end-to-end process. This is vital so those responsible for the performance of the end-to-end target can identify the best parts of the process to target when searching for overall performance improvement. Data should be reported on a monthly basis, and regular meetings to review overall performance should take place on a three-monthly basis, at a minimum. For example, the enforcement of community penalty breaches could be made a permanent agenda item at an appropriate existing LCJB/ multi-agency meeting, or a special meeting could be arranged. The local protocol should define what management information along the process will be collected and reported, who is responsible for its collection, and the methods in place to ensure the accurate and timely flow of data. Because more than one agency will be involved, the local protocol should also dictate how cross-agency performance measurement and monitoring will work. Some examples of suggested useful information are: • Time from second unacceptable failure to comply to having a listing date confirmed (this should already be captured by Probation as part of their existing performance measurement); • Time between confirmation of court listing date and the actual court date; • Time from warrant issue to warrant execution team receiving the warrant (the administrative process); 4-8
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• Time from warrant issue to warrant being executed or withdrawn (this should already be captured by courts using the Warrant Tracker21); • Percentage of defendants who appear at the first hearing; and • Percentage of cases adjourned when the defendant is present, and percentage of cases adjourned when the defendant is not present. For further information on, or assistance with, the Warrant Tracker, please contact Stephen Ho, stephen.ho@dca.gsi.gov.uk, or 020 7210 8785. 4.5 ARE DESIGNATED RESOURCES REQUIRED?

Areas will have to assess the resources that they require to see the necessary improvement in the enforcement of community penalty breaches. It may be more appropriate to reallocate resources rather than assume that additional resources are required. The volumes of and current time taken to deal with community penalty breaches will affect resourcing decisions. • Court availability – will the dedicated breach hearing sessions be enough to cope with the volume of breach cases? If not, how will this impact the overall end-to-end target? • Information/ court preparation – are reports/information available in time for the court hearing? Do teams have adequate access to information sources, e.g. PNC or legacy system? • Issue of summons/warrants – are warrants prepared by Probation/ YOTs ready for the court hearings? • Processing of warrants – are administration teams able to process warrants and pass them onto the appropriate enforcement agency within the time guidelines? Should a specific administration officer be responsible? • Monitoring of warrants – should a specific administrative point of contact allocate warrants to CEOs, maintain the database of warrants, and act as the contact for relationship with local agencies? • Execution/withdrawal of warrants – should individuals within enforcement teams (e.g. two CEOs) be solely responsible for execution of CPBWs? • Updates on computer systems – do the right people have access to systems at the right time to update the progress of warrants?

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The courts should use the Warrant Tracker for measuring the performance of CPB enforcement and the Fast Track process. Warrant Tracker version 3 is due for release in June 2005 and will include: • Greater functionality for day-to-day management of enforcement of community penalty breaches (such as colour-coded indicators to indicate performance per case); • The ability to produce up-to-date statistics on performance relative to performance indicators in real-time, allowing more immediate reaction to unacceptable performance.

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4.6 WHAT ABOUT THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CRIME AND VICTIMS ACT?

The Domestic Violence Crime Victims Act 200422 makes changes to the existing law so as to allow a Magistrates’ Court for the area in which an offender lives to deal with a community penalty breach by him, even though the breach warrant was issued by another court. Magistrates’ Courts were previously restricted as to which court could enforce a breach of community penalty. Restrictions varied according to the type of sentence, but in practice it tended to mean that only the court that passed the offender’s sentence could issue a warrant or summons to secure the attendance of an offender in court who was in breach. Additionally, the warrant or summons had to specify that the offender appeared before that court. This caused substantial problems if the offender resided out of area (either because the offence was committed during a visit to the Area, or because the offender has since moved out of the Area). While CEOs have national jurisdiction, execution of a warrant in another area it is often inefficient and impractical (due to the distances involved, etc). Section 29 and Schedule 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (DVCV) make amendments to the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 and to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which allow for community orders to be enforced in the area in which the offender now resides. The purpose of this change is to allow proceedings for breach of a community penalty to be commenced and heard by a court for that area, not just the court responsible for overseeing the community penalty. The remainder of this section outlines how this will work in more detail. 4.6.1 To which orders do these new powers apply?

The orders affected by the new powers are: • Detention and training orders (Section 104 of the Powers of Criminal Courts [Sentencing Act] 2000 [breach of supervision requirements of detention and training order]); • Suspended sentence supervision orders (Section 123 of the Powers of Criminal Courts [Sentencing Act] 2000 [breach of requirement of suspended sentencing supervision order]); • Community orders (Schedule 3 to the Powers of Criminal Courts [Sentencing Act] 2000 [breach, revocation and amendment of certain community orders]); • Curfew orders and exclusion orders (Schedule 3 to the Powers of Criminal Courts [Sentencing Act] 2000 [breach revocation and amendment of curfew orders and exclusion orders] as substituted by paragraph 125 of Schedule 32 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003); • Attendance centre orders (Schedule 5 to the Powers of Criminal Courts [Sentencing Act] 2000 [breach revocation and amendment of attendance centre orders]);

Please see http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/20040028.htm for more information.

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• Community orders under the 2003 Act (Schedule 8 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 [breach, revocation or amendment of community order]); and • Suspended sentence orders under the 2003 Act (Schedule 12 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 [breach or amendment of suspended sentence order, and effect of further conviction] and Schedule 13 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 [transfer of suspended sentence orders to Scotland or Northern Ireland]). 4.6.2 What orders are exempt from the new powers?

Drug treatment and testing orders are excluded from the new powers under the DVCV Act. This is because these orders require specialised supervision and treatment of offenders that is not universally available. As such, the oversight of each drug treatment and testing order will remain in the hands of the one responsible court. It is advised that community orders should not be transferred where the receiving Area does not have the facilities in place to either ‘prosecute’ or enforce the terms of the original order. For example, electronic monitoring is not nationally available and may be supplied by multiple contractors. 4.6.3 What transfers of community penalty orders can already occur?

Even before the changes made by the DVCV Act, Magistrates’ Courts that had made community penalty orders had powers to amend most types of order so as to transfer their whole future oversight to another court. Those powers have not been changed. They apply to all the orders listed in Section 4.6.1 except detention and training orders. Where one of those orders is in force, if the court is satisfied that the offender intends, or has changed residence into a new area, the court may amend the community order to reflect the new living arrangements of the offender. This is done via an application by Probation/ YOT. Magistrates’ Courts and partner agencies should already have procedures and processes in place to deal with transfers that fall into this category. The changes made by the DVCV Act allow these existing powers to be exercised not just by the Magistrates’ Court that made the community penalty order in the first place but also by any other court that deals with a breach of the order under the new powers. So a court receiving a breach case could transfer the whole future oversight of the order to itself. 4.6.4 What is the intent of the new transfer powers?

Whilst courts are currently able to transfer the supervision of community penalties between Areas, many courts have experienced difficulties when breach proceedings have been instigated but the offender is no longer in the ‘home’ area. The new powers aim to provide courts with the power to bring a breach case to resolution, even if the new court dealing with the matter is out of area, e.g. the offender has been arrested out of area due to information circulated on the PNC. This should mean that breach proceedings are dealt with more efficiently, helping areas reach the required targets on breach proceedings and negates the risk that the offender could be released or bailed without the matter being fully dealt with. It is expected that all Areas will take a pragmatic view towards the use of these powers. Whilst the receiving court is not under obligation to ‘accept’ the transfer, liaison and cooperation between Areas should ensure the most appropriate outcome. 4-11
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4.6.5 What is the process for dealing with transfers of community penalty breaches under the new powers?

All courts and partner agencies will need to develop detailed arrangements for transfer of community penalty breach cases. These should be discussed through the LCJB and detailed in local protocols. A. WHEN A COURT IS RECEIVING A BREACH CASE

If an offender has been arrested and brought to court, it may be discovered that they have an outstanding warrant for breach of a community penalty that originates from another area. The receiving court will need to make the following contacts immediately: • Original court – to send court paperwork (including files from CPS on breach proceedings and original sentence(s)); • Original Probation/ YOT – to send paperwork relating to both the breach proceedings and original sentence(s); and • Receiving Probation/ YOT – to provide a representative to ‘prosecute’ the case. When the receiving court is contacting the original court, it may be easier or quicker for the original court to contact the original Probation/ YOT due to their already established relationships. At all times communication between the different agencies in the different areas should be as clear and concise as possible to avoid confusion and unnecessary delays. Once all the necessary paperwork has been gathered the case should be put before the bench for their consideration. The case hearing should be focused on resolution of the full matters, as described in Section 3.2.6. Upon resolution of the case, the receiving court should copy the result and any associated paperwork to the original court and original Probation/ YOT for administrative completion. B. WHEN A COURT IS THE ORIGINATOR OF A BREACH CASE

An offender may be arrested and brought to court in another area other than the original area where the community penalty was sentenced. The original court and Probation/ YOT should work closely and quickly with the receiving court to ensure that the matter is swiftly and effectively dealt with. When the original court has received the request from the receiving court, all paperwork (including any CPS files relating to both the breach proceedings and the original sentence) will need to be sent to the receiving court23. This should be done via fax or email and in as short a timeframe as possible. Local arrangements should identify guidelines (which should be detailed in the local protocol) for the time taken for this to be done.

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This will be facilitated if the details of the originating case file reference number has been included on the PNC circulation of the warrant.

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The original Probation/ YOT should also respond as quickly as possible to the request from the receiving court. If any agency has any new intelligence or information, this should also be relayed to the receiving court. Upon the resolution of the case by the receiving court, the original court and Probation/ YOT should receive: • Copies of the result of the case; • Any paperwork relating to the resolution of the case; and • Any other information required by the original court and Probation/ YOT to administratively close the case. 4.6.6 How will transferred penalty breaches be measured?

All community penalty breach cases are subject to the targets described in Section 2.3, including those that become ‘out of area’. The new powers are designed to help faster case resolution, rather than the offender being bailed back to the original court where the chance of absconding will be significant. Upon transferring a case, the receiving Area will own the breach proceedings and it will be measured in their performance relative to targets. Warrant Tracker v3 (to be issued to Areas during June 2005) will allow analysis of performance of transferred cases, relative to cases kept within Areas.

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5.

BUILDING CAPABILITY

This section looks at training and support requirements. 5.1 WHAT SKILLS AND TRAINING ARE REQUIRED?

No new skills and training should be required to improve the enforcement of community penalty breaches, as the process does not introduce any new systems, forms or skill sets. If enforcement teams want execution teams to allow offenders to surrender to the court voluntarily, when a no bail warrant has been issued, managers will have to ensure that the necessary delegated powers have been applied as appropriate. 5.2 HOW TO ESTABLISH STRONG LINKS WITH OFFENDER MANAGERS?

All opportunities should be taken to develop the relationship between the Magistrates’ Courts and Probation/ YOTs. The establishment of a local joint protocol begins the process of closer working between the courts and Probation/ YOTs. However, and as is already the case in many areas, the relationship needs to continue to develop beyond its formal boundaries. Currently, it is likely that some members of the enforcement and some execution teams will have close relationships with offender managers. Through the guidelines described in this effective practice guide, it will become clearer (and vital) that these relationships encompass a wider range of staff. Offender managers will need relationships with listing officers, pre-court administration staff, as well as staff involved at latter stages of the process. As the local protocol is developed and communicated it is suggested that as many people as possible should be involved along the way. This will provide them with an initial view of the changes that are being made. As processes are being finalised, the more contact the different staff members can have with one another, the more likely that the process will get a better start and there will be more incentive from those ‘on the ground’ to find ways to amend and improve it, ironing out initial difficulties. As we are all aware, being able to put a face to name always helps strengthen personal contact. Joint workshops, an away day to explain why this is important, regular staff meetings and briefing sessions will help teams get to know one another, understand each others part of the process and look to ways to interact with one another. Areas should also ensure that communication of performance relative to targets flows within and between agencies. Areas should also think about the best way to resolve difficulties between agencies, including potentially having specialist “Community Penalty Champions” or acknowledged points of contact within Probation and the Court.

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6.

MANAGING DELIVERY

This section deals with governance, performance and monitoring. 6.1 WHAT GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES SHOULD BE IN PLACE?

Successful enforcement of community penalty breaches requires commitment from all criminal justice agencies involved. Whilst the LCJB will be held responsible for the overall end-to-end performance, it would be detrimental to the process for other parties to absolve themselves from their (critical) role in this performance. Members from all agencies involved, Magistrates’ Courts (including magistrates and legal advisors alongside administration and enforcement staff), Probation, YOTs, Police, AEAs, electronic monitoring contractors, must be fully engaged and understand what staff will be doing to follow the process through. It may be useful to establish a steering group containing managers from each partner agency to give community penalty breach enforcement the profile and drive that is required. This will also be able to provide staff with guidance when required and will facilitate an expedited route to deal with issues or problems. As performance improves, the steering group may wish to make amendments to the original process that will continue to benefit all those involved, including offenders. A steering group also allows for clear communication between agencies and a focal point for central communications to be cascaded down through the various organisations. Because the LCJB has overall responsibility for the end-to-end target, this group, or a sub-committee thereof, will likely be the most appropriate steering group for this area. Where the Police are used as the enforcement teams in an Area then communication of the community penalty breach enforcement targets, and if need be, action to improve the Police’s execution of these, should be done through the LCJB. Where Approved Enforcement Agencies (AEAs) are used as the enforcement teams in an Area, contract negotiations should place an emphasis on ensuring performance targets are met. As the court cannot directly enforce any warrant issued, agreement will have to be found as to the strict process that the AEAs should follow to increase the likelihood of successful and timely execution. As AEAs are not part of the LCJB it is critical that the court does everything it can to maintain and strengthen its relationship with the AEA. 6.2 HOW WILL SUCCESS BE MEASURED?

As outlined in Section 2.3.2, the targets for community penalty breaches will measure the time to resolution for all community penalty cases, from second unacceptable failure to comply. This is a cross-agency measure and will thus require cross-agency review and enforcement. An underlying key performance indicator for execution supports this target in the Magistrates’ Courts. As discussed in Section 4.4, managers may also find it appropriate to choose other targets relevant to various parts of the process. The closer the level of monitoring of all elements of the process, the easier it will be to spot areas where the process is not working as efficiently as it should be, or where frequent problems occur. For example, if the Area targets 95% of all warrants issued to be processed in 1 day by the administration team, but the Area is only able to achieve 30%, it might indicate that there is insufficient administrative resource to deal with the current breach volumes.

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The average end-to-end target is measured on resolved cases. As such, there is less incentive for areas to enforce cases that have missed the end-to-end target because these cases will have a detrimental impact on performance. However, it is critical that justice is seen to be done for all cases, regardless of the age of case. The Warrant Tracker monitors the level and age of outstanding cases and this information will be regularly reviewed at a national level. To reduce the impact of outstanding cases on performance it is vital that any CPBW backlog is reviewed, and where possible cleared, prior to the beginning of the target being measured on 1 October 2005. 6.3 HOW SHOULD THIS BE COMMUNICATED?

Once the local protocol has been established, it must be communicated through the organisations that have signed up to the agreement. This will include administration staff, enforcement staff, legal advisors, magistrates, offender managers and local police teams. Managers must use the most appropriate methods available (e.g. team meetings, briefings, committee meetings) and communications should include: • The aims and approaches for community penalty breach enforcement; • When and how the processes will operate; • The benefits; • The roles and responsibilities of all staff; and • How success will be measured and ongoing progress reported.

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APPENDIX A: JOINT NATIONAL PROTOCOL BETWEEN DCA AND NPS

EXPEDITED LISTING AND NOTIFICATION OF HEARING IN COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACHES
PURPOSE This circular is issued jointly by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (HMCS st from 1 April 2005) and the National Probation Directorate (NPD). It requires Magistrates’ Courts and probation areas to establish local agreed processes to speed up procedures for resolving breaches of community penalties. This circular does not refer to breaches that have to be heard before the Crown Court. ACTION Probation Chief Officers, Justices’ Chief Executives and HMCS Area Directors should review the contents of this circular and aim to ensure that appropriate local th agreements are in place by 4 April 2005 or as soon as possible after that date. Probation Chief Officers should provide the NPD through their Regional Manager, nd with a short progress report by 22 March 2005 and JCEs/HMCS Area Directors should similarly advise Joyce Stewart (details below) by the same date on the progress with implementation. SUMMARY Although there has been some progress over the last year, there is still more to be done by the courts and local probation areas to improve the end to end enforcement process. This circular focuses on two main areas – first the requirement for courts to provide sufficient and weekly hearing times, and second, notification to the offender of the hearing date by probation. It has been agreed that the first hearing date should not be any later than 20 working days after the second unacceptable absence. The intention is that breaches should be processed quickly and resolved at the first hearing whenever possible subject to judicial decision. For 2005/06 Local Criminal Justice Boards will be set an end to end target thereby emphasising the role of both organisations in resolving breach cases. This will focus on maximising the number of cases resolved within 25 working days of the second unacceptable absence. Further detailed guidance on this will be issued shortly. This circular also provides some guidance on the criteria to be used by offender managers in deciding whether or not to make an immediate application for a warrant. RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS PC24/2000, PC17/2004, PC43/2004 CONTACTS FOR ENQUIRIES Ged Bates, Regional Manager West of Midlands Region, NPS Tel 0121 248 6577 Mobile 07818 016458 Email: ged.bates@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Joyce Stewart, Head of Improvement Initiatives Team, Enforcement Programme, Tel 0207 210 0446 Email: Joyce.Stewart@DCA.gsi.gov.uk

Probation Circular
GENERAL ENQUIRIES
/2005 ISSUE DATE: 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Direct listing arrangements for breach to be in place in all areas th by 4 April 2005 EXPIRY DATE: February 2009 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Regional Managers Board Treasurers DCA AUTHORISED BY: Roger McGarva, Head of Regions and Performance Unit ATTACHED: JOINT DCA / NPS PROTOCOL FOR EXPEDITED LISTING

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

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A:. Joint National protocol between DCA and NPS. . .

DCA/HMCS and NPS JOINT PROTOCOL FOR EXPEDITED LISTING AND NOTIFICATION OF HEARING IN COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACHES

Introduction Both the NPS and the courts have been working closely together to improve performance and the purpose of this circular is to focus on how further improvements can be made through more effective listing and notification of breach hearing processes. The latest performance figures for NPS indicate that 87% of relevant offenders have enforcement action initiated within 10 working days as required by National Standards; in 1999 it was just 44%. Figures for compliance performance have also shown an encouraging improvement. Magistrates’ Courts have a target that 75% of warrants are completed within 28 calendar days for adults (14 days for youths) of issue. To date performance stands at 47%, clearly below the standard but much improved on the out turn for 2003/04 that stood at 37%. However, the current end to end process can still be very protracted, with long gaps between the decision to breach, the offender’s appearance in court and final resolution of the case. Ministers want to see the process expedited. Local agreements to improve listing and notification processes will help to achieve this. Changes to Enforcement Procedures At present in most areas, where breach action is required, communication with offenders through standardised letters confirms that court proceedings will be commenced but normally gives no indication of the date for the hearing. A summons is issued subsequently but sometimes the date of the court appearance is several weeks ahead. A simple but significant change to this process is proposed. After local discussion between probation and courts to determine the best working arrangement, every court area should provide the probation service with a set weekly time on which breaches of community penalties can be dealt with. Local arrangements should be agreed through the local Criminal Justice Boards and Justices’ Issues Group. It is fully recognised that there A-2
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is a major demand on court hearing times with associated targets for listing and therefore the process by which this is achieved will be dependent upon the size of the court, number of cases and other local issues. For example, in large courts this may mean the establishment of a specialist breach court on one morning or afternoon each week. In smaller courts it may be more appropriate to guarantee that breaches will be able to be heard during a particular morning or afternoon but not in a specialist breach court as such. When advising offenders that breach proceedings have been instigated, offender managers should instruct offenders under the standard conditions of their order to report to the local Magistrates’ Court on the next available breach hearing date (subject to at least 3 working days being allowed to prepare the case for prosecution). In essence the message to the offender will be: this is the second time you have failed to comply with your order, breach proceedings are now being instigated, under the conditions of your order you are instructed to report to the local Magistrates’ Court on Monday/Tuesday etc next week when your breach will be listed. The offender manager should then immediately liaise with the Listing Officer of the court, provide the details of the breach and the hearing date, and ensure that all appropriate information is formally laid before the court. (Annex B of Probation Circular 43/2004 provided details of the information required for presentation of breach cases at court). Of course it is important that all the necessary documentation is available so that the breach can proceed at the first appearance. To that end it may be unrealistic to instruct the offender to report to the court within too short a time scale. However, the hearing date should be no more than 10 working days after the decision to instigate breach and therefore no more than 20 working days after the relevant failure to comply. Laying of information and issue of summons Legal advice confirms that an offender manager can instruct an offender to report to the court building as part of their court order. In addition, the probation service will need to formally lay information containing the allegation of breach before the court. Courts may still wish to issue a summons and the best option may be for the probation service to prepare the initial summons documentation and send this to the court for official processing and service on the offender. Local discussion should determine the best course of action to follow. Even if no summons has been issued however, and the offender fails to report to the court building, the breach case will still be listed and the probation service may decide to make A-3
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an immediate application for a warrant without bail. This application would be on the grounds that the offender has failed to comply with their order on two separate occasions and has also failed to comply with the offender manager’s instruction to report to the court, in the knowledge that the breach would be listed for that day. Individual offender managers may decide it is appropriate to forewarn an offender in breach, that failure to report to court on the date of the breach hearing will result in an application for a warrant being made. Immediate application for warrants It is recognised that in some cases an immediate application for a warrant (bypassing the summons / first notification stage) is the most appropriate course of action if the risk of further offending is to be minimised. At present Staffordshire and Cambridgeshire are piloting arrangements to fast track warrant applications and execution procedures for high risk offenders. Subject to formal evaluation during February 2005 the processes associated with this pilot will be rolled-out nationally. Ultimately, the following three criteria should be used to govern the offender manager’s decision of whether or not to apply for an immediate warrant: If the offender’s whereabouts are not known If the offender is considered to present a high risk of re-offending, including those designated within Prolific and other Priority Offender Schemes If the offender is considered to present a high or very high risk of harm, in these cases discussions within Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements will need to inform the decision on the most appropriate breach process. In addition, of course, a warrant should be sought for offenders who have failed to report to the court as instructed whether by summons or following a direct instruction from their offender manager under expedited listing arrangements. As for summons cases, probation and courts should work closely to establish agreed procedures for more effective listing of warrant applications. It should be noted that the information provided to the court by the probation service as part of the warrant application can be very helpful to court enforcement staff in locating the offender. (Probation Circular 17/2004 has already provided guidance on this and a model pro forma for use). A-4
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Access to legal advice Offenders who breach their orders are free at any time to seek legal advice. There is little evidence to suggest that they are proactive in doing this under present procedures. It is not therefore anticipated that the proposed new arrangements will change the current position in terms of the proportion of offenders turning up in court without having had prior contact with a solicitor. Offender managers should confirm to the offender that they intend to proceed with the case at the first hearing and incorporate with this a written notice encouraging them to seek legal advice immediately. They should also advise the court at first hearing, that this advice was given. Local discussions between probation areas and courts should also consider this issue and briefings through court user groups, Justices’ Issues groups or other avenues may be helpful. Joint end to end target At present there could be high performance by both the probation service and the courts against their respective enforcement targets but still be many offenders whose cases are not listed for many weeks after the relevant failure to comply. Furthermore, these offenders may fail to attend court, have their cases subsequently adjourned (sometimes because the probation service is not ready to proceed) and ultimately succeed in delaying the conclusion of the proceedings. Home Office and DCA Ministers have agreed the need for a joint end to end performance target that addresses these issues. This is likely to focus on the proportion of breach cases that are resolved within 25 working days of the second unacceptable failure and will be in place for LCJBs from 2005/06. Further guidance will be provided on this shortly. In their work towards the achievement of this target, LCJBs will need to ensure that there is an appropriate and timely flow of information from the CPS to local probation offices. Another issue that may require local attention is the confidence of probation staff when prosecuting breaches, to challenge adjournment applications by the defence. The NPD and DCA will be considering what action can be taken centrally to support this work.

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National Standards A revision process is underway to amend standards in the light of new legislation. These enforcement developments will be addressed as part of this process. Amended standard letters will be issued to probation areas once the review process has been completed.

February 2005

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APPENDIX B: OAIS FORM

OFFENDER ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
CRO NO.: …………………. Surname: Alias/Other Names: Gender: (delete as appropriate) Forename/s: Date of Birth: / / Male / Female

National Insurance No…………………… Current/Last known address: Postcode: Home Phone No:……………………... Mobile Phone No: ………………. Postcode: Key Relevant Information:
(This section should be completed as fully as possible to enable enforcement staff to assess the risk to staff & the nature of the risk including the use of weapons/violence. Also state other relevant issues relating to health, risk of self harm, medical issues, drug/alcohol abuse etc)

Other recent Known Addresses: Postcode: Place Of Employment:

Name & Position with whom information can be checked:

Office Address/Contact Number:

Postcode

Date: /

/

The information contained on this form must not be shared with a third party or the offender without the prior authority of the national probation service

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APPENDIX C: DRAFT JOINT LOCAL PROTOCOL FOR AREAS

EXAMPLESHIRE PROTOCOL FOR BREACHES OF COMMUNITY PENALTIES

APRIL 2005

NOTE: This document is designed to give Courts, Probation Areas and other CJS partners a template to design a local protocol. This document MUST be amended to suit LCJB discussions and local area circumstances.

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C.1

INTRODUCTION

1. The Access to Justice Act 1999 enabled the execution of warrants for breach of community orders to be dealt with by Criminal Justice Areas and their agents as well as the police. Successful execution of warrants will depend on co-operation between the Exampleshire Criminal Justice Area, Exampleshire Police, Exampleshire Probation Area and Exampleshire Youth Offending Team. 2. This document sets out the relationships and arrangements between the agencies and reflects the joint responsibility of each agency in respect of the safe and timely execution of warrants, based on the provision of accurate and up to date information. WHILST SOME PROCEDURES ARE DETAILED IN THIS DOCUMENT FOR CONTINUITY, SEPARATE PROCEDURES SETTING OUT EACH AGENCY’S PROCEDURES UNDER THIS PROTOCOL ARE ATTACHED AS APPENDICES. 3. In order to execute warrants in a safe and timely manner, warrants can be divided into three categories MAPPA, High Risk, and Medium/Low Risk. There are specific procedures for each agency regarding each category of warrant. 4. During the effective use of these procedures the parties to this agreement will exchange personal data. This exchange of data will be governed by the Data Sharing Protocol 2003 to which all parties to this agreement are joint signatories. C.2 C.2.1 WARRANT CATEGORY DEFINITIONS Table of warrant categories

Warrant Category Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

Definitions • Most immediate concern of risk to public. • Very high likelihood of causing serious harm. • Urgent Action required.

High Risk (including prolific and other priority offenders)

• Concern of risk to public. • Likely to commit less Serious offences but includes threats to staff. • Action required within 48 hours

Medium and Low Risk

• No known risk to public or staff. • Breach because of failure to comply with National standards. • Will be executed by Magistrates’ Court staff. • These warrants can be elevated to high risk status by fresh information. C-2
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C.2.2 Use of Fast Track Process

5. A Fast Track Community Penalty Breach process will be available in Exampleshire 6. All cases that are either MAPPA or high risk will automatically be placed onto the Fast Track Process 7. Other cases that will be Fast Tracked include: • (provide details) C.2.3 Standard community penalty enforcement process

Insert process diagram and any explanatory text for Exampleshire. C.2.4 Fast Track Community penalty enforcement process

Insert process diagram and any explanatory text for Exampleshire. C.3 C.3.1 WARRANT EXECUTION MAPPA cases

MAPPA cases cause the most immediate concern in terms of risk to the public and warrants should be executed as a matter of urgency. The risk posed by these offenders will have been assessed through a Public Protection Panel meeting and the offender placed on the register of potentially dangerous offenders. They are assessed as presenting a very high likelihood of causing serious harm either to a known victim or to the general public (e.g. murder, arson, rape, kidnap). a. ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE POLICE

On issue of the warrant: 1. Treat as a grade one incident. 2. Collect the warrant from court immediately. 3. Plan and execute as soon as possible. (OSI Inspector to manage). On receipt of the warrant: 4. Enter onto PNC with risk category. 5. Liaise with Probation Case Manager. 6. To obtain contact details for out of hours. 7. To obtain background intelligence. 8. Evaluate all known intelligence. 9. Resource the incident appropriate to the risk. 10. Deploy resources to execute the warrant. On arrest of the defendant: 11. Notify Probation Case Manager to enable them to attend court (reasonable hour). C-3
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12. Investigate further offences. 13. Deal as appropriate. 14. Cancel the warrant. 15. Evaluate appropriateness of court escort based on risk and make the necessary arrangements. b. ACTIONS BY PROBATION

On instigation of breach proceedings: 1. Treat as a serious and urgent incident. 2. Manage the application for the warrant by contacting the listing officer at court as soon as possible (that day). 3. Attend court and apply for warrant. 4. Notify the police call management centre ASAP using either XXX XXXXXXX or 999 (explain that this is a MAPPA warrant and it needs to be brought to the attention immediately of the Force Control room Inspector). 5. Contact the manager of the MAPPA. 6. Pass and continue to pass the latest information regarding the subject to the police. On arrest of the defendant 7. Make arrangements for attendance court (use out of hours procedure). 8. Notify appropriate agencies of court outcome. c. ACTIONS BY MAGISTRATES’ COURTS

On instigation of breach proceedings: 1. Treat as an urgent incident. 2. Hear the application for the warrant ASAP. On application for the warrant: 3. The Magistrates’ Court staff will prepare the warrant at the court hearing immediately and make it available for collection. On arrest of the defendant: 4. The Magistrates’ Court staff will ensure availability of an appropriate court. d. REVIEW AND WITHDRAWAL OF WARRANTS

Reviews of MAPPA risk cases will take place daily between the Police and Probation case manager. C.3.2 High Risk cases

(Including prolific and other priority offenders) C-4
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Amend as appropriate for fast track procedures… 1. Concern of risk to public. 2. Likely to commit less Serious offences including threats to staff. 3. Action required within 48 hours. a. ACTIONS BY THE POLICE

On issue of warrant: 1. Collect the warrant via the courier system. 2. The warrant will be delivered to the warrants department. 3. Enter on to PNC. 4. Warrant information passed to the relevant police area within 24 hours of receipt. 5. Police area will commence initial enquiries within 2 working days. 6. Warrants department will provide management information regarding these warrants. 7. The Exampleshire Police will continue enquiries for a period of 10 working days in order to effect an arrest. At the 10-day point, the police will contact the Probation Service Case Manager, report on the action taken to date and check if any new information about the offender is available. b. ACTIONS BY THE PROBATION SERVICE

On instigation of breach proceedings: 1. Manage the application for the warrant by ensuring full appropriate information is on the warrant form (including level risk or whether prolific and other priority offender). 2. Pass the appropriate information onto court duty staff to enable the case to be prosecuted when the offender is produced. 3. Notify the Crown Court Probation office if the offender is to be produced at Crown Court. 4. Arrange for the briefing of counsel for cases to be heard at the Crown Court. 5. Pass and continue to pass the latest information regarding the subject to the police warrants department. c. ACTIONS BY THE MAGISTRATES’ COURTS

At court hearing (application for warrant): 1. Hear the application for the warrant ASAP. 2. The court will endorse the warrant to show high risk/prolific and other priority offender. 3. The Magistrates’ Court staff will prepare the warrant and pass to the police via the courier system.

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d. PROLIFIC AND OTHER PRIORITY OFFENDERS

With the exception of MAPPA (where special procedures apply) if the subject of the warrant is a Prolific and other priority Offender (as defined) procedures will be as HIGH RISK above. e. REVIEW OF WARRANTS

At specific points there will be a joint review of outstanding warrants. 1. Review of high-risk cases will take place at 10 working days after date of issue between the Police warrants department and offender manager. 2. The purpose of this review is to confirm existing information or to share any new information that has merged in the intervening period and to seek the Probation Service view. This will take place by telephone with the relevant case manager or admin manager. 3. If there is no new information, an information marker will be added to the PNC record. 4. Further reviews will take place between police and LRPA 6-monthly in order to exchange intelligence and re-evaluate risk. C.3.3 Medium/Low Risk cases

1. No known risk to public or staff. 2. Breach because of failure to comply with National standards. 3. Will be executed by Magistrates’ Court execution team. 4. These warrants can be elevated to high-risk status by fresh information. a. ACTIONS BY THE POLICE

1. Provide to the other two parties information and advice regarding the subject of the warrant. 2. Assist, where appropriate, in the decision making process regarding risk. 3. Assist when requested in enforcement of warrant, e.g. if violence occurs during execution team visit. b. ACTIONS BY PROBATION

On instigation of breach proceedings: 1. Manage the application for the warrant by ensuring full appropriate information is on the warrant form (including level of risk or whether prolific and other priority offender). This includes completing the OAIS form and notifying the date of second unacceptable. 2. Pass the appropriate information to court duty staff to enable the case to be prosecuted when the offender is produced. 3. Notify the Crown Court Probation office if the offender is to be produced at Crown Court. 4. Arrange for the briefing of counsel for cases to be heard at the Crown Court. C-6
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On issue of warrant: 5. Pass and continue to pass the latest information regarding the subject to the Magistrates’ Courts Warrants Department. 6. Provide relevant information to the Magistrates’ Courts Warrants Department regarding the subject of the warrant concerning changes of information or risk levels. c. ACTIONS BY MAGISTRATES’ COURTS

1. Notify the Probation Service of a successful execution of the warrant. 2. Hear the application on the arranged date. d. REVIEW OF WARRANTS

1. All warrants not executed within 20 working days will be subject of a review between Field Manager Enforcement (Magistrates’ Courts) and Admin Manager City Assessment and Court Team based at Leicester Crown Court. 2. The details of the offender will be placed on PNC. C.3.4 Management Information

1. The MCC (Performance Manager) will provide the Probation Service with the monthly performance information in respect of the execution of warrants. 2. Probation will provide the MCC (Performance Manager) with the monthly performance information in respect of the end-to-end target. C.4 ADMINISTRATION

1. This protocol will be reviewed annually on the anniversary of its inception. 2. Any consequential changes to procedures by any of the parties involved to this protocol will be discussed prior to commencement of the change.

CJS agency Exampleshire Magistrates’ Court Exampleshire Probation Area Exampleshire Police etc. etc. etc.

Signature

Date

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C.5 STANDARD WARRANT PROCEDURES

XXXX (e.g. CEOs, Police, AEA) are employed as the Area’s Execution Team. C.5.1 MAPPA/High Risk 3. The Police, not by the Area’s Execution Team, will endorse the warrant for execution. 1. If the warrant is for a MAPPA offender it should be completed straightway either by the legal adviser or by the assistant in the office. The warrant should be recorded in the warrant book (Police) and given to the Police as soon as possible. 2. All other warrants for high risk offenders should be sent to the office for preparation the same day it is issued. The warrant is recorded in the warrant book (Police) for collection. C.5.2 Medium/Low Risk

1. Immediately following court, warrants will be separated into three categories, (address known/address unknown/address outside Exampleshire). Where the address is known the warrant will be given to the enforcement officers for execution. 2. A DWP check will be made where an offender’s address is not known. Single enquiries can be made. A further enquiry will also be made to the Police in order to establish current whereabouts. 3. Where the defendants’ address is outside Exampleshire - the visit to the defendant’s address will have to be authorised by the Head of Administration. If a visit is not practicable, contact will be made by telephone and the offender will be invited to make a voluntary surrender. (DN: amend for new powers to transfer in DVCV Act) 4. Enforcement Officers will visit the given address within 48 hours. If contact with the offender is not established, a card will be left which invites the offender to contact the execution team. A second visit will be made within 3 days and a third visit within 14 days. 5. The execution team will execute warrants in pairs and try to ensure that one is of the same sex as the person being arrested. 6. Upon arrest and delivery to cells, execution teams must complete a PER (Prisoner Escort Record) in accordance with instructions. It is imperative that at the time of arrest, the execution team enquire of the person if they are on medication and ensure that it is delivered with them to the cells. Details of all risk factors must be entered onto the form. 7. Warrant Enforcement staff will contact the court duty officer (Exampleshire Magistrates’ Court) and the senior Probation Officer in the outlying Magistrates’ Court in order to advise them that a warrant has been executed. This will enable the location of case papers so that the case can be prosecuted when the offender is produced in court. The Crown Court Probation Office will be notified if the offender is to be produced at the Crown Court. 8. Probation Service staff will prosecute cases produced on warrant at the Magistrates’ Court and arrange for the briefing of counsel for cases to be heard at the Crown Court. C-8
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C.6 C.6.1 EXAMPLESHIRE COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACH PROCEDURES Information

Probation staff at court make applications for warrants to be issued in conjunction with breach proceedings based on the assessment of risk (MAPPA, Prolific and other priority Offender, High/Medium/Low). The supervising Probation Officer or Court Duty Officer will decide in each case whether the application will be for a warrant with or without bail. Exampleshire Probation Service will provide the Magistrates’ Courts staff with sufficient information to ensure that warrants are executed speedily and without risk to staff. Standard documentation will be completed at the point of application to the magistrates, which gives the following information: • Name, date of birth, gender • Case reference number • Ethnic origin/interpreter required • Type of order • Current Offence • Current address (including hostel) and telephone/mobile number • Last previous address (including date) and telephone number • Details of risk category • Case manager and contact number In addition the case manager must complete the warrants form with as much information as possible including any knowledge about potential risk to staff including risk if known from other members of the household, and risk of self-harm. This information must be included with other breach information so that the court duty staff will pass this to the Legal Advisor at the point a bench warrant is issued. The prosecuting Probation Officer/ Probation Service Officer will submit the pro forma to the court when the magistrate has issued the warrant. To avoid delays and queries, the information must be complete and up to date. In deciding what personal information should be disclosed, the supervising officer should be guided by the principles of the Data Protection Act, which allow for the disclosure of personal information if it is needed for the prevention of harm or detection of crime or the apprehension or the prosecution of offenders. Supervising Probation staff should consult with the Senior Probation Officer if they are in doubt and note the information and the reason for disclosure on the case record. It is the responsibility of Exampleshire Probation Area staff to advise the MCC and Police about any change in information about an offender including changes that take place after the warrant has been issued. The case manager will contact the Enforcement Staff (Team Leader) at the Magistrates’ Court and the staff at the Warrants Dept of the Police in order to convey up to date information about the case.

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Probation staff will, as a matter of urgency, advise the Enforcement Staff (Team Leader) about escalation of risk from low/medium to high risk. The MCC will inform the Police about any case that joins this category so that the warrant is executed within the high risk protocol. Changes in the following should also be notified to the Enforcement Field manager by Probation staff, by fax, within 24 hours of receipt of new information: • Change of address • Location of offender if previously not known • Withdrawal of breach proceedings • Imprisonment. At the point of sentence Resettlement staff will check to see whether a warrant is outstanding and request that it is withdrawn if the outstanding breech of order has been dealt with. Court staff will contact the relevant Probation Admin Manager directly about any queries to do with the case. If the Admin Manager is not available, the relevant Senior Probation Officer should be contacted. Probation Service staff will contact the named officers in each courthouse in order to liaise about an individual case. C.6.2 Prosecution

On the receipt of information from the MCC about the execution of a warrant, arrangements can be made (e.g. location of case papers) so that the case can be prosecuted when the offender is produced in court. This includes information being notified to the Crown Court Probation Office if the offender is to be produced at the Crown Court. Exampleshire Probation staff will prosecute case produced on warrant at the Magistrates’ Court and arrange for the briefing of counsel at cases to be heard at the Crown Court. This will follow receipt of a copy of the ‘Notification of agreement to appear’ form from the MCC. C.6.3 a. Review HIGH RISK

As before weekly liaison between Police and Exampleshire Case Manager. Review Meetings will occur 20 days after the issue of the warrant between the Field Manager (MCC) and the Admin Manager City Assessment and Court Team (Crown Court). Field Manager will provide a list of warrants that are unexecuted 3 working days before the Review Meeting. The Admin Manager for Probation will check the list against current information held on their files. Decisions are to be made on each case at the Review meeting. These could be: • If new information exists, execution teams attempt to execute; and

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• If no new information exists either the case will continue to be outstanding, or Probation may withdraw the warrant. (insert process diagram for instigation of breach proceedings). C.6.4 Withdrawal

The relevant case manager or Probation court duty officer will supply the listing office at the relevant court with a list of all warrant cases where there is an application for withdrawal. C.6.5 Out of Area

Exampleshire will facilitate all out of area breach proceedings where possible. The following process has been agreed when Exampleshire is the recipient Area of a community penalty breach: • Detail processes, procedures and contacts for when a breach is received from out of area The following process has been agreed when Exampleshire is the original Area of a community penalty breach, which will be dealt with out of area: • Detail processes, procedures and contacts for when a breach is transferred to be dealt with by another Area C.6.6 Training

All staff need to be made aware of the requirements of the Protocol and any subsequent changes made to it. C.7 EXAMPLESHIRE COMMUNITY PENALTY ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS LIST

Detail main contacts at all relevant agencies, including Courts, Police, Probation, Prison and YOTs. Include: • Name • Position/Role • Address • Email • Phone numbers (mobile where appropriate, e.g. CEOs)

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APPENDIX D: EXAMPLE FAST TRACK OFFENDER NOTIFICATION LETTER

Exampleshire Probation Area Example House 123 Example Road Example Town Exampleshire EX1 1EX Tel: (xxxxx) xxxxxx Fax (xxxxx) xxxxxx [Date] [Offender Name] [Address Line 1] [Address Line 2] [Address Line 3] [Postcode] Dear [Offender Name] You have now missed two appointments with the XXXX team on the 18th August 2004 and 12th October 2004 without an acceptable reason or evidence to support your absence. You have until 17th October 2004 to contact us to explain or provide evidence for your absence. Your case has been listed for Breach proceedings on [Date of court hearing] at [Time of court hearing], Court 1 at Exampleshire Magistrates’ Court when an application for a warrant for your arrest will be made unless you attend. Yours sincerely,

Joe Bloggs Exampleshire Offender Manager

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APPENDIX E: CHECKLIST The following checklist will assist the reader in confirming that they have covered all the key elements in this guide. An electronic version of this checklist is available by e-mail from the TIP team. EXAMPLE CHECKLIST BELOW:
Community Penalty Breach checklist ELEMENT 1 Key Features of Community penalties 1a. Community penalties Do we understand what community penalties are? 1b. Breaches of community penalties Do we understand how breaches of community penalties can occur? Do we understand the different circumstances under which a breach of a community penalty can occur? Do we understand the requirements for the instigation of breach proceedings? 1c. Enforcement of community penalties breaches Do we know what our current performance of community penalty enforcement is like? Do we understand the new targets that are being introduced? Are we aware of other targets that partner agencies have to achieve? Do we understand the definitions under which all performance should be measured? Are we currently measuring our performance according to the standard definitions? Do we understand the importance of enforcing community penalty breaches? 1d. Key principles for effective enforcement of community penalty breaches Do we understand the four key principles for effective Community Penalty Breach enforcement? Have we identified areas where the key principles need to be applied? Have we identified other agencies that we need to work with to improve breach enforcement? Have we started to establish and formalise relationships with other agencies regarding breach enforcement? 2 Community penalty breach enforcement processes 2a. Processes Have we clearly identified what our current community penalty breach process is? Do we understand the two processes (Standard and Fast Track) that need to be established? Do we understand the criteria under which the Fast Track process should be used? Have we established local agreements to define how the Fast Track process is to be used? Have we established what the Community Penalty Breach enforcement process should achieve? 2b. Standard Process Do we understand what a standard process for enforcing community penalty breaches should look like and involve? Are actions required to establish/improve our current standart community penalty breach enforcement process? Have youth and electronic monitoring cases been considered (and necessary actions taken)? Has a method for notifying the offender been established/agreed/changed? Has a method for issue of summons/letter been established/agreed/changed? Have processes been established/agreed/changed to ensure the necessary information is available for court? Has the use of the OAIS sheet been established/agreed/changed? Have processes for warrant administration been established/agreed/changed? Have processes for updates in information/intelligence been established/agreed/changed? Have processes for circulating warrants on the PNC been established/agreed/changed? Have targets/guidelines been agreed for execution teams have when in possession of a warrant? Have processes for preparation of case paperwork been established/agreed/changed? Have processes been established/agreed/changed to reduce the chances of case adjournment occuring? Are magistrates aware of their impact and role within the community penalty enforcement process? Have minumum time guidelines been established? 2c. Fast Track process Do we understand what a Fast Track process should look like and involve? Have we considered the establishment of a Fast Track Process? Have processes been agreed for FT offender notification? Have processes been agreed for FT preparation of paperwork for court? Have processes been agreed for FT warrant administration? Have processes been agreed for FT distribution of warrants to execution teams? Have processes been agreed for when a valid address is not available? Have processes been agreed for FT PNC circulation? Have targets/guidelines been agreed for execution teams have when in possession of a FT warrant? Have processes been agreed for FT updates in information/intelligence? Have processes been established/agreed/changed to reduce the chances of case adjournment occuring? Have we considered the use of a 'Probation Report' when cover may not be available? 3.1 3.1; 3.2; 3.3 3.1.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.2.3; Appendix B 3.2.4 3.2.5 3.2.5 3.2.5 3.2.6 3.2.6 3.2.6 3.2 3.3 3.3; 4.3.4 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.3 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.4 3.3.5 3.3.5 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.2 2.3.3 2.3.3 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 Cross Reference Yes Maybe No Confidence (%)

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Her Majesty’s Court Service 20/05/2005

E:. Checklist. . .
Community Penalty Breach checklist ELEMENT 3 Make it happen 3a. Establishing a baseline Have we ascertained if we have a warrant backlog? Have we considered whether to clear any warrant backlog? Have processes been agreed to clear a warrant backlog? Have we considered resource availability when clearing a warrant backlog? Has a plan been developed to deal with outstanding warrants that remain after the clearout? Have we agreed to establish regular warrant backlog reviews? 3b. Establishing a joint local protocol Do we currently have a joint local protocol for breaches of community penalty breaches? Have we invited all other agencies necessary to be part of the local joint protocol? Have senior personnel from each agency agreed and signed the local joint protocol? Has the local joint protocol fully covered all areas of community penalty breach enforcement? Have we involved all the necessary people as part of the local joint protocol? 3c. Establishing enforcement processes Have the four key principles been considered throughout ? Have dedicated breach court sittings been agreed and arranged? Have we considered the use of different types of warrants? Have we considered what resources are most suitable for executing CPBW s? 3d. Establishing regular monitoring Have we considered how community penalty breaches should be monitored? Have we considered how performance will be reviewed? Have we considered monitoring responsibilities of the different agencies involved? Have we agreed how often performance should be reported? Have we agreed what methods will be used to measure performance? Are we using version 2 of the warrant tracker? 3e. Resource requirements Have we considered the resource requirements for improving community penalty breach enforcement? Have we taken into account the volumes of community penalty breaches? Have we taken into account the time required to deal with community penalty breaches? 3f. Domestic Violence, Crim and Victims Act Do we understand what current powers are available to us for dealing with out of area community penalties? Do we understand the new powers introduced in the DVCV Act? Have we agreed what processes will be required when we are a receiving court of a transfer? Have we agreed what processes will be required when we are an original court of a transfer? Do we understand how transfers of community penalties and any breaches will be measured? 4 Building Capability 4a Skills and Training requirements Have we identified any skills or training requirements? Have we given appropriate powers to the relevant staff? 4b Establishing strong links with offender managers? Are we continuing to establish and develop links with offender managers? Do offender managers have the necessary links with the different areas of the court? Have we considered appointing a 'Community Penalty Champion'? 5 Managing Delivery 5a Governance structures Is the LCJB aware that it has responsibility for end-to-end performance? Are all senior personnel from the partner agencies involved aware of their responsibilities for performance? Have we considered the establishment of a Community penalty steering group? W here external execution teams are used, are the agencies aware of the targets that the LCJB has to meet? 5b Measurement of success Are we (and partner agencies) aware of the targets that have to be met that deem success? Are additional (or internal) targets required to aid the measurement of success? Has the local joint protocol been fully communicated throughout the LCJB? 5.1 5.1 5.1 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.3 5.1 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.2 4.1.1 4.1.1 4.1.1 4.1.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.2; Appendix C 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2; 5.2 4.3.1; 4.3.3 4.3.2; Appendix A 4.3.5 4.3.6 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.6.3 4.6.1; 4.6.4 4.6.5 4.6.5 4.6.6 Cross Reference Yes Maybe No Confidence (%)

E-2
Her Majesty’s Court Service 20/05/2005

Joint evaluation of Fast Track Warrant Schemes for breaches of Community Orders in Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire September 2004 – February 2005 Summary
The importance of securing prompt and effective enforcement action following any breach of the requirements of a Community Order cannot be overemphasised. Returning offenders back to court swiftly, helps to reduce reoffending and maintains the confidence of both sentencers and the public. As part of a range of initiatives to speed up enforcement processes, court and probation staff in Staffordshire and Cambridgeshire have piloted fast track schemes for the application and execution of warrants for breach of community penalties. The schemes focused on high risk offenders: • those posing a high risk of harm, including offenders falling within Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) • those with a high likelihood of re-offending, including those falling within schemes for Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPOs) • those subject to Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs). The specific objectives were: • that the warrant application should be listed and heard within 5 working days of the breach event • that any warrants should be executed within 10 days of issue. Outline procedures to achieve these objectives were drafted at the centre before the pilots commenced but were then refined locally through discussion. The results were very encouraging. In both areas all warrant applications on high risk offenders were listed within the target period of 5 working days. Furthermore, 72.5% of the warrants issued were executed within the 10 day target. It was also encouraging that probation and court staff from both areas have commented positively on the associated benefits of the good working relationships that were developed during the pilot period. All felt that the pilots had achieved their objectives and that the fast track procedures should now be

rolled out nation wide. This assessment is fully endorsed by both the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and the National Probation Service (NPS). Details of the procedures to be followed by court and enforcement staff in dealing with fast-track warrant applications and in the processing and execution of these warrants once they have been issued, are attached to this paper as an appendix. They will be issued through an Effective Practice Guide to be distributed to all courts by the end of April 2005 by the DCA. This will be complemented by a Probation Circular, to be issued to all probation areas by the NPD. Probation and courts will then work together to achieve local implementation through LCJBs. Monitoring performance: It is not proposed at this stage to introduce specific monitoring arrangements to focus on time scales for warrant applications and execution in high risk cases. Implementation of the process will support LCJBs in their work to achieve the new ‘end to end’ enforcement target. Performance against that target will be monitored, although the final arrangements for this are still to be determined. In submitting data, LCJBs could be asked to give a breakdown of overall enforcement performance by high / low risk categories. Implementation: The target date for the scheme to be introduced in all LCJB areas is 30th June 2005. In some locations a phased roll out will be appropriate and this will be left for local discussion.

Introduction
Staffordshire and Cambridgeshire were appointed as pilot areas for the fast tracking of warrant applications and the execution of warrants for certain categories of Community Penalty breaches. The specific objective of the pilots was to test systems that would reduce the amount of time taken to bring relevant offenders to court to answer allegations of breach of their Community Order. Only high-risk offenders on orders supervised by the Probation Service were included. These pilots form part of a series of measures to speed up enforcement processes and increase public confidence in the Criminal Justice System. At present, throughout England and Wales, breaches are processed typically through the issue of a summons with a warrant application only if the offender fails to answer the summons – or when the summons cannot be served because the offender’s whereabouts are unknown. The Probation Service currently has 10 working days under National Standards to action a breach and lay the information before court. This is achieved in some 87% of cases currently The court then has 28 calendar days for an adult or 14 days for a youth, to execute the warrant. However, this 28 day target for the courts was only met in a third of cases between April and December last year, though performance is currently improving.

Local data from Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire, suggested that breach through summons typically took 7 or 8 weeks in total, from the date of the failure to comply that acted as the trigger for proceedings to be initiated, through to resolution of the case. However, this period was greatly increased for those cases where the offender did not turn up in court and a warrant was issued.

Procedure
The pilot schemes have operated by applying for warrants without bail immediately (ie. without any application for a summons first) in all high risk cases. The pilots have sought to reduce the time taken in these selected breach cases to a maximum of 3 weeks from failure on the order to first appearance in court. This period comprises one week for the warrant application to be listed and a maximum of two weeks for the warrant to be executed and the offender brought to court. Outline procedures were drawn up nationally for both areas to follow during the pilot period and these included: Selection criteria for offenders to be included Procedures for probation staff to follow immediately after a second unacceptable failure Procedures for court staff to follow in processing applications and for those involved in the execution of the warrant once issued. The scheme was to be applied to adult offenders only. Those subject to DTTOs and the Intensive Change and Control Programme (ICCP) were to be included automatically. Also for inclusion were those offenders assessed as presenting a high risk of harm to the public or a high likelihood of re-offending. Both probation areas were to use the national offender assessment system (OASys) for this purpose. Some discretion could be applied for medium risk offenders but in practice no offenders in this category were included by either area. The nationally defined procedures provided for Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire are fully detailed at Appendix One.

Application of procedures in the pilot areas
In Cambridgeshire, the pilot scheme began on 4th October 2004. It has not been operational throughout the whole county. The courts and probation service worked together to produce detailed process specifications with model templates for information exchange, all based on the national outline procedures. In Staffordshire the scheme began on 20th September. The scheme had a phased implementation but is now operating throughout the whole county. Staffordshire

included Crown Court breaches, Cambridgeshire did not. As with Cambridgeshire the court and probation staff worked together to produce detailed process specifications and templates for information exchange. The variations in process between the two areas are detailed below: In Staffordshire, offenders were informed in writing by the Chief (Probation) Officer that they were to be included in this fast-track enforcement scheme. In Cambridgeshire offenders were advised of this during their normal induction process Both probation areas were willing to apply the procedures for any breach scenario, not just a failure to report as instructed Both probation areas monitored adherence to the procedures through the standard process for monitoring National Standards performance, known as NSMART. Both areas reported very close adherence to the procedures in all cases In Staffordshire the warrant application was faxed through to the court on the first day following the failure, sometimes before any inquiries had been made as to the offender’s explanation. In Cambridgeshire the fax was sent through on the third day Cambridgeshire Probation Area produced a breach report and faxed this through to the court on day 4; this would enable the case to be concluded more easily once the offender was brought before the court. In Staffordshire no such report was prepared in advance. Instead there was a reliance on court based probation staff being able to access the necessary information quickly In both areas the probation staff prepared the warrant document itself in advance of the court hearing so that it was ready for signing The single most important difference in probation practice was that in Staffordshire the offender was not generally notified of the date of the warrant application and therefore did not turn up in court, necessitating the issue of the warrant. In Cambridgeshire, the offender was told of the date and in almost three out of four cases on average did turn up in court on the day, meaning that no warrant was issued. Clearly in this respect the Cambridgeshire approach is to be recommended. The courts issued a warrant without bail for almost every application. Very few applications were challenged by defence lawyers. The processes applied by the courts in both counties to execute the warrant, were very similar. However, in Cambridgeshire more checks were undertaken (including DWP and Equifax) before any attempt was made to execute the warrant. In Staffordshire these additional checks were only made after an attempt had been made to locate the offender and execute the warrant by visiting the last known address. In both areas Court Enforcement Officers (CEOs) were proactive in contacting probation to check if any more up to date information about the offender had come to light

In Staffordshire, the warrants were listed on the PNC as soon as enquiries had been exhausted. In Cambridgeshire they were always listed on the PNC 10 working days after issue. Neither area had attempted to execute warrants at weekends

Results
In both areas all warrant applications were listed within the target 5 day period. In Cambridgeshire data from the start of the scheme up to and including 9th February 2005 indicates: 98 warrant applications originally listed 49 cases withdrawn (offender back in contact and providing acceptable reason with supporting evidence for the failure to comply) 36 offenders appeared in court on the day – meaning that a warrant did not have to be issued. The court results for these 36 cases were as follows: 17 were dealt with by allowing the order to continue 7 had the order revoked and were made subject to a new order 12 cases have been adjourned and were not dealt with by 9th February (1 to tie with other matters, 2 pre trail review 2 defendant attended but court did not know, 3 for PSR, 1 for Crown Court, 2 remanded on bail, 1 unable to attend Wisbech so case re-listed to Peterborough) The remaining 13 cases (breach not discontinued and offender not turning up in court) all resulted in a warrant being issued 5 of these 13 warrants were withdrawn (3 attended after warrant signed, 2 offenders found to be already in custody) The 8 remaining offenders had warrants that were executed as follows: 1 within 1 day 2 more within 3 days 2 more within 4 days 1 more within 5 days 1 more after 35 days and 1 remains outstanding and listed on the PNC. Data from Staffordshire is only available for the cases that actually required a warrant to be issued. This indicates that: 22 warrants were issued 1 was withdrawn (reason not recorded) • 21 offenders had warrants that were executed as follows: • 1 within 1 day • 5 more within 2 days • 4 more within 3 days • 1 more within 5 days

• • • •

4 more within 6 days 3 more within 13 days 1 more within 28 days and 2 are still outstanding and listed on the PNC

Combining the data, of the 29 warrants (not withdrawn) for execution: 17 (58.6%) were executed within 5 days a total of 21 (72.5%) were executed within the 10 day target 5 (17%) were executed outside the 10 day target 3 (10.5%) remain outstanding

Joyce Stewart DCA Ged Bates NPS 21st April 2005

Appendix One: Procedures to fast track warrants for high risk adult offenders
Where a warrant application is fast tracked, the offender manager has 5 working days from the offender’s failure to comply with the order to the making of the warrant application before the court: 1) When an offender who falls within the selection criteria1 for the fast track warrant scheme, fails to comply and breach action is required2 the offender manager should immediately phone court to arrange a listing date for application for a warrant. The date for the application should preferably be the 6th working day after the date of the failure that has triggered the breach action. 2) Within 2 working days of starting breach proceedings, the offender manager must contact the offender (house call/ phone call) to attempt to inform offender of hearing date3 and to obtain the reason for breach. At this stage, if an acceptable reason for the failure is provided, with supporting evidence, the breach process may be discontinued. 3) The offender manager has a further 3 working days within which to fax the breach information to the court. The offender manager must ensure that the information sent to the court: i) ii) iii) is clearly marked as a FAST TRACK case (a box will be added at the top of the Offender Additional Information Sheet for this information); contains an application for a warrant rather than a summons; provides comprehensive details of what attempts have been made to contact the offender; in particular, the offender manager should note if the offender is no longer at the given address (marked ‘gone away’); and

Selection criteria for inclusion in the fast track warrant scheme are subject to local discussion and agreement by the LCJB. They should normally include as a minimum any offenders subject to community orders who are defined as high or very high risk of harm (and thereby subject to Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) as well as prolific offenders (those with a high or very high likelihood to re-offend and thereby designated locally as Prolific or Other Priority Offenders). Ultimately however, the decision whether or not to apply for a fast track warrant rests with the offender manager who has overall responsibility for enforcement decisions. 2 Under National Standards breach action is to be taken after the second unacceptable failure to comply, a formal warning being issued following the first failure. The new Criminal Justice Act makes this a statutory duty 3 An attempt to inform offender of hearing date will increase the likelihood that the magistrate will grant a no bail warrant.
1

iv)

includes a risk assessment and, where possible, a ready-prepared warrant for signature

4) The initial hearing to be listed (where possible on 6th working day, but otherwise, as soon as possible after); a probation representative attends court to make the application; the Magistrate issues the warrant on the same day. Although the National Probation Service’s active involvement in fast track enforcement ends after step (4) above, it is essential that the offender manager stays in contact with the court and passes on any information he/she subsequently receives in relation to the whereabouts and circumstances of the offender. Where a case has been fast tracked, the court has 10 working days to execute the warrant from time of issue. 5) The warrant must be passed to the administration team within 1 working day. It should be clearly stated on top of the warrant (as on Offender Information Sheet above) that this is a FAST TRACK case. The administration teams should log the warrant. 6 (a) Where the information supplied by the offender manager includes a valid address, warrants must be passed to the enforcement teams for execution within 2 working days of the hearing. 6 (b)) Where the offender manager has marked offender as ‘gone away’ (i.e. no valid address)4 the admin team must immediately: i) ii) post the warrant on the Police National Computer (PNC) (assumes MCCs have PNC access) perform any information checking necessary to assist in locating offender, e.g. submit information request to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), local police system checks, 192.com etc.

The warrant, complete with as much additional information as possible, should then be passed to the enforcement teams. 7) Enforcement teams should make their first attempt to execute the warrant within 1 working day of receipt.

4 If the offender manager is sure that the offender no longer resides at his/ her given address, or the address is false, there is little point in court enforcement officers attempting to execute the warrant without further information.

8) If the warrant is successfully executed, the defendant is taken to court. The probation service should be informed within 1 hour of arrest. Any successfully executed warrants which have been posted on the PNC must be updated. 9) Immediately following the first unsuccessful attempt to execute the warrant, and where this has not already been done under (8(b)) above, the court should: i) ii) post the warrant on the PNC (assumes MCCs have PNC access) perform any information checking necessary to assist in locating offender, e.g. submit information request to the DWP, local police system checks, 192.com etc.

10) Enforcement teams must make at least two further attempts to execute the warrant within 10 working days; at least one of which must be outside normal working hours. 11) If enforcement teams have been unable to execute fast track warrants within the 10 working days, the court must inform the Probation Service. Warrants that have not been executed should remain on the PNC.