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Probation

Circular

EXTENSION OF VICTIM CONTACT


REFERENCE NO:
SCHEME TO VICTIMS OF MENTALLY 42/2005
DISORDERED OFFENDERS – THE
ISSUE DATE:
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CRIME AND 10 June 2005
VICTIMS ACT 2004
IMPLEMENTATION DATE:
PURPOSE 1 July 2005
To provide an overview of the legislation which extends the probation Victim
Contact Scheme to victims of mentally disordered offenders in certain EXPIRY DATE:
categories. The Circular also provides instructions to victim contact staff and June 2009
offender managers about their duties and the procedures established to
support this work. TO:
Chairs of Probation Boards
ACTION Chief Officers of Probation
Chief Officers are asked to ensure this Circular is drawn to the attention of all Secretaries of Probation Boards
relevant staff, particularly probation Victim Contact staff, all probation Crown
Court staff and offender managers, who should note and adopt the contents CC:
ready for implementation on 1 July 2005. Board Treasurers
Regional Managers
SUMMARY
The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (DVCV) Act 2004 extends the
AUTHORISED BY:
duty to contact victims of mentally disordered offenders, in certain
John Scott, Head of Public
circumstances. This includes victims of offenders transferred from prison to
hospital for psychiatric treatment, as well as offenders subject to hospital Protection and Licensed Release
orders with restriction orders. This Circular provides information about the Unit
procedures that staff should follow for information-sharing, and forwarding
victims’ representations about discharge conditions. ATTACHED:
Appendices 1, 2 and 3
RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC 61/2001: Victim Contact Work – National Monitoring Arrangements
PC 62/2001: Further Guidance on the National Probation Service’s Work with
Victims of Serious Crime
PC 29/2003; Victim Contact Work: Revised Sections 6 (Stage 2) and 9 of the
Guidance to Areas (PC 62/01)

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES


Laura McCaughan NPD 020 7217 0639
(laura.mccaughan@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk)
Eleanor Marshall NPD 020 7217 0670
(eleanor.marshall@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk)

National Probation Directorate


Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
Contents

1. Background and scope of the Victim Contact Scheme

2. Explanation of disposals:

ƒ Hospital order with restriction order

ƒ Hospital direction with limitation direction

ƒ Transfer direction with restriction direction

3. Identifying relevant cases – probation Crown Court staff

4. Establishing contact with the Home Office Mental Health Unit (MHU) and Responsible
Medical Officer (RMO) or Care Team

5. Information about key stages whilst in hospital

6. Discharge procedures:

ƒ Home Secretary

ƒ Mental Health Review Tribunal

7. Events after discharge:

• supervision in the community

• varying conditions

• recall

8. National Standards Monitoring

9. Discretionary Work

10. MAPPA, Care Programme Approach and sex offender registration

11. Informing Staff and training issues

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Crime and Victims Act 2004 2
1. Background and scope of the Victim Contact Scheme

1.0 The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act (DVCV Act), which received Royal Assent in November
2004, contains a number of measures to extend the Government’s programme of improving services
and support to victims of crime. A new Victim’s Code of Practice, setting out the services which a
victim can expect to receive from each criminal justice organisation, is due for implementation in early
2006.

1.1 This Circular provides guidance on implementing the provisions requiring the National Probation
Service to extend the Victim Contact Scheme to victims of mentally disordered offenders. The effect of
this legislation will be that the probation Victim Contact Scheme will offer a service to victims of
mentally disordered offenders where the offender has been ordered to be detained in hospital, or is
transferred there from prison. Victims will have an opportunity to make representations to the Home
Secretary or Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) about the conditions of the patient’s discharge.
Victim Contact staff will need to be aware that the mechanisms and procedures for discharging
restricted patients are significantly different to licenced release for prisoners. The procedures are
outlined below.

1.2 Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 placed a responsibility on the probation
service to make contact with the victims of crime, in all cases where the offender has been sentenced
to 12 months custody or more for a sexual or violent offence. This duty is renewed by section 35 of the
DVCV Act 2004.

1.3 Sections 36-44 of the DVCV Act set out the extension of the victim contact scheme to victims of
mentally disordered offenders (MDOs). From 1 July 2005, Areas should offer contact to victims where
the offender is made subject to one of the following disposals:

A. Those convicted of a sexual or violent offence, who are then made subject of a hospital order with
a restriction order, or,

Those found unfit to plead and to have done the act and charged, or not guilty by reason of
insanity, under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 as amended by the DVCV Act 2004 in
respect of a sexual or violent offence, and then made subject to a hospital order with
restrictions

B. Those convicted of a sexual or violent offence, who are then made subject of a hospital direction
and limitation direction

C. Those sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more, for a sexual or violent offence, and
transferred from prison to hospital, under a transfer direction and restriction direction

1.4 The extended duty is not retrospective, and applies only to victims where the Crown Court sentences
the offender to one of the above disposals on or after 1 July 2005. However, some information on
discretionary victim contact in cases with earlier disposals can be found at paragraph 9.0.

2. EXPLANATION OF DISPOSALS

A. Hospital order with restriction order

2.1 Under section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Crown Court or Court of Appeal may, where an
offender is reported to be suffering from one of the forms of mental disorder defined in the Act, order
their admission to and detention in a hospital for psychiatric treatment. When such an order, known as
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Crime and Victims Act 2004 3
a hospital order, is made and it appears that there is a risk of the offender committing further offences
if in the community, the court may also make a restriction order for the protection of the public from
serious harm. Power to add a restriction order to a hospital order is limited to the Crown Court. The
restriction is usually for an unlimited period, although it may be fixed. The main effect of the restriction
order is that the patient may not be allowed leave outside the hospital or be transferred to another
hospital without the authority of the Home Secretary, and may not be discharged from hospital except
by the Home Secretary or a Mental Health Review Tribunal.

2.2 A person charged with an offence before the Crown Court, and found unfit to plead to the charge or not
guilty by reason of insanity, may also be made subject to a hospital order with restriction order.

2.3 Staff should note that offenders subject to these disposals will not have an offender manager.
Also, the DVCV Act does not require NPS to offer victim contact in cases where an individual is
subject to a hospital order without restrictions.

B. Hospital direction and limitation direction

2.5 The Crown Court may direct that an offender, who is being sentenced to a term of imprisonment,
should first be detained in hospital as part of that sentence (Section 45 A (3) (a) of MHA 1983, inserted
by the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997). The offender must have been found to be suffering from a
psychopathic disorder that requires treatment. The hospital direction requires the offender to be
moved to, and detained in a specified hospital. It must be used in conjunction with a limitation direction
which has the same effect as if a restriction order had been added to the hospital direction. This
disposal has been used sparingly to date.

2.6 The effect of these directions is the same as if the offender had been sentenced to imprisonment and
then transferred to hospital by the Secretary of State with a restriction order. The management of the
case is also the same - see 2.10 below. Staff should note that offenders subject to this disposal will
have an offender manager, and the usual liaison between victim liaison officer (VLO) and offender
manager should be established to ensure appropriate information-sharing about victim issues.

2.7 For cases in this category, the Act defines the relevant local probation board (the Area responsible for
contacting the victim) as the Area where the patient is to be discharged to or supervised in. However,
in practice, these cases should be dealt with under the usual arrangements, with the Victim Contact
Unit in the Area corresponding to the sentencing court being responsible for monitoring initial contact
with the victim, in line with the National Standard.

C. Transfer direction and restriction direction

2.9 Where the criteria are satisfied (i.e. the prisoner is sufficiently mentally disordered to require hospital
admission) the Home Secretary may make a transfer direction (section 47 of the MHA 1983) for a
serving prisoner to be moved and detained in a specified hospital. The Home Secretary may, and
usually will, add a restriction direction (s 49 (2) MHA 1983) which has the same effect as the
restriction order (see A above), except that it expires at the end of the offender’s sentence. This
prevents the offender being discharged from hospital without reference to the Home Secretary.

2.10 If, during the custodial part of their sentence, the Home Secretary is advised that the offender no longer
requires treatment in hospital for mental disorder or that no effective treatment for his disorder can be
given at that hospital, they may be remitted (i.e. transferred) to prison. It is important to note that
offender managers retain their statutory responsibilities to supervise transferred prisoners until the end
of the licence period, even if they are detained in hospital. “Release” on licence is still required and
MHU will have liaised with the offender manager in advance to ensure that the licence is in place. The
offender manager will keep in touch with the care team at the hospital to carry out supervision and to
plan for actual release (i.e. at the point of discharge) if this occurs during the supervision period.
Probation VLOs and offender managers should liaise in the usual way to ensure victims’

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Crime and Victims Act 2004 4
representations about licence conditions are considered. However, duties under the DVCV Act (that is,
providing information about key stages in hospital) expire at the same time as restrictions attached to
the transfer.

2.11 VLOs will already be in contact with victims where the offender has been transferred to hospital.
However, as the legislation is not retrospective, probation will only be required to obtain victims’
representations about potential discharge conditions for such offenders, where they have been
sentenced on or after 1 July 2005.

3. Identifying relevant cases

3.0 As with the current Victim Contact Scheme, the Area corresponding to the sentencing court is
responsible for initiating a referral to the victim contact unit. Victim contact staff should note that
procedures for ‘out of area’ contact also apply in these cases.

3.1 Crown Court Liaison Officers, and other probation court staff, should make arrangements to identify
hospital order with restriction orders, and hospital direction and limitation directions made at the Crown
Court (s) in their Area. When such orders are made, probation court staff should then send details of
the case to the Victim Contact Unit in their Area, in the usual way, including the name of the hospital
where the offender is being detained, where it is known. The Victim Contact Unit should then trace the
victims through the police and make an offer of face to face contact within eight weeks of sentence.
For out of area cases the sentencing Area should refer the case to the Victim Contact Unit in the Area
where the victim resides, who then make an offer of face to face contact within eight weeks, and report
back to the sentencing Area who are responsible for monitoring the case.

XHIBIT (Exchange of Hearing Information By Internet Technology)

3.2 Identification of all relevant cases at court will be made easier by using the XHIBIT system, currently
being rolled out by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. XHIBIT enables Crown Court clerks to
maintain an electronic log of events, as they happen. Selected elements of this information will be
made available to probation staff using the XHIBIT portal. Portal users will be able to ask for alerts to
be sent by email, fax or SMS to a mobile phone when an event occurs, such as the making of a
hospital order with a restriction. The roll out of XHIBIT is due for completion by March 2006. Staff
should make arrangements to ensure the hospital order with restriction order disposal is included on
their list of alerts once the service is available to them.

Transferred prisoners

3.3 The Home Office Mental Health Unit (MHU) will continue to write to the prisoner’s offender manager,
informing them that the offender has been transferred to hospital. The transfer may take place any
time after the original sentence date. Offender managers should ensure that this information is shared
with the VLO in all cases where contact with victims has been established.

4. Establishing contact with the Home Office Mental Health Unit (MHU) and Responsible Medical
Officer (RMO) or Care Team

Mental Health Unit (MHU)

4.0 MHU carries out the Home Secretary’s responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1983, and related
legislation. They direct the admission to hospital of patients transferred from prison, and consider
recommendations from Responsible Medical Officers (RMOs) in hospitals for leave, transfer or
discharge of restricted patients. MHU also prepare documentation for Mental Health Review Tribunals,
and monitor patients who are conditionally discharged. Each restricted patient has a caseworker at
MHU.

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4.1 For each new case, including transferred prisoners, the VLO should telephone the MHU caseworker
(using list of caseworkers, corresponding to patient’s surname at Appendix 1) to introduce themselves
and ascertain the caseworker is the appropriate contact in MHU. MHU will inform the VLO of the
contact details for the care team or Responsible Medical Officer (RMO) in each case, where this is
known. Any subsequent VLO taking responsibility for the case should inform MHU of the change in
personnel.

4.2 Where MHU have not heard from a VLO that they are responsible for victim contact in a qualifying
case, and there is a relevant development in the offender’s sentence that would normally be shared
with the VLO, MHU will contact the Public Protection Unit at NPD to identify the appropriate victim
contact unit.

RMO or Care Team

4.3 Care Teams in hospital are made up of the Responsible Medical Officer (RMO - the consultant
psychiatrist in charge of the case), social worker, nursing staff and other specialists, including
psychologists and occupational therapists as necessary. Any of these team members might have had
contact with victims during the course of a patient’s treatment. Generally, it is the social worker who
has the most contact with victims of restricted patients, and who will consider the issues they raise
when assessing the social circumstances of a patient who may be discharged. It is likely that social
workers will continue such contact in some cases. When first contacting the team, VLOs should inform
the RMO of their involvement, as they have overall responsibility for the case. However, VLOs may
also find it helpful to discuss their roles and responsibilities with social workers to ensure effective
liaison.

4.4 Where managers of a Victim Contact Unit are aware that VLOs in their Area are dealing with one
particular hospital (for example, one of the three high security hospitals – Ashworth, Broadmoor and
Rampton) in relation to a number of different cases, they may consider meeting with staff in the hospital
to give them information about the scheme, to raise awareness about the statutory duty to victims.

5. Information about key stages whilst in hospital

Patient Confidentiality

5.0 All staff should note that disclosure of information about a mentally disordered offender’s health must
be considered in light of Article 8(1) of the ECHR, data protection principles and the law of confidence
together with the relevant Codes of Practice. There is a presumption of confidence in relation to the
disclosure of such information. Disclosure will be in breach of this unless it is within the public domain
or the individual consents to the disclosure, there is statutory authority to disclose, or it is justified in the
public interest.

5.1 Under the Data Protection Act 1998 such information constitutes “sensitive personal data” and consent
must be obtained as a condition for processing of such data.

5.2 The NHS Code of Practice 2003 and the Code of Practice for the Mental Health Act 1983 also govern
the use of confidential patient information. In accordance with the Codes of Practice, information about
a patient should not ordinarily be disclosed without the patient’s consent. The exception to this rule is
where it is necessary in the public interest, for example where personal health or safety is at risk.

5.3 However, VLOs may be given information about the following ‘key stages’ in the patient’s time in
hospital before discharge. The information should only be disclosed to victims in line with the principles
set out above.

Patient transferred to different hospital


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Crime and Victims Act 2004 6
5.4 MHU will inform the VLO when a restricted patient is transferred to another hospital, including any
changes in security. VLOs should only inform victims of the fact of transfer, not the name or location of
the hospital (similar to transfer between prisons).

Patient granted leave

5.5 Leave for restricted patients is granted for different reasons to release on temporary licence for
prisoners. There is no requirement under the DVCV Act for VLOs to be informed when a restricted
patient is granted leave. A comprehensive risk assessment is carried out on all applications for leave,
which are ultimately approved by the MHU on behalf of the Home Secretary. VLOs should note that
leave may be granted for the purposes of a patient’s rehabilitation, or on compassionate grounds.
MHU may, on occasion, make this information available to VLOs. When they are given such
information, VLOs should only disclose the fact that leave has been granted, rather than any details
about where the offender will be going and for what purpose.

Patient remitted or transferred to prison

5.6 MHU will inform the VLO when the Home Secretary is considering remitting the patient to prison. VLOs
should only inform victims of the fact of remission, not the name or location of the prison (similar to
transfer between prisons).

Patient escapes or absconds

5.7 Care teams are most likely to know about a patient escaping or absconding, and staff at the hospital
will notify the police. As mentioned above, it is important for VLOs to develop a link with the care team
so they are told about such an occurrence. MHU may also inform the VLO where a restricted patient is
known to have escaped but this may not be immediate. Staff should note that most absconds are for a
brief period, so will not routinely be passed to VLOs.

Remission for trial

5.8 Patients who are found to be unfit to plead and made subject to a restricted hospital order may, if they
subsequently become fit to plead, be remitted for trial by the Home Office under other sections of the
DVCV Act. In such cases, MHU will advise the VLO that remission is taking place. Remission will only
take place following contact with the CPS so it is possible that victims may be notified via the CPS (if
they were witnesses in the case).

6. Discharge procedures [see Appendix 2 for flowcharts]

6.0 There are two discharge stages – conditional and absolute:

• Conditional discharge - where a restricted patient is discharged from hospital subject to


conditions and, where there is a restriction order, they are also liable to recall to hospital under
the original order in certain circumstances.

• Absolute discharge - where neither conditions nor liability to recall pertain.

Most restricted patients who are conditionally discharged into the community are absolutely discharged
some years later, if they have shown that the restrictions are no longer necessary. However, it is
possible for a restricted patient to be absolutely discharged direct from hospital. There can be a
number or reasons for this, and these cases may present particular risk management problems leading
to MAPPA involvement (see paragraphs 10.0-10.3). In some cases, the Home Secretary may lift
restrictions on a patient without discharging them from hospital. Such cases will be rare, for example,
where the offender presents a low risk of harm and suitable non-hospital accommodation cannot be

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found. Prisoners who are transferred to hospital very shortly before their release date will not be made
subject to restrictions and so the procedures set out in this circular will not apply.

6.1 With restricted patients, the power of discharge is shared by the Home Secretary and the Mental
Health Review Tribunal (MHRT).

Home Secretary decision

6.2 The Home Secretary has the power to discharge a patient conditionally or absolutely at any time.
Where discharge is to be conditional, victims will be given an opportunity to make representations to
MHU about the conditions. To support this work, MHU will notify the VLO when the Secretary of State
is considering a patient for discharge and the timescale for forwarding victim’s representations about
potential discharge conditions.

6.3 VLOs should obtain and forward a victim’s representations about discharge conditions to the MHU
caseworker in a similar format to those submitted to the Parole Board. It is important that VLOs explain
to victims that only their views about the conditions of discharge will be considered. However, where
there is no offender manager, VLOs should discuss any wider issues around risk of harm to the victim
with the appropriate caseworker at MHU and/or the RMO. The Home Secretary may impose any
conditions on release but it is envisaged that the conditions relating to victims will include ‘no contact’
conditions and exclusion zones.

Disclosure of victim’s representations to the offender when Home Secretary’s decision

6.4 Before the statutory duty was in place, victim’s representations sent to MHU were not routinely
disclosed to the offender. However, as this area of work develops on a statutory basis, there may be
challenges to this, and we will update staff accordingly.

6.5 MHU will notify the VLO of the Secretary of State’s decision about discharge and any conditions of
discharge. MHU will also notify the VLO where the Secretary of State varies conditions of discharge or
where a patient is recalled to hospital.

Mental Health Review Tribunal decision

6.6 Under the Mental Health Act 1983, a detained restricted patient may apply to have his/her case heard
by a MHRT roughly once each year. If the patient does not apply, their case will be referred to a
Tribunal by the Home Secretary every three years. In addition, after a conditionally discharged patient
has been recalled, the Home Secretary must refer the case to a Tribunal within one month of recall
(see paragraphs 7.4-7.8 for more information on recall). By law, the Tribunal must only consider
whether the individual needs to be detained in hospital for the purposes of mental health treatment.

6.7 When the Home Secretary refers a patient to the Tribunal, MHU will forward the details of the relevant
VLO to the MHRT Office. From 18 July 2005, the MHRT office will be based at 5th Floor, 11
Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB. When an application is made to the Tribunal, the Tribunal
office will obtain the details of the relevant VLO from MHU. In both circumstances, the MHRT
Secretariat will then inform the VLO of the Tribunal date once it has been set, as well as the date the
victim’s representations must be received to be considered at the hearing.

6.8 VLOs should consult victims about their representations relating to discharge conditions and forward
them, in a similar format to the submissions made to the Parole Board, to the Tribunal Office by the
specified date.

Disclosure of victim’s representations to the offender when MHRT decision

6.9 Victims should be made aware that no guarantees can be given that any representations they make
will not be disclosed to the patient.
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6.10 The expectation is that all documents are disclosed to the patient and the circumstances in which
documents can be withheld are very limited. Rule 12 of the Mental Health Review Tribunal Rules 1983
allows for the Tribunal to withhold any document from the patient if they consider that disclosure would
adversely affect the health or welfare of the patient or others. In such a case the Tribunal must
disclose the document to the patient’s authorised representative (if the patient has one). This is
done on the basis that the representative must not disclose the contents of the document to the patient,
either directly or indirectly.

6.11 It is a decision for the Tribunal whether or not any document should be withheld under Rule 12. Where
the victim wishes for this to be considered this should be clearly indicated on the victim’s
representations. The Tribunal will consider whether or not to disclose the document to the patient. This
may be done at the hearing or at a preliminary hearing held under Rule 5. A victim may request to
attend in person to argue that a document be withheld, but whether or not this is allowed will be a
matter for the discretion of the Tribunal.

6.12 Any application by a victim to attend the tribunal hearing and give oral evidence must be considered
under the existing MHRT Rules. The DVCV Act confers no new rights or obligations in respect of either
attendance at MHRTs or oral evidence heard by MHRTs.

6.13 The Tribunal Secretariat will inform the VLO of the outcome of the hearing, in writing, within seven
days. However, VLOs could also contact the patient’s Care Team to find out the result more quickly, so
as to notify the victim of the outcome and any conditions which apply to them.

6.14 Where a Tribunal decides to direct the conditional discharge of a patient it may defer the discharge
until it is satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made for the discharge to take place. Like
the Home Secretary, it may impose any conditions on discharge for the protection of the public or the
patient him/herself, such as residence at a stated address and supervision by a social worker (social
supervisor) as well as cooperation with psychiatric treatment. Conditions relevant to victims would
relate to ‘no contact’ conditions or exclusion zones.

6.15 Transferred prisoners are eligible to be considered by a Tribunal, but they cannot be discharged in
this way. However, the Tribunal may make recommendations on how they would have acted had the
offender not been a transferred prisoner. Therefore, VLOs should forward the victim’s representations
about conditions of discharge in these cases, as the Tribunal’s deliberations will be forwarded to the
Parole Board where appropriate.

7. Events after discharge – supervision in the community, varying conditions and recall

7.0 In this section we are referring only to conditionally discharged patients who are not supervised
by offender managers (i.e. patients who were subject to hospital order with restriction order).
Transferred prisoners will be subject to licence conditions on release, which includes
supervision by an offender manager in the usual way.

Supervision in the community

7.1 When a restricted patient is conditionally discharged to the community, they will usually be supervised
by a local authority social worker, known as a social supervisor, and a psychiatrist. The purpose of
formal supervision is to protect the public from harm, by assisting the patient’s reintegration to the
community and for supervisors to monitor the patient’s condition and behaviour in the community and
report back to MHU. The social and psychiatric supervisors should be in close liaison about the
management of the case and it is important that VLOs make links with each, probably via the social
supervisor, in relation to ongoing victim issues. Further guidance on the role of both social and
psychiatric supervisors, and supervision in the community has been published by the Home Office and
is available on the Home Office website at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/inside/org/dob/direct/mhudocs.html
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Varying conditions

7.2 After a Tribunal has directed the conditional discharge of a patient, the Home Secretary may vary those
conditions. In addition, a conditionally discharged patient may apply to the Tribunal to vary conditions
imposed by the Home Secretary or Tribunal, or apply for them to direct an absolute discharge.

7.3 VLOs should contact MHU if they think a condition pertaining to the victim needs to be amended (for
example, the victim moves to a different area so the exclusion zone needs updated).

Recall

7.4 A patient may be recalled to hospital where his mental disorder is causing him to behave in a way
which is dangerous to him/herself or others. Breach of the conditions imposed on a discharged
patient does not, in itself, lead to recall to hospital. In order to manage victims’ expectations it
will be important that victim contact staff make this clear from the outset. A patient may not be
recalled to hospital, except in an emergency, in the absence of medical evidence that the patient is
currently mentally disordered. However, information about breaches of any conditions may lead to a
consideration of whether recall is necessary.

7.5 If a social supervisor is concerned about the safety of the patient or others, they should discuss the
case immediately with the psychiatric supervisor and one or both should immediately advise MHU of
their concerns and how their plans for managing the situation. When considering whether to recall a
patient to hospital, MHU on behalf of the Home Secretary, will have regard to issues of public safety
and to the advice of a medical practitioner about the patient’s disorder.

7.6 VLOs should also note that reoffending whilst conditionally discharged from hospital does not
automatically constitute a breach of conditions. In such circumstances, the patient may only be
recalled where the social worker/psychiatrist judge that the patient’s commission of the offence is
related to their mental disorder.

7.7 Therefore, VLOs should establish links with the social supervisor (their contact details will be available
from MHU) in order to report any concerns about a conditionally discharged patient breaching no
contact or exclusion zone conditions. However, where VLOs are unable to contact the social
supervisor, contact should be made with MHU who will consider whether to recall a patient in an
emergency. In line with standard practice, victims should be advised to contact the police where they
fear they are in immediate danger from any individual.

7.8 Once a conditionally discharged patient has been recalled, the Home Secretary must refer the case to
a Tribunal within one month of recall. MHU will notify VLOs when a patient is recalled to hospital and
the MHRT will notify VLOs of the timescale for submitting up to date representations about conditions
of re-discharge.

8. National Standards Monitoring

8.0 The monitoring form has been re-designed to ensure Areas record the work with victims of mentally
disordered offenders, as well the gender and race and ethnic identity of all victims to whom we offer a
service. The new form will be issued with guidance in a separate circular.

8.1 The aim of the new legislation is to ensure that victims of mentally disordered offenders are given the
same service as victims of offenders serving custodial sentences. It is envisaged that approximately
200 new hospital orders with restriction orders are made each year. For all such cases Areas should
work to the National Standard (GS11), by making an offer of face to face contact within eight weeks of
sentence. However, these cases will not count towards an Area’s performance figures for the first few

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Crime and Victims Act 2004 10
months of the scheme, and until the National Standard has been amended to reflect the new duty. We
will advise Areas when this changes.

8.2 There will be no need to monitor victims of transferred prisoners separately, as the offender will be
sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment for a sexual or violent offence and such cases already
fall under the existing National Standard.

9. Discretionary Work

9.0 The Home Secretary (MHU) and Mental Health Review Tribunal do not have a duty to consider
representations from victims about potential discharge conditions placed on a patient, other than in
cases where the patient was sentenced or transferred to hospital on or after 1July 2005.

9.1 Where a Victim Contact Unit is approached by a victim wishing to make representations about a
restricted patient’s discharge conditions, who is not covered by the statutory duty, they should give
careful consideration to whether they have resources to provide a discretionary service. In such
circumstances, an approach may be made to the Tribunal, who may decide whether or not to receive
the victim’s information. It is important that victim contact staff do not give any assurances to such
victims that their views about discharge conditions will be considered by the Tribunal.

10. MAPPA, Care Programme Approach and sex offender registration

MAPPA

10.0 Restricted patients might be considered under MAPPA in any of the three categories – registered sex
offenders, violent and other sex offenders, and other offenders. The disposals, listed in section 2
above, all potentially qualify offenders for inclusion where they are linked to relevant offences. Health
and Social services authorities are now under a duty to co-operate with the MAPPA responsible
authority and care teams should be aware of the circumstance when cases might require MAPPA
referral. In addition, MHU caseworkers have been asked to ensure that referrals have been
considered in cases where they have concerns about risk of serious harm, e.g. in cases where MHRTs
have discharged in the face of the Home Secretary’s objections. In most cases, where there are no
such concerns, it is anticipated that risk management will take place at MAPPA level 1, within the
context of the care programme approach (CPA).

10.1 The CPA provides a framework for care co-ordination for those who have been accepted as requiring
specialist mental health services, which includes all restricted patients. There are 2 levels as follow:

• Standard, - for individuals who require the intervention of a single agency or discipline and who
pose no danger to themselves or others

• Enhanced - for individuals with multiple needs and who need to be in contact with a range of
services (including the criminal justice system, e.g. the police).

10.2 Most restricted patients will be managed under the enhanced level. Only where the CPA is not
providing an adequate risk management framework will cases be referred for consideration at MAPPA
levels 2 or 3.

Sex offender registration

10.3 Offenders convicted, or found not guilty by reason of insanity, of a qualifying sexual offence will fall
within the registration requirements.

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 11
11. Informing staff and training issues

11.0 Senior managers in probation areas may wish to consider making links with staff in high and medium
secure hospitals on a regional basis. For example, the East Midlands Region has established a group
which includes a representative from Rampton high secure hospital, to prepare for implementation of
the extended duty. Areas may also wish to consider the East Midlands model by assigning one VLO in
each victim contact unit to cases falling under the extended duty. This will ensure a central point of
contact and knowledge about procedures in the early stages of implementation. A presentation about
is attached to the electronic version of this circular – at Appendix 3, which Victim Contact managers
may wish to use in discussing the extended duty in team meetings. A Powerpoint version of this
presentation can be obtained from: Laura.Mccaughan@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Further Training

11.1 Many areas already provide some form of training in relation to mental health issues and mentally
disordered offenders. The National Probation Directorate, working with the National Institute for Mental
Health in England (NIMHE) is committed to making mental health awareness training available to
probation staff in England and Wales by the end of this year and will be looking to explore training
needs in relation to mentally disordered offenders with the newly designated ACOs with responsibility
for this area of work.

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 12
Contact List for Mental Health Unit caseworkers Appendix 1

Home Office, 2nd Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

020 7035 .... PLUS EXTENSION NUMBER


OR SWITCHBOARD 0870 000 1585

FAX: A - 020 7035 8974, B - 020 7035 8975, C - 020 7035 8978, D - 020 7035 8979

Cases are allocated to staff according to the first letter of the patient’s surname.

If you are enquiring about a particular patient please speak, in the first instance, to the appropriate Caseworker. All extensions can be
dialled direct by prefacing their number with 020 7035 …..

If you have difficulty please ring the Home Office switchboard on 0870 000 1585 and ask for the Mental Health Unit, quoting
the patient’s surname. The Switchboard should also be contacted in cases of emergency outside normal office hours.

Tel
020 7035 +

Name Casework allocation Extension Fax

HEAD OF Ms Elizabeth Moody/Penny 1478/4974 A


UNIT Snow
(SCS)
SECRETARY Ms Leni Gayle 1483 A

Mr Nigel Shackleford 1479 A

HEAD OF
CASEWORKING
(Grade 6)
Ms Valerie Taylor (P/T) 1481 A

Secretary

CASEWORKERS Ms Joanne Terry A 1487 C


(EO) Mrs Alison Caldow Ba – Bid 1465 B
Miss Harpreet Spall Bie – Buc 1464 B
Mr Patrick O’Dwyer Bud – Bz, Sa - Sim 1473 A
Also responsible Ca – Collins J
Miss Suzanne Bardwell 1456 D
Mr Andy Brook Collins K – Cz, Rp – Rz, U, V 1457 D
for s47 transfer of

sentenced prisoners
Mr Burty Valydon Da – Dil, N 1454 D
Miss Mel Flint Dim – Dz, E,Q,X,Z 1453 D

Mr Stephen Lott F, Woo - Wz 1485 C


Ms Lucy Daniels Ga–Gav, Hic - Hz 1509 C
Ms Claire Ratcliff Gaw-Gz 1507 C
Mrs Pat Dunwell Ha – Hib 1506 C
Ms Vidia Narayan-Beddoes J, I 1489 C
Mr Mike Turner K, Lm – Lz 1490 C
PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 13
Miss Sylvia Williams La – Ll, Mosm – Mz 1511 B
Ms Christina Clark Ma – McGi 1513 B
Miss Martine Green McGj – Mosl 1510 B
Miss Valerie Tooze O, Y, Williams I – Won 1488 C
Mrs Fiona McGhie Pa – Pri 1502 B
Mr Philip Drummond Prj – Pz, Wa – Williams H 1499 B
Mr Christian Secondis Ra – Ro 1467 B
Miss Jane Stearman Sin – Sul 1468 A
Miss Sarah Henderson Sum – Sz, T 1472 A

SENIOR Mr Greg Nanda A, F, O, U, Woo - Wz 1486 C


CASEWORKERS Miss Lyndel Grover Ba – Bra, Ra – Ro 1463 B
(HEO) Miss Kelly Foreman Brb – Bz, C, Rp – Rz, V 1458 D
Ms Brenda Storey D, E, Hooe – Hz, N, Q, X, Z 1450 D
Also responsible Ms Lisa Burrell G, Ha – Hood 1498 C
I, J, K, Lew – Lz, Sum – Sz, Trb – Tz
for s48 transfer of Ms Jessica Moorcroft 1493 C
remand prisoners Mrs Delores Stratton/Mrs Geraldine La – Lev, M 1514 B
Marsh (P/Time)
Ms Jacqui Woodward-Smith P, Wa-Won, Y 1504 B
Miss Ros Arnold Sa - Sul, Ta – Tra 1471 A

CASEWORK Mrs Sarah Denvir A, F, G, O, U, V, Woo - Wz 1496 C


MANAGERS Mr Julian Gibbs Ba – Brov, Ha-Ham, Ra-Ro, T 1475 B
(Grade 7) Mr Richard Westlake Brow – Bz, La – Leu, S, Wa – Williams H 1474 D
Mr Nick Hearn C, D, E, N, Q, Rp – Rz, X, Z 1462 D
Mr Richard Pickering Han – Hz, I,J,K,Lev – Lz 1494 C
Mr Mark Darby M, P, Williams I – Won, Y 1505 B
Secretary Ms Valerie Taylor (P/Time) PS for: N Shackleford & Casework Managers 1481 A

CASEWORK Miss Catherine Webb* A, F, U, V 1495 C


SUPPORT Mr Ian Barkataki* Ba – Bes, Ra – Ro 1466 B
(AO) Miss Rita Parmar Bet – Bid, Ma – Morgan C 1512 B
Vacant Bie – Bz, Duh - Dz, E, Q, X, Z 1452 D
Mr Matthew Gray* Ca – Collins J, La – Luk 1459 D
Mr Ravi Sond Collins K – Cz, Prj Pz, Rp – Rz, Sa – Sim, Woo– 1461 D
Wz
Ms Mary Robinson Da – Dug, N, Ta – Tot 1451 D
Mr Alan Morley G, K, Lul – Lz 1492 C
Mr Matt Noise H, Morgan D – Morre 1508 C
Mr Robin Peters* I, J, Morrf - Mz, Williams I – Won, Y 1491 C
Ms Kerry Dougan O, Sin - Sz, Tou – Tz 1469 A
Mr John Griffin Pa – Pri, Wa – Williams H 1503 B

CASEWORK Mr Zaheer Malik* A, F, M, O, Y 1495 C


ADMINISTRATION Mr Chris Ambatis* B, D, Q, R, V, X, Z 1460 D
(AA) Mr Sean Holgate* C, H, K, N 1455 D
Mr Richard Elcome E, G, S, T, U 1470 A
Mr Alistair Macrae* I, J, L, P, W 1501 B

MANAGEMENT Mr David Parkin 1480 A


TEAM (SEO) Mr Nigel Battson** 1482 A
(EO) Mrs Linda Doran (P/T Mon-Wed) 1484 A

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 14
(AO) Vacant 1445 A

BILL TEAM (Grade 6) Mr Nigel Shackleford 1479 A


(Grade 7) Ms Louise O’Sullivan 1476 A
(EO) Miss Eve Tilly 1477 A

Mr Nigel Shackleford Head of Caseworking 1479 A


POLICY
RESPONSIBILITIES Mr Mark Darby Human Rights Act, Liaison with the Mental Health 1505 B
Review Tribunal and Case law; policy liaison with
hospitals and prisons within Wales; DSPD Liaison
and ethnic monitoring
Mr Nick Hearn Policy on prison transfers and remission to prison; 1462 D
policy liaison with hospitals and prisons within the
Northern and Yorkshire Regional Health Authority,
the Trent Regional Health Authority and the
Greater London Eastern Area
Mrs Sarah Denvir Leave for restricted patients, supervision in the 1496 C
community and Women’s services; policy liaison
with hospitals and prisons within the West
Midlands Regional Health Authority; Institute of
Psychiatric Forensic Teaching Unit; training and
development
Mr Richard Pickering Risk assessment, lifers transferred to hospital, 1494 C
MAPPA; policy liaison with hospitals and prisons
within the East Anglia Regional Health Authority
and the South West Regional Health Authority
Mr Julian Gibbs Inter-agency working/court diversion; research 1475 B
liaison, Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Legislation,
and Services for Children & Adolescents; policy
liaison with hospitals and prisons within the South
East Regional Health Authority; victim issues;
grants to voluntary agencies
Mr Richard Westlake High Secure Services, Court & Police Liaison, 1474 D
Immigration Service Liaison, and Freedom of
Information Act; policy liaison with hospitals and
prisons within the North West Regional Health
Authority and the Greater London Western Area
Mr David Parkin Management Team; Performance Management; 1480 A
prison statistics; financial information systems;
electronic caseworking; casework manual co-
ordination; business improvement ; liaison with
health establishments located in North East
London and North Central London

** Temporary Promotion
* Agency Staff
For additional copies of this list, please telephone Linda Doran on 020 7035 1484.

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 15
Appendix 2

Flowcharts showing processes for victim contact for mentally disordered offenders

A. Transferred prisoners

Start

Court Change security


12 months custody
?
for sexual or
violent offence
Leave Inform Victim
Potential events
of outcome
in hospital
VLO informs victim
Offender Victim contact Escape/abscond
to Prison established as usual

Home Secretary remits


Offender transferred to hospital offender to prison

Transfer direction + restriction direction Patient applies or


referred to Tribunal

MHU inform Offender Manager


Tribunal
Remains
MHRT inform VLO of Tribunal date
in hospital
Offender Manager informs VLO

VLO informs victim of transfer VLO seeks Victim’s


representations Remitted
about potential to prison Inform Victim
discharge of outcome
conditions
and pass to MHRT

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 16
B. Victim Contact - hospital order with restriction order

Start

Court imposes
Hospital order with Inform
with restriction order victim
for sexual Change security of
or violent offence outcome
Potential events
in hospital
VLO informs victim Leave
Offender Probation court
to hospital staff alert
victim contact
unit
Escape/abscond

Patient applies or
referred to Tribunal

Victim contact established


Remains
in hospital
MHRT inform VLO of Tribunal date
Inform
Victim
VLO contact of
caseworker at MHU outcome
Absolute
discharge
VLO seeks Victim’s
representations Tribunal
about potential
discharge conditions
Conditional
discharge

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 17
C. Victim contact – hospital direction with limitation direction

Start

Court imposes
MHU advise of
Hospital direction
Change security
with limitation direction Inform victim
for sexual Potential events of outcome
or violent offence in hospital MHU may advise
VLO informs victim of Leave

Probation court
Offender staff alert MHU or care team
to hospital victim contact advise of
Unit and Escape/abscond
offender manager Patient applies or
allocated to case referred to Tribunal Home Secretary remits to prison
as no longer treatable
/does not comply

Victim contact established


MHRT inform VLO of Tribunal date

Remains
in hospital

Inform Victim
Tribunal of outcome
VLO contact
caseworker at MHU VLO seeks Victim’s
representations Remitted to
about potential prison
discharge conditions and
forward to MHRT

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 18
Presentation slides Appendix 3

PC42/2005 – Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – The Domestic Violence,
Crime and Victims Act 2004 19
PC 42/2005 Appendix 3

The National Probation Service duty to Victims

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004

Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders


Existing Statutory Duty to Victims

Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and


Court Services Act requires the National
Probation Service (NPS) to contact victims
of sexual and violent offences in all cases
where the offender receives a custodial
sentence of 12 months or more.
The purpose of the Victim Contact Scheme
is to provide:
• General information abut the custodial process and post-
release supervision
• Point of contact with probation service to express concerns or
anxieties about the risk the offender poses to them
• Opportunity to be contacted at key stages when the offender
is in custody, such as a move to a lower security
establishment
• Opportunity to express their views about an offender’s
conditions of release – such as non-contact conditions, or
exclusion zones
• Victim may request contact at any point during the offender’s
sentence
Domestic Violence, Crime and
Victims Act 2004
• The DVCV Act 2004 ensures that victims of mentally
disordered offenders have an entitlement to receive similar
information as the victims of violent or sexual offenders, who
are sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment. However,
there are significant differences between the key stages for
offenders in prison, to those in hospital

• Implemented from 1 July 2005

• Extends duty to victims of offenders who are restricted


patients in the following categories →
1. Those charged with a sexual or violent
offence, or who have been found unfit to
plead, and then made subject of a
hospital order with a restriction order

• There will be no offender manager in these cases

• VLOs will liaise with the caseworker in the Home Office


Mental Health Unit and Responsible Medical Officer
(RMO) and patient’s Care Team in hospital
2. Those convicted of a sexual or violent offence,
who are then made subject to a hospital direction
and limitation direction

• The offender will have an offender manager as they are


sentenced prisoners, but directed to hospital from court

• This disposal is relatively rare

• VLOs will liaise with caseworker in MHU and Care Teams in


hospital to develop the strategy for victim contact
3. Those sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or
more, for a sexual or violent offence, and
transferred from prison to hospital, under a
transfer direction and restriction direction

• VLOs will have already offered contact to victims when the


offender was sentenced to 12 months or more in custody for a
sexual or violent offence

• VLOs will liaise with caseworker in MHU and Care Team whilst
the offender is in hospital

• This provision enables continuity of victim contact where an


offender is transferred to hospital for mental health treatment
Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders
will be offered an opportunity to:

• make representations to the Home Secretary (via MHU) or the


Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) about the patient’s
conditions of discharge

• be informed of any conditions of the patient’s discharge which relate


to the victim or their family

• be informed when a restriction order/limitation direction in respect of


the patient is to cease to have effect

• be informed when an offender is transferred back to prison and any


subsequent licence conditions
Key stages whilst in hospital - 1
• Patient Confidentiality
No information about the patient’s health needs may be shared with the
victim. However, some information about the key stages whilst in hospital
may be shared

• Patient transferred to different hospital


MHU will inform the offender manager/VLO. The name and location of the
hospital should not be disclosed to the victim

• Patient granted leave


This information may not always be suitable for disclosure, where
the granting of leave indicates changes in the patient’s mental
health. However, MHU conduct thorough risk assessments before
approving applications for leave, and information will be shared with
VLOs where appropriate
Key stages whilst in hospital - 2
• Patient remitted or transferred to prison
MHU will inform the offender manager/VLO of this

• Patient escapes or absconds


By developing contact with the patient’s Care Team, this information
can be shared on a timely basis. MHU will also be informed, and can
pass it on to the VLO

• Remission for trial


Patients who are found to be unfit to plead and made subject to a
restricted hospital order may, if they subsequently become fit to
plead, be remitted for trial. MHU will inform VLOs of this.
Discharge procedures
Restricted patient’s may be discharged by the
Home Secretary or a Mental Health Review
Tribunal

There are two discharge stages:

Conditional discharge
where a restricted patient is discharged from hospital
subject to conditions and, where there is a restriction
order, they are also liable to recall to hospital under the
original order in certain circumstances

Absolute discharge
where neither conditions nor liability to recall pertain
The Mental Health Unit (MHU)
• Will inform the VLO if the Home Secretary
is considering discharge in a particular
case

• The VLO will offer the victim an


opportunity to make representations about
the conditions of the patient’s discharge
The Mental Health Review Tribunal
The MHRT office will:

• Inform the VLO when a patient makes an application to


the tribunal, and the subsequent decision

• Ensure the victim’s representations, via VLO, are


included in the papers considered by the MHRT

• Inform the VLO of any variation of discharge conditions


by the tribunal
Supervision in the community
• Conditionally discharged patients will be supervised by a
social worker and a psychiatrist

• VLOs should make links with the social and psychiatric


supervisors to manage ongoing concerns about victims

• Breach of a condition does not, in itself, lead to recall to


hospital. A patient may not be recalled to hospital, except in
an emergency, in the absence of medical evidence that the
patient is currently mentally disordered. However, information
about breaches of any conditions may lead to a consideration
of whether recall is necessary – so VLOs should discuss
reported breaches with the social and psychiatric supervisors
Start Victim Contact – transferred prisoners

Court Change security


≥ 12 months custody
for sexual or
violent offence
Leave Inform Victim
Potential events of outcome
in hospital
VLO informs victim
Offender Victim contact Escape/abscond
to Prison established as usual

Home Secretary remits


Offender transferred to hospital offender to prison

Transfer direction + restriction direction Patient applies or


referred to Tribunal

MHU inform Offender Manager


Tribunal
Remains
MHRT inform VLO of Tribunal date
in hospital
Offender Manager informs VLO

VLO informs victim of transfer VLO seeks Victim’s


representations Remitted
about potential to prison Inform Victim
discharge of outcome
conditions
and pass to MHRT
Start Flowchart – Victim contact when hospital order with restriction order
Court imposes
Hospital order with Inform
with restriction order victim
for sexual Change security of
or violent offence outcome
Potential events
in hospital
VLO informs victim Leave
Offender Probation court
to hospital staff alert
victim contact
unit
Escape/abscond

Patient applies or
referred to Tribunal

Victim contact established


Remains
in hospital
MHRT inform VLO of Tribunal date
Inform
Victim
VLO contact of
caseworker at MHU outcome
Absolute
discharge
VLO seeks Victim’s
representations Tribunal
about potential
discharge conditions
Conditional
discharge
Start Flowchart – Victim contact when hospital direction with limitation direction
Court imposes
MHU advise of
Hospital direction
Change security
with limitation direction Inform victim
for sexual Potential events of outcome
or violent offence in hospital MHU may advise
VLO informs victim of Leave

Probation court
Offender staff alert MHU or care team
to hospital victim contact advise of
Unit and Escape/abscond
offender manager Patient applies or
allocated to case referred to Tribunal Home Secretary remits to prison
as no longer treatable
/does not comply

Victim contact established


MHRT inform VLO of Tribunal date

Remains
in hospital

Inform Victim
Tribunal of outcome
VLO contact
caseworker at MHU VLO seeks Victim’s
representations Remitted to
about potential prison
discharge conditions and
forward to MHRT