Probation Circular

To issue to probation areas the Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy for the National Probation Service REFERENCE NO: PC54/2005 ISSUE DATE: 14 July 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: July 2007 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Regional Offender Managers Board Treasurers Regional Managers HM Inspectorate of Probation AUTHORISED BY: John Scott, Head of Public Protection and Licensed Release ATTACHED: Annex A – Probation Area Questionnaire (part of circular) Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy

Chief Officers should ensure that: • The policy and strategy are implemented during the financial year 2005-06 in line with NPS Business Plan 2005-06, Priority 2: Protecting the Public from Harm • This circular is drawn to the attention of all staff • Annex A is completed and returned by 12th August 2005.

The document attached to this Circular sets out the interim domestic abuse policy for the National Probation Service and a strategic framework to implement it. It is being issued as an interim measure until such time as a National Offender Management Service domestic abuse strategy is developed. The NPS Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy has been developed in consultation with a regionally represented NPS Domestic Abuse Reference Group and with other stakeholders. NPD will monitor the local implementation of the domestic abuse policy and strategy. To assist with this, Annex A requests details of the senior manager with lead responsibility for domestic abuse. Documentation which supports the strategy is currently being drawn up. This will cover in more detail many of the topics covered by the policy and strategy.

A list of relevant circulars is included in the policy and strategy document.

Angela Colyer, 020-7217 0702, Eleanor Marshall, 020-7217 00670,

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


Domestic Abuse Lead Manager: Grade: Address:

Telephone: Email:

1. Is there a local Probation Area domestic abuse policy? If yes, please attach copy.

Yes / No

2. Area Business Plan 2005-06 – Outline of any domestic abuse-related objectives and action taken or planned. Examples of best practice that may be shared.

3. What arrangements exist for a local inter-agency approach to the management of domestic abuse cases? How do these arrangements link to MAPPA/CDRPs/LCJBs? Examples of best practice that may be shared

Please return to: Eleanor Marshall, Head of Domestic Abuse, Child Protection and Victims Team, Public Protection Unit By 12 August 2005

PC54/2005 – NPS Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy


National Probation Service For England and Wales


Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection

INDEX Page SECTION ONE Introduction - National Offender Management Service - The National Probation Service’s interim policy and strategy – putting domestic abuse in context - The nature of domestic abuse and statistics - What is domestic abuse? Justification - Principles and practice aims underpinning NPS policy Diversity Staff training and resources Staff who may be victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse Domestic Abuse and Restorative Justice NPS Strategy: A Framework - Area framework - NPD framework - Joint prison/probation strategy 3 3 4 6 7 7 12 13 14 14 14 16 17



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SECTION ONE - INTRODUCTION National Offender Management Service (NOMS) 1.1 NOMS was introduced following the recommendations in the Carter Review for Correctional Services Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime and the Government response Reducing Crime, Changing Lives. NOMS aims to ensure that a range of services are available to adult offenders and to those on remand throughout England and Wales. The development of NOMS involves changes to the way in which correctional services are organised and delivered. It establishes integrated offender management within which interventions are selected, sequenced and delivered, introduces commissioning of services and extends contestability. The formal structures and processes of NOMS are currently being developed and implemented. The NPS Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy is being issued as an interim measure until such time as a NOMS Domestic Abuse Strategy can be developed. The National Probation Service’s interim policy and strategy – putting domestic abuse in context 1. 2 The strategic aims of the NPS are enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection, which it shares with its partners in the Criminal Justice System; mainly the Police, the Courts and the Prison Service. The NPS also has a statutory duty under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 to help victims of offenders who are sentenced to 12 months or more in custody for a sexual or violent offence by offering them an opportunity to be kept informed at key stages throughout an offender’s sentence and to be consulted about an offender’s eventual conditions of release. The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 extends the duty to contact victims of mentally disordered offenders in certain circumstances. Adopting a strategic approach to tackling domestic abuse will incorporate all of the statutory aims of the service. The NPS Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy complements the joint Prison Service/NPS Offending Behaviour Programmes: Domestic Violence Intervention Strategy, which was issued in September 2002. This joint strategy acknowledges the need for the services to work together to address the behaviour of offenders who have committed offences against partners and ex-partners (see para 7.4 below). 1.3 The NPS Business Plan for 2005-06 sets out the main priorities for the Service within NOMS and it is significant that much of this is relevant to addressing domestic abuse, both in the context of reducing it and helping those who are, or have been, victims. Priority 2 is entitled Protecting the Public from Harm and includes the implementation of a Domestic Abuse strategy. 1.4 NPS Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy comes against the background of a number of developments impacting on the tackling of domestic abuse.

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• • •

• • •

In 2000 the Home Office published Domestic Violence: Break the Chain Multi-Agency Guidance for Addressing Domestic Violence in collaboration with the Cabinet Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Department for Education and Skills, the then Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, the Department of Health, the Lord Chancellor’s Department, the then Department of Social Security, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The publication aimed to raise awareness with all agencies falling within the policy remit of the Departments concerned. In June 2003 the Government published Safety and Justice, a consultation paper on domestic abuse that set out proposals under three headings of prevention, protection and justice and support In July 2004 HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) issued an Effective Supervision Inspection Programme Thematic Report Reducing Domestic Violence. The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill received Royal Assent in November 2004. The Act represents the biggest overhaul of domestic abuse legislation for thirty years and gives new powers to the police and courts to tackle offenders, while ensuring victims get the support and protection they need. The Government has recently published A New Deal for Victims and Witnesses – A National Strategy for Improved Services. In March 2005 the Welsh Assembly Government issued Tackling Domestic Abuse: The All Wales National Strategy. In March 2005, the Government issued Domestic Violence: A National Report. This set out the progress made in implementing the proposals outlined in Safety and Justice and highlighted new commitments.

1.5 At the time of writing, NPS strategies on Sex Offenders and on Prolific and Other Priority Offenders had been issued and strategies on Children and Families, Victims and Health Support for Offenders were being developed within NPD. Given the nature and prevalence of domestic abuse there is likely to be cross-over between these strategies and the Interim Domestic Abuse Strategy and their implementation should be complementary. The nature of domestic abuse and statistics 1.6 The importance of the delivery of an effective, consistent and high quality service to victims and interventions to perpetrators of domestic abuse cannot be under-estimated. It is a widespread social and criminal problem. It has a devastating effect, not just on the victim but their families because it is in families that one expects to feel safe and be safe. It is particularly serious because it is often a recurring threat to the victim’s safety and that of any children who might be involved. It can be life threatening. It is one of the few types of cases where the type of offence, name and whereabouts of a potential victim can be so well defined. 1.7 Research shows that one in four women is likely to have been the victim of domestic abuse. Crime statistics and research both show that

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domestic abuse is gender related (i.e. most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men) and that any woman can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. The British Crime Survey (BCS) (2002) estimates that there were 635,000 incidents of domestic violence in 2001, 514,000 of which were against women and 122, 000 of which were against men. This means that 81 per cent of recorded domestic abuse crimes were committed against women by men. The abuse of male power and control is a central feature to much domestic abuse. The BCS also found that it is women who suffer the most serious harm, intimidation, threats, rape, strangulation and post-separation violence, and are most likely to be killed by current or former male partners.1 However, the NPS also has a responsibility towards all other victims of domestic abuse. 1.8 Data from the Offender Assessment System (OASys), reflecting the position at November 2004, suggests that: • • • at least 11% of assessed male offenders are known current domestic abuse perpetrators. This figure rises to 14% if those on unpaid work requirements are excluded. 28% of all violent offences are committed by men who are current domestic abuse perpetrators at least 34% of all female offenders are victims of domestic abuse. This figure rises to 38% if female offenders on unpaid work requirements are excluded.

The OASys data is indicative of the prevalence of domestic abuse but is not absolute as, at the time the data was captured, some probation areas were under-represented on eOASys. Also, evidence from the HMIP Thematic Report Reducing Domestic Violence and the literature review prepared to accompany the inspection2 suggests that the data may be a significant underestimate. 1.9 It is equally important to provide an effective and early intervention for perpetrators, as there is evidence that domestic abuse has the highest rate of repeat victimisation of any crime3. A review of cases reported under the Serious Further Offences (SFOs) procedure during 2003/04 revealed that: • • 0.2% of NPS national caseload are offenders under probation supervision who have committed a serious further offence in 35% of SFOs the further offence was a domestic abuse offence

It is also a serious matter for concern that as many as three-quarters of domestic abuse incidents may go unreported to the criminal justice system4.
1 Mirlees-Black C., Findings from the British Crime Survey self completion questionnaire, Home Office 1999 2 Barnish M, Domestic Violence: A Literature Review, Home Office, 2004 3 Kershaw C et al, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 18/00, Home Office, 2000 4 Walby S & Allen J, Domestic Violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey, Home Office, 2004

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On average, there will be 35 assaults before a victim contacts the police. Many domestic abuse perpetrators with whom the NPS comes into contact are unlikely, therefore, to have domestic abuse-related convictions. 1.10 There are direct links between domestic abuse and the abuse of children. Children whose mothers are experiencing abuse are very likely to be abused by the same perpetrator.5 In addition, children who are present during the domestic abuse of another person are themselves victims of domestic abuse. The wide adverse effects of living with domestic abuse for children must be recognised as a child protection issue. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 amended the definition of “harm” in the Children Act 1989 to make clear that the harm a child may be at risk of suffering includes any impairment of the child’s health or development as a result of witnessing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. Any harm a child suffers because a parent is a victim of domestic abuse is caught by the amended definition of “harm”. Working Together to Safeguard Children is currently being redrafted to reflect the provisions of the Children Act 2004. The amended version will include guidance on child protection in specific circumstances, including domestic abuse. What is domestic abuse? 1.11 Domestic abuse is not a specific criminal offence and there is no statutory definition of it. Domestic abuse is a general term to describe a range of abusive behaviour, which may be criminal or non-criminal, and various definitions exist. The Home Office is the lead Government Department in tackling domestic abuse and it warns against adopting a definition that is too rigid. To support delivery across Government and its agencies through a common understanding, the Home Office has agreed to use a common definition of domestic abuse, based on that developed by the Association of Chief Police Officers, being: “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.” It is this definition that is being adopted for the NPS Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy6. This definition incorporates abuse between family members over 18 as well as between adults who are, or were, intimate partners whether in same-sex or heterosexual relationships. Abuse may take place in any section of the community regardless of class, culture, race, age,
5 For example, Bowker et al., “On the relationship between Wife Beating and Child Abuse”. In K.Yllo and M Bograd (eds) Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse. 1998; Hughes et al, “Witnessing Spouse Abuse and Experiencing Physical Abuse; “A” Double Whammy”? Journal of Family Violence, 4 (2), 1989; Hester, Pearson and Harwin, Making an Impact; Children and Domestic Violence 1999.

This definition differs from that use for the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP). The definition used for IDAP reflects the fact that the programme is designed to reduce re-offending by adult male domestic abuse offenders, the victims of whose offences are women.

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religion, or mental and physical abilities. Abuse may also result from the actions taken (criminal or non-criminal abusive behaviour) by the members of a family to protect the perceived standing of the family within the community. 1.12 The breadth of this definition has implications for offender management. It reinforces the importance of a fully integrated and coordinated approach to the management of domestic abuse perpetrators, encompassing the assessment and management of risk, access to interventions and inter-agency working. This lies at the heart of offender management envisaged in the Principles and Practice Aims set out in Section Two below. 1.13 In keeping with the definition, the term “domestic abuse” is used throughout this document instead of “domestic violence”, as this better reflects that such behaviour can be more than physical violence but encompass mental, financial and emotional abuse as well. However, it is accepted that the terms are used interchangeably. SECTION TWO - JUSTIFICATION 2.1 There has been an absence of a national policy and strategy directing the work of the NPS in tackling domestic abuse. This has hampered areas in developing local policies. One of the recommendations of the HMIP report Reducing Domestic Violence was that areas should develop local policy based on a new national domestic abuse policy. 2.2 This document sets out an interim domestic abuse policy for the NPS and a strategic framework (Section Seven) to implement it. The strategic framework reflects many of the recommendations made in the HMIP report Reducing Domestic Violence. The implementation of the NPS Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy by areas should be in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998 and 2000, the Human Rights’ Act 1998, the Children Act 2004, employment law, the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and other relevant Criminal Justice legislation. Principles and practice aims underpinning NPS policy 2.3 The NPS, in partnership with local agencies, domestic abuse services and specialist victim services, has a vital role to play by enabling known victims, including children, to access appropriate and effective services and contributing to their safety and the reduction of crime by working with and coordinating risk management strategies for perpetrators. The NPS does not underestimate the importance and sensitivity of this work. The unique nature of domestic abuse, as outlined in paras 1.5-1.6 above, sets it apart from other offences, which is why the NPS and other agencies, such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), police forces and local authorities have their own separate policies for handling it and sharing information.

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2.4 It is recognised that intervention and risk of harm assessment and management are best served by an inter-agency co-ordinated approach. Good practice with all domestic abuse perpetrators requires an inter-agency approach as a minimum, with links to police domestic violence units, agencies supporting victims and social care departments, where children are also involved. However, not all domestic abuse perpetrators will fall within the remit of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) or meet the threshold for Level 2 and Level 3 (Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP)) risk management within MAPPA. Such perpetrators should still be required to be managed through a local inter-agency approach where: • • • information in relation to risk assessment and management is shared within agreed protocols to safeguard the victim; an informed assessment of risk is developed; and a joint risk management plan is agreed.

The local inter-agency risk management processes must have a connection with the MAPPA structure within areas so that where the assessment of risk changes, direct and expeditious referral can be made. The exact nature of the connection will need to be determined locally to reflect the size of the area, locality and partnerships.7 2.5 An important aspect of MAPPA and inter-agency working is victim focus. Women Safety Workers work in partnership with those providing accredited men’s domestic abuse treatment programmes in the community (NPS) and in custody (Prison Service). Their primary focus is to work with the victims and the current partners of men undertaking the programmes in order to promote the safety of women and children and to seek to ensure that the programme of intervention with the male offenders does not put women and children at further risk of harm. The NPS provides a Victim Contact Scheme to all victims of offenders sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment for a sexual or violent offence, including victims of domestic abuse, and to victims of mentally disordered offenders in certain circumstances. Given the nature of domestic abuse, where resources allow, it is good practice to extend the victim contact scheme to domestic abuse victims regardless of the perpetrator’s sentence length. This should be considered on a case by case basis and informed by the risk of harm assessment. Principles 2.6 The principles underpinning the NPS’s Interim Domestic Abuse Policy are that:• As a public protection organisation, NPS will make the enhancement of victim safety a high priority and ensure that


Probation Circular 10/2005 outlines a Public Protection Framework to clarify the relationship between OASys, MAPPA and other risk management frameworks.

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arrangements are in place to identify perpetrators and those at risk of domestic abuse for whom it has statutory or public safety responsibilities, and to address and limit the offending behaviour of perpetrators. • Risk of harm must be assessed appropriately and proportionately, informed by collateral information (ie information from victim contact, police domestic abuse units, social care departments and other agencies), which should be sought proactively. Resources should be properly targeted to ensure that perpetrators are identified and assessed. Resources and priority should rise with risk of harm levels8. All NPS staff who come into contact with offenders and victims and the managers of those staff will be appropriately trained in domestic abuse awareness. In addition, relevant specialist staff will be trained in the use of risk assessment tools and good practice and equipped to assess and intervene effectively. Staff will be alert to the possible presence of domestic abuse in all cases with which they have to deal, including those cases that come to their attention for other purposes. The NPS is committed to an inter-agency approach, which is essential to the prevention, detection and reduction of crime. The NPS will work closely with all its partners towards this at both strategic and operational levels, setting protocols and minimum standards for information sharing and a common understanding of the role of each agency. This will be done in accordance with current best practice guidance. Area Probation Boards will participate in the development and implementation of local interagency domestic abuse strategies. The NPS recognises that women from minority ethnic groups may face particular difficulties that result from the combination of sexism, racism and isolation, and has developed local diversity strategies for tackling this. There are particular difficulties for victims who may be foreign nationals. Local domestic abuse policies should be audited for compliance with the NPD Diversity checklist. Diversity perspectives will be integrated into all aspects of contact with domestic abuse perpetrators in keeping with The Heart of the Dance Any incident, or suspected incident, of domestic abuse reported by a victim or perpetrator, should be taken seriously and the action taken in response recorded. Victims must be treated with care and sensitivity with the core aim of increasing their safety.


See PC10/2005 Public Protection Framework, Risk of Harm and MAPPA Thresholds

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The NPS will demonstrate an awareness of the impact of its work on victims’ safety and take any action necessary to increase it. Programmes for perpetrators will be run with the provision of concurrent women’s safety work in accordance with the Women’s Safety Worker manual to provide information and support to victims who agree to be contacted, actively manage risk and promote the safety of women and children. Probation Areas will undertake women’s safety work for perpetrators who undertake a programme whilst in custody. The NPS has an important role in supporting the enforcement of civil orders and in influencing appropriate sentencing by criminal courts through Local Criminal Justice Boards (LCJB), Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP)/Community Safety Partnerships (CSP) and other inter-agency fora.

Practice aims 2.7 • • The aims of the NPS in tackling domestic abuse are to: Promote and encourage a whole service approach towards addressing domestic abuse through this national policy and strategy Give high priority to the safety of victims (adults and children) of domestic abuse and their protection from physical, sexual, emotional and mental harm by perpetrators. Reduce re-offending by providing perpetrators with attitudinal and behavioural strategies to reduce the potential for harm and by limiting their offending behaviour Provide timely and accurate risk assessments of perpetrators of domestic abuse being aware that some perpetrators may be current and/or child victims of abuse and may require access to victim services. Enhance the quality of risk assessment and risk management action plans through the effective use of OASys and the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA); and through obtaining collateral information and inter-agency information exchange by communicating clearly, promptly and effectively with partners in other public protection agencies. Ensure appropriate and pro-active engagement with inter-agency risk assessment and risk management arrangements and with MAPPA, where appropriate, so that risk assessments and risk management plans reflect the active management of victim and child safety and wellbeing. Provide promptly an appropriately structured portfolio of interventions to address each perpetrator’s behaviour as a whole, including domestic abuse-related criminogenic needs, which have been carefully assessed

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as being suitable for their needs in reducing the risk of re-offending and based on evidence of what works effectively. • Deliver, where appropriate, accredited offender treatment programmes to address domestic abuse-related offending behaviour and reduce repeat victimisation, and provide interventions that hold offenders accountable for their behaviour. Train all front-line staff and their managers in addressing domestic abuse as part of the implementation of an accredited perpetrator programme. Actively pursue non-compliance with NPS National Standards, which includes non-attendance or non-participation on domestic abuse perpetrator programmes or evidence of ongoing abuse. Work with courts to recommend that appropriate and robust sanctions be imposed if perpetrators are found to be in breach of a court order to attend. Support the appropriate making, framing and enforcement of restraining orders and civil orders. Ensure sentences are planned effectively to reduce risk. Recognise that some offenders, who are not perpetrators of domestic abuse, may be victims of domestic abuse and that their offending may be linked to their experience of abuse. Enable access to appropriate/specialist support and services, where available, for offenders who are victims or survivors of domestic abuse. Proactively provide accurate, up-to-date information for staff about the full range of support and services available to those experiencing domestic abuse. The information should be provided in an appropriate and readily accessible way, supported through information sharing protocols. Respond appropriately to the individual needs of perpetrators and all known victims regardless of race, gender, age, religious beliefs, sexuality or disability. Enable victims to seek help and support appropriate to their diverse needs and develop means of identifying victims in the absence of immediately obvious symptoms of abuse. Ensure that the needs and well being of children exposed to domestic abuse are addressed through good communication with Social Care Departments, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS), CAFCASS Cymru and other relevant local specialist children and young people’s services. Strategic links are a requirement through Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs), which will replace Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs) and will be developed through implementation of the Children Act 2004. Promote and articulate, through representation on and contribution to LCJBs, CDRPs/CSPs, domestic abuse fora and other local strategic working groups clear and consistent messages on domestic abuse that challenge the many myths and stereotypes about domestic abuse to

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help ensure that its prevalence and seriousness are more widely and clearly understood. Promote and encourage through LCJBs and CDRPs/CSPs a consistently effective and high quality support for victims of domestic abuse throughout England and Wales. Actively engage in the governance of the Supporting People Programme. • Ensure that local probation areas have developed appropriate policy and guidance in respect of members of staff who may be experiencing or perpetrating domestic abuse based on the national domestic abuse policy and strategy, health and safety policies, employment legislation and building on existing work on domestic abuse in the workplace.

2.8 These aims will be met through compliance with NPS National Standards and National Standards for victim contact work and other relevant NPS policies and strategies (see Annex and NPS website for list of current relevant policies).

SECTION THREE - DIVERSITY “Our staff, offenders, victims and the public must be confident that treatment and provision of services will not be disproportionate or unwittingly influenced because of ethnicity, gender, class, colour, religion, culture, age, sexuality or disability. A New Choreography enshrines this in three key concepts – inclusiveness, transparency and openness.” (From The Heart of the Dance National Probation Service Principles) 3.1 Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and geography. NPS’s Domestic Abuse Policy is compliant with its Diversity Strategy document The Heart of the Dance which reflects the NPS’s firm commitment to action in achieving equitable, fair and accessible practices both within the workforce and those receiving its services. As part of this commitment: • • The delivery of treatment programmes should be sensitive to the diverse range of perpetrators attending the programme. It is recognised that not all perpetrators are suitable for the accredited treatment programmes. The risk posed by domestic abuse perpetrators who are not suitable should be carefully assessed and managed and interventions provided to address the offending behaviour in accordance with best practice and National Standards Contact with victims should be sensitive to their culture and diverse needs, delivered in an accessible way and recognise the right of victims to choose the way in which they wish to access resources. It

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• •

should also recognise the whole needs of individual victims and that their experience of abuse may be exacerbated by other forms of discrimination. Work with perpetrators should be culturally sensitive but cultural issues should not prevent a perpetrator being held accountable for their offending behaviour. Practitioners should recognise and be sensitive to the impact of abuse and the range of ways victims might use to survive domestic abuse. Victims may, for example, present issues of mental health and/or substance abuse.

3.2 The NPS’s aim is to be effective in communicating and working in partnership with local community groups and other agencies and to have significantly increased its profile and credibility amongst these groups. SECTION FOUR - STAFF TRAINING AND RESOURCES Staff training 4.1 Work on domestic abuse requires a whole agency approach and requires, therefore, domestic abuse awareness training for all front-line staff and role-specific training, where appropriate, effectively to implement the Domestic Abuse Policy. Chief Officers should ensure that relevant staff are properly trained to deal effectively with the needs of all victims and to work effectively with perpetrators to reduce risk and address offending behaviour. All staff, including management, operational and administrative staff, should be aware of issues relating to domestic abuse and NPS policy in relation to perpetrators, victims and staff. Resourcing 4.2 Work with perpetrators of domestic abuse is demanding and requires a high level of expertise. Staff undertaking this work should therefore be well supported and given appropriate supervision in line with area’s supervision policy. Consideration should be given to the provision of specialist professional support to staff who regularly work with domestic abuse cases, similar to that provided for staff working with sex offenders. 4.3 In allocating resources, chief officers will wish to reflect that the focus of accredited treatment programmes is on convicted male perpetrators who were or are in heterosexual relationships and that the NPS Business Plan 2005-06 places high priority on offenders who pose high risk of harm. Chief Officers should ensure that sufficient resources are deployed to provide an effective public protection service to victims, which may include female offenders who may be victims of domestic abuse.

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SECTION FIVE - NPS POLICY FOR STAFF WHO MAY BE VICTIMS OR PERPETRATORS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE 5.1 Given that a quarter of women in England and Wales have experienced some form of domestic abuse, it is inevitable that perpetrators and victims work within the NPS. It is the NPS’s policy that every local Probation Board employee who is experiencing or has experienced domestic abuse has the right to raise the issue with their employer in the knowledge that it will be treated effectively, sympathetically and confidentially and in accordance with health and safety policies. Local Probation Board HR policies should be sufficiently robust and sensitive to respond to and actively manage employees who are victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse according to their individual circumstances. HR policies should be clear as to what action the probation area will take to support staff who are known to be victims of domestic abuse and what action will be taken where there is evidence that employees are domestic abuse perpetrators. Regard should also be given to the principles set down in the IDAP National Guidance Manual. SECTION SIX – DOMESTIC ABUSE AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE 6.1 The NPS does not believe it is appropriate, in cases of domestic abuse, for Restorative Justice to be undertaken, by any organisation or agency, which either diverts perpetrators away from the courts (civil or criminal) or brings the victim and perpetrator together as a form of mediation or reconciliation, whether pre or post sentencing. The government's forthcoming paper on domestic abuse will address this issue. SECTION SEVEN – NPS INTERIM STRATEGY: A FRAMEWORK 7.1 This Strategy identifies changes in NPD and the probation areas that are required to improve the service’s approach to tackling domestic abuse and to implement national and local policies. Area Framework 7.2 No 7.2.1 Each area should Action Designate senior manager responsibility for domestic abuse to achieve the following: • • Devise local action plans for implementation of this strategy reflecting a whole service approach, local activity and needs Ensure domestic abuse awareness training and role-specific training is carried out so that all staff have appropriate levels of domestic abuse related knowledge and skills

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Develop a clear and consistent policy and procedure for the identification and allocation of domestic abuse cases and provide effective support through high quality supervision Ensure HR policies and procedures are in place which set out appropriate responses to employees who may have experienced or perpetrated domestic abuse Ensure local monitoring systems include domestic abuse related priorities and targets including outcome focused targets Ensure communication strategies facilitate the dissemination of information on domestic abuse issues to relevant senior managers, including those with responsibility for community sentences, resettlement, risk and public protection, HR, programme delivery and partnerships Engage fully in regional networks to ensure regional collaboration Ensure lessons learned from reviews under Serious Further Offences procedures are disseminated and incorporated, where appropriate, into local policy and practice.

• •

• •


Partnership working • Have in place protocols with other agencies, especially CPS, police, prison service, social care departments, and voluntary agencies, to create a shared understanding of confidentiality and requirements for sharing information in order to provide effective risk assessment and management Promote effective working arrangements at strategic and operational levels with Local Criminal Justice Boards, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships/Community Safety Partnerships and Domestic Abuse Fora to enhance understanding and improve services in order to achieve a co-ordinated community response to domestic abuse Ensure arrangements are in place for inter-agency working in domestic abuse cases that do not fall within MAPPA remit and that such arrangements link to the local MAPPA structure and Local Safeguarding Children Boards appropriately. Ensure procedures are in place to provide sentencers with information on interventions including feedback on the outcome of those interventions Ensure information is available to staff on domestic abuse

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services and resources available locally 7.2.3 Training • Ensure that all front-line members of staff receive role-specific training to work effectively with addressing and recognising domestic abuse and management risk to contribute to the safety of victims


Risk assessment • Ensure that OASys and SARA are used effectively and safely in offender management, PSRs, parole assessment reports (PARs) and other assessments


Diversity • Have in place arrangements to monitor by ethnicity in relation to domestic abuse cases to ensure equitable, fair and accessible practices and to identify local trends. If the analysis of monitoring reports suggests that a particular policy or practice has an adverse impact on a particular ethnic group take steps to ensure the issue is actively addressed.

NPD Framework 7.3 NPD will work on the following strategic imperatives as part of priorities for 2005/06. No 7.3.1 • Action Facilitate meetings of a NPS regionally represented Domestic Abuse Reference Group as a forum to share best practice, relevant information and learning to inform domestic abuse policy in the NPS In collaboration with the Domestic Abuse Reference Group develop practice guidance to complement this strategy In collaboration with NOMS and offender management arrangements develop guidance on SMART objectives for offenders on accredited programmes and those considered as not suitable for programmes for inclusion in the offender’s sentence plan. Develop guidance on working with domestic abuse offenders who do not meet the criteria for inclusion in the accredited treatment programmes

7.3.2 7.3.3

• •

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Co-ordinate NPS input to the work on the implementation of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and other relevant legislation and proposed legislation and issue guidance on the implications for NPS. Consider the need to clarify policy guidance to ensure risk of harm is fully assessed and taken account of in reports to court in respect of domestic abuse. Develop guidance on risk of harm thresholds for domestic abuse cases and the links between alcohol misuse and domestic abuse Complete the implementation of accredited domestic abuse treatment programmes nationally. Audit the implementation of the accredited treatment programmes and refer to the change control process where there is evidence to make improvements Ensure data on domestic abuse interventions contributes to national targets for programme completion. Ensure the continued development of a joint prison/probation services approach to tackling domestic abuse, including the undertaking of joint training.


7.3.6 7.3.7

• • •

7.3.8 7.3.9

• •

Joint Prison/Probation Domestic Abuse Intervention Strategy 7.4 The Offending Behaviour Programmes: Domestic Violence Intervention Strategy was drawn up to provide an overview of joint working between the Offending Behaviour Programmes Unit (Prison Service) and the Offending Behaviour Programmes Team (NPS). The vision of the joint strategy is to enable offenders to attend an accredited domestic abuse offending behaviour programme, in custody or the community or a combination of both. It consists of four elements: Access to effective programmes for perpetrators of domestic abuse according to assessed risk of harm and risk of re-offending, whether in the community or in custody, to reduce offending in this area and the incidence of repeat victimisation. Programmes will be provided within a common Risk Assessment/Risk Management Process. Access to a common Prison Service and Probation Service domestic abuse programmes booster/consolidation programme delivered within

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the community by the NPS as part of supervision of a community sentence or as part of a throughcare package. Joint training for facilitators/tutors where appropriate. Programmes should be supported by work with victim/survivors of domestic abuse to: signpost services to victims, to give information about the programme, and to ensure the victim has realistic expectations of what the programme can achieve to minimise the risk of attendance being used as another instrument to exert power over the victim by the offender; ensure a more thorough risk assessment/management process is completed in order to increase the safety of victims and ensure risk management plans prior to release consider the needs of victims.


Joint working can also limit the effect of the offender carrying out abusive behaviour from prison. 7.5 The Prison Service and NPS have worked closely on the development of three treatment programmes: the Healthy Relationships Programme, the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) and the Community Domestic Violence Programme (CDVP). The programmes have received accreditation under the Correctional Services Accreditation panel. IDAP and CDVP are run by NPS and the Healthy Relationships Programme by the Prison Service. The Healthy Relationships Programme and CDVP are based on the Canadian correctional services family violence protection programme and the High Intensity Family Violence Protection Programme. CDVP is the community version of the Healthy Relationship Programme.

Issue 1.0 June 2005



The list that follows is not exhaustive but is intended as a guide to the range of complementary NPS policies, strategies and guidance. Further information on these documents and on other NPS publications can be found on the NPS website PC 49/2005 Assessment and Management of Risk of Harm Action Plan PC 48/2005 Offender Assessment System (OASys) Quality Management Plan PC 42/2005 Extension of Victim Contact Scheme to Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders – the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 PC 32/2005 Identification of Individuals who Present a Risk to Children: Interim Guidance PC 25/2005 Criminal Justice Act 2003 – Implementation PC 24/2005 National Probation Service Business Plan 2005-06 PC 22/2005 Implementing Section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 2004: InterAgency Co-operation to Improve the Well-being of Children – Children’s Trusts PC 21/2005 Race Equality Duty and the Statutory 3 Year Review PC 18/2005 Criminal Justice Act 2003 New Sentences and the New Report Framework PC 16/2005 Criminal Justice Act 2003 Early Release and Recall PC15/2005 National Standards 2005 PC 10/2005 Public Protection Framework, Risk of Harm and MAPPA Thresholds PC 8/2005 NPS Business Plan 2005-6 PC 05/2005 Investigation of Serious Crimes involving Offenders under Probation Supervision: Memorandum of Understanding between Police and Probation Services relating to Victims PC 03/2005 Supervision, Revocation and Recall for Prisoners Release on Licence PC56/2004 Prolific and Other Priority Offenders: Additional Licence Conditions for Drug Testing and Addressing Problems with Drugs PC 54/2004 MAPPA Guidance PC 53/2004 Pre-Sentence Reports and OASys PC 51/2004 Supplementary Guidance for Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Strategy: Rehabilitation and Resettle Framework PC 48/2004 Reducing Re-offending National Action Plan PC 43/2004 Managing Compliance and Enforcement of Community Penalties PC 41/2004 Initial Guidance for Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Strategy: Catch and Convict Framework PC 34/2004 Parole Assessment Reports

Issue 1.0 June 2005


PC 22/2004 Health and Safety Policy Manual PC 13/2004 Victim Contact Work: Guidance on Victim Contact Work outside England and Wales PC 70/2003 PC 69/2003 PC 65/2003 PC 58/2003 PC 49/2003 PC 29/2003 Updated Guidance for the Persistent Offender Scheme NPS Staff Vetting Protocol Health and Safety Strategy – Phase One Development of National Probation Service’s Alcohol Strategy Domestic Violence Programmes Victim Contact Work: Revised Section 6 (stage 2) and 9 of the Guidance to Areas PC 28/2003 Victim Contact Work: Guidance on Recent Court Judgements PC 25/2003 MAPPA Guidance PC 13/2003 Sharing Information to inform Decisions on Offender Release and Recall PC 8/2003 Housing and Supporting People PC146/2001 Freedom of Information Act 2000 PC 62/2001 Further Guidance on the National Probation Service’s Work with Victims of Serious Crime PC 59/2000 Human Rights Act 1998 - Guidance PC 44/2000 Human Rights Act Sex Offender Strategy for NPS (September 2004) Health and Safety Strategy of NPS 2003-2006 Heart of the Dance: A Diversity Strategy for NPS for England and Wales 2002-2006 NOMS Offender Management Model (January 2005) NOMS Drug Strategy (January 2005) Supporting People – Guidance for NOMS staff (August 2004) National Stress Management Policy Best Practice on Diversity NPD Diversity Checklist Working with Minority Ethnic Communities NPS Guidance on Freedom of Information Act Working Together – NPS and the courts Manual for the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide List of publications on domestic abuse and other violence against women, research reports and other documents from government can be accessed on

Issue 1.0 June 2005