Probation Circular

To audit actual and planned use of Activity Requirements in Probation Areas as part of CJ Act 2003 sentences. REFERENCE NO: 74/2005 ISSUE DATE: 31 August 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: October 2005 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers Effective Practice Managers AUTHORISED BY: Meg Blumsom, Acting Head of Community Re-Integration, Interventions Unit ATTACHED: Annexe 1 – to be returned electronically. No hard copies to follow.

Chief Officers are asked to ensure completion of the attached pro-forma and return to NPD by 7th October 2005.

NPD are considering the merits of a national framework for Activity Requirements. This PC asks areas to report current and planned activity. The returns made in this audit will assist further exploration of the options.


Randel Barrows or Mark Chidwick – Interventions Unit Tel 020 7217 8323 Tel 020 7217 0681

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

Criminal Justice Act 2003: Activity Requirements Area Audit - September 2005 Introduction
1. 2. Performance data from areas for the period ending June 2005 showed that the courts in England and Wales made 231 Activity Requirements. The NPD, in consultation with NOMS, is considering what national or regional framework might be put in place for Activity requirements. A national framework for Activity Requirements, like those for accredited programmes and drugs interventions, could provide a partnership between NPS areas and the centre for the development and quality assurance of effective AR practice. Its key features would be a process for approval; a national database of AR interventions and dissemination of ideas and evaluation outcomes. The NPD considers that Activity Requirements might provide NPS Areas with opportunities to meet the following criminal justice and NOMS strategic objectives:


• • • • • • •

To assist with the desired changes to sentencing patterns To give local probation areas and criminal justice partnerships an opportunity to respond to local diversity and specific local problems To provide a framework for structured interventions that may attract external, partnership or challenge funding under the civil renewal strategy To provide a framework for national innovative or priority developments e.g. provide ‘best practice’ interventions for the reducing offending pathways identified in the developing national strategies. To fill gaps in the interventions curriculum to fit the new sentencing framework To provide an equitable and transparent national structure for Activity Requirement development To develop models of intervention that may be suitable for contestability on a local, regional or national basis


There are clear advantages to a national framework but these must be balanced with the resource requirements of putting something in place and the possible delays and constraints on effective local developments. At this stage therefore, an audit is being undertaken to determine the range and extent of actual and planned AR development and your views on a national framework. This will help to inform next steps.

Action: 5. NPS areas are asked to audit their local developments and plans and to complete the attached proforma (Annex A) and return it by 7th October to Mark Chidwick

PC74/2005 – Criminal Justice Act 2003 – Activity Requirements


Annexe 1

Criminal Justice Act 2003 NPD Activity Requirement Audit
Pro-forma return Please complete and return as email attachment by 7th October 2005 to: 1. Name of Area 3. Name of person completing proforma 4. Lead person for Activity Requirement work 5. Is your area offering Activity Requirements to courts? (yes/no) 6. If yes, please provide details (type, length etc) and go to question 9.

1. 2. 3. 4.

7. If no, is your area planning to offer Activity requirements to courts?(yes/no) 8. If yes to question 7 please provide details

1. 2. 3. 4.

9. If you are already providing Activity Requirements, please give detail on date of introduction, approx usage and any feedback from courts and staff. ( this can be attached separately if required) 10. Would your area welcome a national framework for activity requirement development? Yes/no 11. Can you say why?