Probation Circular

To provide Chief Officers with a Technical Note which defines arrangements for measuring performance against the new end-to-end targets for the enforcement of community penalties. REFERENCE NO: 43/2005 ISSUE DATE: 10 June 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 & Performance Management ATTACHED: Annex 1 Technical Note Community Penalty Breaches End to End Enforcement Target

Chief Officers should continue to work with other members of the LCJB to improve end-to-end enforcement processes and in particular to ensure that arrangements are in place to supply the court with the necessary information to support performance monitoring. Chief Officers should also note the date of a forthcoming national workshop which will enable good practice ideas in enforcement processes to be shared and applied more widely. This will be held on 29th September 2005 and will be advertised more fully in due course.

New end-to-end targets have been introduced for 2005/06, to improve the performance of community penalty breach enforcement. These targets are owned by LCJBs and apply to Magistrate and Crown Court orders, but exclude Youths under the age of 18. The new targets are that breaches should take an average of 35 working days from second unacceptable failure to comply to resolution of the case; and that 50% of all breach proceedings are to be resolved within 25 working days of the second failure to comply. In addition, Probation and Courts have retained separate targets for offender compliance, prompt instigation of breach and the execution of warrants. Attached to this circular is the agreed Technical Note that defines the target components and performance monitoring arrangements in more detail. Whilst the Courts will be responsible for monitoring performance, their ability to do this will be dependent on the quality and timeliness of data provided by the Probation Service and effective local arrangements will be required to ensure that this information is provided.

PC24/2000, PC17/2004, PC43/2004, PC13/2005 and PC38/2005

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES, (tel: 020 7217 8244) (tel: 0121 248 6577)

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

The attached Technical Note provides definitions of key components of the new end-to-end target and also guidance on monitoring arrangements. In this note, you will see that HMCS Areas are responsible for measuring performance of both targets on behalf of the LCJBs. To that end software is being developed that will enable Courts to report on performance as a simple, automated, extension of their day-to-day management of breach cases. The package, COMET - the COMmunity penalty Enforcement Tracker - will be implemented nationally over the next two months.

The critical action point for local Probation Areas is to continue to develop good working relationships with colleagues in the Courts and more widely through the LCJB to ensure that the best local arrangements are developed that will improve enforcement practice. Much guidance has been issued previously and includes: • Options for expediting breach processes and for probation staff to instruct offenders to attend court • Fast track processes, to be targeted on high risk offenders, especially for the execution of warrants • Guidance on the information that courts need from probation to facilitate the warrant execution process. Although the Technical Note indicates that formal monitoring will not be applied until October it is nonetheless vital that discussions within LCJBs continue to develop and arrange to implement improved enforcement processes now. It is also vital that within Probation Areas every effort is made to ensure that breach cases can proceed speedily and efficiently and that we are not responsible for delays in process. Many areas have made responses to previous circulars and guidance that have been issued on related topics and it is clear that many local variations are being developed to achieve the desired objectives. It has been decided therefore to organise a national workshop – to be held on 29th September 2005 – to provide an opportunity for these good practice ideas to be shared and to enable us all to further improve performance. Full details of this workshop will be circulated in due course but areas should note the date and consider which staff might best attend. Although we are aware of a number of local good practice developments, areas are invited to make these known through their Regional Manager so that a good selection of arrangements can be presented to colleagues on the day.

PC43/2005 – Guidance on Arrangements to Monitor End-to-End Enforcement


PC43/2005 - ANNEX 1: COMMUNITY PENALTY BREACH END-TO-END ENFORCEMENT TARGETS This document is the agreed technical note for the measurement of the end-to-end targets for enforcing breaches of community penalties. 1.1 WHAT ARE THE END-TO-END TARGETS?

New end-to-end targets have been introduced for 2005/06, to improve performance of community penalty breach enforcement. These targets apply to Magistrate and Crown Court orders, but exclude Youths under the age of 18. The new targets are: • 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. In addition, Courts retain their existing key performance indicator (each Area has been given a banded target for CPBW execution): • Execute 75% of Community Penalty Breach Warrants (CPBWs) within 20 working days for adults (10 working days for youths). Probation are also continuing to monitor their target (in accordance with National Standards) of: • Instigating breach proceedings within 10 working days in 90% of cases. Probation also monitors the level of compliance with community orders. For 2005/06, the rate of compliance for community penalties is 85%. 1.1.1 Definitions for targets Resolution/resolved • A judicial decision is made in court on all outstanding matters (such as original matters and breach proceedings). An adjournment does not mean the case is resolved; or • The case is withdrawn (see following definition). 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 warrant has been served on

the offender and the offender has been 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/or unacceptable behaviour while on community penalty. For adults, breach proceedings generally begin after two unacceptable failures to comply. However, this could occur sooner, e.g. for violent behaviour while serving a community sentence. It is Probation’s responsibility to determine the unacceptable failure to comply and instigate breach proceedings. Working days • Monday – Friday inclusive, excluding bank holidays, for all 52 weeks of the year. For the purposes of measuring the target, the first working day will be the next working day following the unacceptable failure to comply. 1.2 WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERY OF THE TARGETS?

Responsibility for delivery of the targets at Area level rests with Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJBs). The multi-agency Community Penalty Enforcement Group (CPEG) is responsible for improving national performance and Roger Hill, Director of Probation, is the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) with overall responsibility for the delivery of the national targets. CPEG reports to the Enforcement Delivery Board, which has overall responsibility for delivery of the NCJB’s CJS Enforcement Vision, as set out in the Strategic Plan for Criminal Justice 2004-8: Cutting Crime, Delivering Justice. 1.3 WHO WILL MEASURE THE TARGETS?

HMCS are responsible for measuring the end-to-end targets. HMCS will do this using the newly developed COMET (COMmunity penalty Enforcement Tracker). COMET is an extension of HMCS’s Warrant Tracker v2. 1.4 HOW WILL THE TARGETS BE MEASURED?

The performance in a time period relative to the targets (whether that time period be month, rolling quarter, or year to date) is measured on the performance of all cases resolved in that period (excluding those defined as being outside the scope of the targets in the following section). 1.4.1 What is the scope of the targets? The targets will include all community penalty breach cases, except: • Youths (discussions are ongoing with the YJB regarding this); and • Cases whose second unacceptable failure to comply was prior to 1 April 2005.

This means that all community penalty breach cases are included in the targets, regardless of the risk status of the case, whether the offender pleads guilty or notguilty, whether the case is adjourned and heard later, whether a warrant was issued, and regardless of who executes any warrant issued. 1.4.2 When will target performance begin to be measured? Performance will begin to be measured on both targets from 1 October 2005. 1.4.3 How are cases that are transferred between Areas measured in the targets? Cases that are transferred between Areas are the responsibility of the Area receiving the breach case, and the full length of case resolution (from unacceptable failure to comply) is to be measured in the receiving Area’s performance (even though the case will not have spent all of this time in this Area’s control). The Effective Practice Guide for breaches of community penalties discusses in more detail the processes and controls associated with transferring cases between Areas. 1.5 HOW WILL DATA BE COLLECTED AND PERFORMANCE REPORTED?

Probation are responsible for ensuring HMCS receive all data necessary, most notably the date of unacceptable failure to comply. Where enforcement is performed by the Police or Approved Enforcement Agents (AEAs), these organisations are responsible for informing HMCS of the date of warrant execution. Local arrangements should be made to ensure the effective transfer of information from the Probation Service to the HMCS Area. The following process will occur for collection and reporting purposes: • HMCS Areas will collect and maintain community penalty breach records on a day-to-day basis using COMET; • HMCS Areas will prepare monthly submissions to HMCS on their performance relative to both end-to-end targets using COMET. Discussions are in progress with HMCS Areas regarding the date following month-end for submission to HMCS, but all efforts will be made to ensure timely management information can be provided; • HMCS will collate, report, and review official national and Area performance statistics for the previous month, rolling quarter, and year to date. 1.6 HOW WILL SUCCESS BE MEASURED?

Performance for the 2005/06 year, measured in accordance with this document, will be based on performance from 1 October 2005 to 31 March 2006. Both targets should be fully met at a national level over this period. As this is the first year of these targets, COMET, in addition to its core day to day case management capability, has been designed to enable further detailed analysis of performance so that we can understand where improvements can be made. Where the targets have not been met, the data will be examined at an Area level, with targeted supported available to improve performance as appropriate.



There is no current baseline, and as the relevant information is not currently collected it is not possible to establish one. COMET is due to be in widespread use by the Courts by 1 August 2005. As such, the data from August and September 2005 will be used as a baseline prior to the official start of the target monitoring from 1 October 2005. 1.8 HOW DO WE CHECK FOR PERVERSE BEHAVIOURS?

Three types of potential perverse behaviour have been identified. These are: • Lack of effort in resolving cases that have already missed the targets; • Transferring cases between Areas, and thus transferring responsibility for the targets; and • Lack of effort in clearing and resolving backlog cases – those whose unacceptable failure to comply is prior to 1 April 2005. COMET will enable HMCS to transparently monitor and assess the first two of these potential problems. LCJBs should develop a separate strategy to deal with the third potential problem, and give incentive for clearing the oldest cases.