Probation Circular

DELIVERING INTENSIVE COMMUNITY ORDERS UNDER THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 2003
PURPOSE
To provide areas with guidance on delivering intensive community orders. REFERENCE NO: PC56/2005 ISSUE DATE: 1 August 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: June 2006 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: Sarah Mann, Head of Interventions Unit Richard Mason, Head of Criminal Justice Act Implementation Unit ATTACHED: N/A

ACTION
Chief Officers and Assistant Chief Officers are asked to ensure that this circular is drawn to the attention of all relevant staff, in particular, offender managers and interventions staff, who work with prolific offenders.

SUMMARY
The community order of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 is available to courts for adult offenders who have been convicted of offences committed on or after 4th April 2005. The Act provides a more flexible sentencing structure, which enables the Court to order a number of different requirements under the community order to provide an overall programme of interventions. This circular provides guidance to all staff on how to take forward the management and delivery of intensive community orders. This circular is issued jointly by the Intensive Interventions Team and the Criminal Justice Act Implementation Team within NPD and should be read in conjunction with the complementary circular and guidance on the effective management of the drug rehabilitation requirement (DRR) and alcohol treatment requirement (ATR), which is being issued simultaneously. (PC57/2005 - Effective Management of the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR)).

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC13/2005 PC15/2005 PC18/2005 PC19/2005 PC25/2005 PC 33a/2005

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Programme Implementation Manager: Lisa Cox, 020 7217 0683 Lisa.cox2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Head of Intensive Interventions: Claire Wiggins; 020 7217 8646 Claire.Wiggins3@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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

INTRODUCTION 1. The community order of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (hereafter referred to as “the CJA 2003”) is available to courts for offences committed on or after 4 April 2005. This circular provides Areas with more detailed guidance on the delivery of intensive community orders. It is relevant to the management of intensive community orders for a range of offenders including Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPOs). It should be read in conjunction with the National Implementation Guide for the Criminal Justice Act 2003 community sentence provisions (Edition 2, Version 5F), National Standards 2005 and PC 57/2005 - Effective Management of the Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR). Developments in offender management and Interventions over the next year will require further consideration of the delivery of intensive orders. As such, this guidance will be subject to review. Aim of Intensive Community Orders 2. The aim of an intensive community order is to provide the courts with a robust and intensive community disposal that combines both punishment and, where appropriate, rehabilitation for offenders who represent the highest likelihood of re-offending, have multiple needs and who have committed a serious offence(s). Definition of an Intensive Community Order 3. The Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) uses three levels of offence seriousness within the community order: low, medium and high. Seriousness is defined by the culpability of the offender and the harm caused or risk being caused by the offence. The SGC proposes that for the low seriousness band there should in most cases be only one requirement. In all seriousness bands, the number of requirements must be proportionate to the offence. Intensive community orders fit within the highest threshold of seriousness within the highest community order band. 4. The introduction of the CJA 2003 allows for requirements to be combined, to produce an individual sentence package for offenders, which together amount to a significant restriction on liberty that will normally require much higher levels of contact than the National Standards minimum. For the purpose of this guidance, an intensive community order is one which involves a significant restriction on liberty, which is delivered either via 4 or more different requirements, of which one must be supervision, or through a smaller number of very demanding, restrictive and/or punitive requirements e.g. a long unpaid work requirement and curfew requirement of 12 hours per day for 6 months. It excludes singleton orders such as a residence requirement, which in itself is intensive and provides a significant restriction on liberty. 5. Intensive orders will replace current programmes such as the Intensive Control & Change Programme (ICCP) and the Intensive Supervision & Monitoring Scheme (ISM). These will be available only for cases where the offence was committed before 4 April 2005. Both ICCP and ISM have been integrated into the NPS National Implementation Guide for the Criminal Justice Act 2003 community sentence provisions (Edition 2, Version 5F) and are represented by model combination 12 – intensive control. The CPO and Curfew Order delivered within ICCP is represented by model combination ‘package’ 11. Suitability for Intensive Community Orders 6. While there is no legislative requirement relating to intensive orders, such orders are likely to be suitable for those offenders at the high seriousness level of the community order, who may also be at the threshold of custody. Where appropriate, Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPOs) should be prioritised for such orders. Where the court has indicated that the offence seriousness is high within the community order band, report authors should consider whether
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the case is one where an intensive community order would be appropriate. 7. Offenders within the high seriousness band of the community order will generally be assessed with a full OASys (PC18/2005). Generally, a high likelihood of re-offending refers to offenders with an OGRS of 75+. There may be cases, however, where the OGRS score is lower than this but the offence seriousness and level of need indicate a more intensive approach. In these cases it is good practice to obtain managerial endorsement and to clearly record this on the file. There is no specific OASys benchmark set for these types of orders, which could include offenders who have a high or very high risk of harm despite the OASys score being medium. 8. The National Implementation Guide for report writers to the new community sentence provisions provides a structure, which report writers should use to avoid the over use of requirements. The guidance provides 12 basic (model) combinations1[1] and indicates that there is no maximum number of requirements for those offenders in the high seriousness band of the community order, but that, as a guide, in most cases there should be a minimum of three to four core requirements, one of which should be supervision. 9. Areas may wish to prioritise bail provision where an offender is suitable for an intensive community order and is at risk of a custodial remand. PC19/2005 provides areas with targeting guidance on those cases where the court is considering a custodial remand. It suggests that areas give consideration to targeting bail provision to a number of offender groups of which the following are included: 1 Those who have a disproportionately high risk of being remanded in custody such as young (18-21 year old) defendants and; 2 Prolific and other Priority Offenders. 10. In most cases, offenders within this sentencing band will be sentenced following the provision of a Standard Delivery PSR (PC18/2005). There may, however, be exceptions to this and ultimately it is the decision of the court as to what reports should be used during the sentencing process. If the court requests a Fast Delivery PSR and probation staff become aware of issues relating to a high risk of re-offending or harm they should advise the courts that a standard delivery PSR may be more beneficial to the court. When proposing an intensive community order, PSR authors should provide advice to the court on the length and duration of each of the requirements, although the final decision remains with the court. 11.When proposing an intensive community order, the court must be satisfied that the offender can comply with the requirements. In the case of an intensive community order, PSR authors must ensure that the overall punitive weight of the combination of requirements is proportionate to the seriousness of the current offence(s) and that the individual requirements are likely to meet the identified offending related needs e.g. an activity requirement is proposed to address specific issues relating to learning/skills and education/employment activities. The PSR author must also ensure that the requirements are compatible and do not interfere with the offender’s religious beliefs or times of work and education. 12. Staff should assess offenders’ suitability for the range of requirements proposed. Where offenders appear as unmotivated, this should not preclude the PSR author from proposing an intensive community order. Staff should in these instances consider any additional support work that would be needed to support compliance. An example of this could be mentoring for younger offenders. Wording of Intensive Community Orders 13.When proposing an intensive community order, report writers must specify all the requirements and their lengths. In proposing offenders for intensive community orders under the CJA 2003, PSR authors should not make reference to the model combinations defined in the CJ Act

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Guidance for offences committed on or after the 4th April 2005, nor should brand names such as ICCP or ISM be used. However, as a transitional arrangement, areas that have existing ICCP schemes and are proposing an equivalent sentence under the new Act can say that the sentence being proposed is similar to ISM, ICCP and DTTO. PC 33a/2005 provides more detailed guidance on writing court reports on PPOs. Frequency and content of contact 14.There are no separate National Standards for intensive community orders. The new National Standards 2005 are a minimum and offenders may be required to report more frequently. Those offenders in the high seriousness band of the community order may be subject to higher levels of contact/restriction on liberty. The intended frequency of reporting must be recorded in the sentence plan. Contact levels should be based on the community sentencing band and the offender management tier and offenders most suitable for intensive community orders are likely to be managed by offender managers in tiers 3 or 4. Offender managers should ensure that they maintain weekly contact with the offender and, as a guide, the overall combination of individual requirements should amount to four contacts per week for the first 16 weeks (these include contacts with the offender manager). 15.With the exception of highly restrictive orders, all offenders who are within the high seriousness range for whom an intensive community order is appropriate must be recommended for a supervision requirement to provide the day-to-day offender management continuity. 16. The combined contact time should provide staff with the basis for advising on the duration of individual requirements e.g. a medium unpaid work (UPW) requirement of 100 hours may be more appropriate for an offender with 3 other requirements than a 200 hour UPW requirement. All activities that are included in the sentence plan and provide an audit trail can count toward the contact time. 17.Model combination of requirements that might be proposed for high intensity orders (as outlined in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 National Implementation Guide) are as follows:
Seriousness band High seriousness / intensive control Likelihood of reconviction: high Risk of harm: low-high No of requirements: 3+ Levels of contact: minimum 4 contacts per week or minimum 15 hours per week for the first 16 weeks if inclusive of a DRR Requirements Supervision + programme + activity, plus any of the following requirements if appropriate – unpaid work, mental health treatment, residence, prohibited activity, exclusion, curfew, DRR )

18.There may be occasions where an offender has a number of offending related needs but has not committed a serious offence, which would warrant an intensive community order. In these cases, staff should not propose an intensive order but ensure that the requirements proposed are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and will meet the assessed offending related needs. 16-18 year olds 19.All existing youth justice orders (now re-named Youth Community Orders under the new Act), will continue to be available to all juvenile offenders including 16 and 17 year olds. Alongside this, the existing adult community orders available under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000: the Community Punishment Order, the Community Rehabilitation
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Order, the Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order, Drug Treatment and Testing Order, curfew order and exclusion order, whilst no longer available to adults under the new Act, will continue to be available for 16 and 17 year olds. The Intensive phase of the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Order (ISSP) will continue to be managed by local YOTs. Offender Management and National Standards Issues 20. All requirements under the CJA 2003 start from the sentence date – requirements may be sequenced. National Standards provides the time frame for the implementation of the requirements. Generally, all requirements must be completed by the end of the sentence, although the court may specify a shorter completion time for a specific requirement. In addition, probation staff will need to be mindful of the minimum timescales for requirements to be implemented i.e. the activity requirement should start within 15 days of the sentence. Managerial endorsement will be required where implementation of the requirements is likely to exceed National Standard timescales. This must be recorded on the sentence plan. 21.The court must set the length of a supervision requirement to be the same or longer than any other requirement imposed. When managing an intensive community order, probation staff should consider sequencing the requirements in order to maximise the rehabilitative impact on the offender. Where sequencing is planned, the supervision requirement will, where necessary, need to be long enough to allow the completion of any programme, treatment or activity requirement. Where practical, staff should sequence compatible interventions on the same day. Consideration should also be given to arranging appointments at a regular time each week or at a time when the offender is most likely to attend. 22.All intensive community orders that contain multiple requirements are likely to fall into offender management tiers 3 or 4, where case allocation should occur within one working day of sentence. 23.The first contact should be arranged on the day of sentence or as soon after but no later than five days after sentence. 24.The sentence plan should be completed within five working days after sentence and shared with relevant partner agencies within one working day of completing the plan. 25. Local risk management procedures should apply where staff are working with high-risk or very high-risk of harm offenders subject to formal MAPPA procedures. Enforcement and Breach Action 26. Please refer to section 5.4 of the National Implementation Guide for further information on enforcement. While there are no separate enforcement procedures for intensive community orders, staff should bear in mind the following: 27.Recording will be a critical task for the management of intensive community orders. Offender managers should ensure that all elements of the order are clearly recorded on the file. This must include any decisions regarding unacceptable absences and the delay/suspension of requirements. 28.Any absence within a given day is treated as one absence regardless of the number of contacts for that day. An absence within 12-months relating to requirements is treated as an absence for the whole order. Verification and, where possible, written proof is required for all unauthorised absences. It is not appropriate to provide specific examples of what constitutes an acceptable absence, as there will be a number of issues that will feed into the decision and the circumstances of each case will vary.

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29.Given their profile i.e. high likelihood of further offending, this offender group are more likely to commit further offences during the course of an order and may have higher non-compliance rates. PC 13/2005 provides further information on expedited listing and notification hearings in community sentence breaches. The joint circular requires magistrates’ courts and probation areas to develop locally agreed processes that ensure that community breaches are resolved within 20 working days after the second unacceptable absence. In cases where an application for warrant without bail is required to minimise the risk of further offending, offender managers should give consideration to offenders considered to present a high risk of re-offending, including those designated within prolific and other priority offender schemes. 30. In providing court reports for breach, any partial progress or achievements to date should be included in the reports. The report should also provide information on the offender’s ability to comply with more requirements or more onerous requirements. Conflicting requirements should be avoided as they could potentially lead to a further breach. Transitional Arrangements for Existing and New Orders 31.There may be a number of issues relating to the management and breach of existing and new cases that are likely to arise from April 2005. The following provides examples of possible case scenarios involving transfer and breach of cases. This is not intended to be exhaustive and reference should be made to the CJA 2003 National Implementation Guide: 32. Where the court decides to revoke and re-sentence an offender who is subject to an existing sentence e.g. ICCP and the original offence pre-dates the 4th April 2005, the court can only resentence to the sentencing provisions that are available under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. 33. Where an offender is subject to an existing intensive order i.e. ICCP and is appearing before court for further offences committed on or after 4th April 2005, the court can take the following action: • • Sentence to a new order for the new offences and revoke the existing order or; Sentence to a new order for the new offences and allow the existing order to continue.

34. It is considered good practice when managing a case as described above to invite the court to revoke the existing order (this is not permissible if the offender was sentenced to the existing order in a Crown Court and is being sentenced in a Magistrates’ Court) at the point of sentence for the new offences. 35.There may be cases where an offender is subject to an existing intensive order i.e. DTTO and concurrent new community order with DRR requirement, as a result of new offences committed after the 4th April 2005. Good practice suggests that where breach occurs probation staff should consider the merits of taking breach action on the new order. 36.National Standards 2005 should apply in all cases where an offender is subject to both an existing and new community order. The only exception to this is where the enforcement action is more onerous under the new standards than would have been the case when the order was made. Monitoring Requirements 37. NPD are seeking to centrally monitor all orders made under the CJA 2003. Any orders made under the Act that have more than four requirements, of which one is supervision, will be defined as Intensive Community Orders. The purpose of this monitoring is to track the extent to which community orders with multiple requirements are being used and with what offender types. This will enable NPD to provide more detailed guidance on the targeting and use of
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these types of orders. 38.There is no impact on areas resulting from this monitoring, as RDS NOMS will identify these orders centrally from the monthly probation listings (Form 20 extract) which Areas will be providing from July 2005. Arrangements for feeding back findings to Areas will be issued shortly.

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